Multi-day Tours

Multi-Day Tours

Northern Michigan Birding & Kayaking Tour

July 4-9, 2021
$800 double occupancy; 6 participants

**Tour and waitlist are both full. Please check back in 2022 for additional trips to northern Michigan! 

Join IndiGo Birding for our first northern Michigan tour… one that I’ve been talking about and scouting for several years!

Northern Michigan in the summer offers beautiful weather and scenery, lots of public land, and gorgeous, sandy-bottom rivers. This tour is designed for the outdoor enthusiast ready for some hiking and paddling. While the rivers we will be paddling do not have extreme rapids, some paddling experience is required for all participants. In addition, I ask that all participants be vaccinated for COVID so that we can travel and interact safely. We will travel during the week to avoid some of the crowds.

By visiting in early July, we hope to catch many breeding birds still on territory. Target species include Kirtland’s Warbler, Evening Grosbeak, Upland Sandpiper, Black-billed Cuckoo, Golden-winged Warbler, and Ruffed Grouse. Other possibilities include Bobolink, Clay-colored Sparrow, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Veery, and Blackburnian Warbler. We’ll aim to find over 100 species by visiting a variety of habitats over the course of the trip.

This tour provides everyone with 5 nights lodging: two nights at Borcher’s Bed & Breakfast in Grayling, MI along the bank of the Au Sable River and then three nights at Brethren Bungalows in the Manistee National Forest. Also included is all transportation by van and personalized guide service in a small group setting. Breakfast is included at Borcher’s; all other food costs are not included in the cost of the tour.

The Tour

Sunday, July 4
– Depart Bloomington at 7:30 a.m. I am more than happy to pick up tour participants along the travel route through Indianapolis and Fort Wayne.
– Birding stop in Fort Wayne area (likely at Eagle Marsh).
– Pack a lunch for a picnic stop.
– Finish drive to Grayling, Michigan in the afternoon.
– Check in to Borcher’s Bed & Breakfast; dinner in Grayling.

Monday, July 5
– Breakfast at Borcher’s.
– Morning birding in the Jack Pine areas nearby in search of Kirtland’s Warblers.
– Kayak trip down the Au Sable River.

Tuesday, July 6
– Breakfast at Borcher’s.
– Morning birding at Hartwick Pines State Park (target: Evening Grosbeak)
– Picnic Lunch
– Birding in Manistee National Forest
– Check in to Brethren Bungalows
– Dinner out and grocery stop
– Possible sunset at Lake Michigan

Wednesday, July 7
– Morning birding at Manistee National Forest hotspots.
– Kayak trip on the Manistee River with picnic lunch.
– Stop at Douglas Valley Winery for birds and drinks.
– Dinner in Manistee

Thursday, July 8
– Trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes
Sleeping Bear Birding Trail includes birding at Arcadia Dunes, Elberta, & Betsie
– Evening birding at Arcadia Marsh Nature Preserve

Friday, July 9
– Breakfast and cabin checkout
– Morning birding stop in Muskegon County
– Drive back to Indiana, arriving in Bloomington between 6 and 7 pm

For transportation, effort will be made to include pick-up at your home if you live along the route from Bloomington, through Indianapolis and Fort Wayne. If you don’t live along the route, then personal arrangements will be made for a meeting point. To register, please email me at with basic information and any questions you may have. A $400 deposit is needed at the time of registration. After June 1st the $400 deposit is non-refundable (unless I am able to fill your spot). The balance is due via personal check by June 20th. Hope you can join!