Sanctuary of the great lakes

Adventures On The Water

Kayaking through the city's 500-acre Wildlife Preserve.

Kayaking through the city’s 500-acre Wildlife Preserve.

Kayak, Canoe, & Paddleboard

Our Sanctuary of the Great Lakes is 66% water, making the Alpena area a prime destination for water trail enthusiasts! Quiet rivers and lakes provide a serene setting for an afternoon of gliding on the water, wildlife watching, or daydreaming. Kayak, canoe or standup paddleboard a variety of settings across the region including our 500 acre Wildlife Sanctuary and the Thunder Bay River. Paddle over some of the shallow water shipwrecks in the area with this handy guide: Shallow Shipwreck Paddle Guide.

For more water adventures, check out Rock the Boat! Summer on Alpena’s Waters

Snorkeling Tours

You don’t need to be a scuba diver to see some of Lake Huron’s famous shipwrecks up close. Thunder Bay Scuba and Great Lakes Divers in Alpena (see listings under “Scuba Diving”) offer all equipment needed for rental including masks, fins and Wet Suits. A Wet Suit rental makes a chilly lake comfortable, allows you to float without effort, and avoids sunburn. Novices welcome!

Sue Peterman kayaks over a shipwreck in Bell Bay on Lake Huron.

Sue Peterman kayaks over a shipwreck in Bell Bay on Lake Huron.

Explore Shipwrecks

Alpena is home to the nation’s only freshwater marine sanctuary. Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary protects about 200 historically significant shipwrecks that lay at rest on the bottom of Lake Huron. View the collection of shipwrecks in what is known as Shipwreck Ally via kayak, or aboard Alpena’s glass-bottom boat, Lady Michigan. Visitors are also welcome to snorkel and dive the wrecks to get up close and personal with remnants of our nation’s past.

You can also explore the history and archaeology of these wrecks at the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center, the Marine Sanctuary’s 20,000 square foot river-front dry-land headquarters. Exhibits on Great Lakes maritime history and shipwrecks include the new “Exploring the Shipwreck Century” exhibit, (a 9,000 square ft. permanent exhibit where visitors can experience elements of a traditional maritime museum, combined with a hands-on discovery center featuring life-sized recreations of a historic Great Lakes schooner and shipwreck sites), artifact displays, and interactive learning stations on technology and diving. Open year-round; Free admission.

Dave and son sailing Anna Meinhardt

Sail the tranquil waters of Lake Huron on a breezy summer day.

Sailing School

From beginners sailing lessons to competing in Yngling fleet races, Alpena offers sailing lessons for people of all ages at the Alpena Youth Sailing Club. Enjoy the Pure Michigan experience on Lake Huron and don’t forget your sunscreen!

Alpena Youth Sailing Club
Sailing lessons for kids and adults 8 years and up.


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Photo of Fletcher’s Landing

Fletcher’s Landing

5614 Emils Landing Rd. Hillman Michigan 49746 Phone: (989) 742-4166 Website:

Alpena Convention & Visitors Bureau
420 N. 2nd Ave. • Alpena, MI 49707
(989) 340-2288
© 2014 Alpena Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, All Rights Reserved. Produced by Gaslight Media

Beach Hazard Statement

10:32 AM EDT on September 24, 2018
8:00 PM EDT on September 24, 2018
High 65°/Low 61°