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Recreation in Michigan - Boating is Number #1

The National Sporting Goods Association surveys Americans about their recreational activities and compares participation among the states. An index is created such that a number larger than 100 means that compared to the national average, more people in that state participate in the given activity.

An index of 150, for example, means that 50 percent more than the national average say that they participate in that activity. The five highest ranking activities and their Michigan index numbers are the following:

  • Boating (203)
  • Darts (144)
  • Golf (142)
  • In-line roller skating (140)
  • Camping (128)


Sources: Center for Educational Performance and Information; Michigan Department of Community Health; Michigan Department of Education; Michigan Information Center; National Sporting Goods Association; U.S. Bureau of the Census; U.S. StatisticalBoating is #1 ! Abstract; World Bank.

Michigan residents & visitors can enjoy unmatched recreational fun on the water, and see hundreds of different plants and animals along the shorelines of Michigan's four Great Lakes and 11,000 inland lakes and rivers.

Michigan also has over 7,000 miles of canoe streams, 13,000 miles of trout waters, and over 700 access sites, many of which are maintained by local governments or organizations in partnership with the DNR.

Boating and fishing offer families a great way to spend time together and create fun memories that will last a lifetime.

Boating Supply Stores that Offer Coupons / Discounts

Inland Water

There are 11,037 inland lakes in Michigan, 36,000 miles of rivers and streams, and 1,573 square miles of inland water.

Great Lakes

Michigan borders on four of the five Great Lakes: Erie, Huron, Michigan, and Superior. The state's Great Lakes shoreline (including islands) is 3,288 miles.

There were nearly 13 million boat registrations in the United States in 2004, with more than 70 million Americans involved in recreational boating according to government statistics.  While use of life jackets has been increasing, the CDC reports that 90 percent of the 676 people who died in boating accidents in 2004 were not wearing any kind of flotation device

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