Exploring the Great Waters Region of Michigan
The "Great Waters" Region of Michigan is where the Lakes Michigan, Huron, and Superior meet. Our tour area encompasses Northern Lower Michigan and the Eastern Half of the Upper Pennisula of Michigan.
Our home base in "Up North" Indian River, Michigan, is the southern gateway to the "Great Waters" Region.
We provide exciting outdoor adventure tours which inspire our guests to "explore the Great Waters Region" of Michigan and to become enthralled with the Great Lakes, Northern Michigan, and its communities.
We are an “Eco-Adventure” enterprise which employs sustainable tourism practices by involving local businesses and communities, thereby benefiting all. Our adventures include the history, geology, wildlife and fauna of the areas traveled.
As the southern gateway to the "Great Waters" Region, Indian River, Michigan, is ideally situated on:
- The North Central State Recreational Trail consisting of a 62 mile rail to trail bike/hike path from Gaylord to Mackinaw City.
- The famous Inland Waterway, a 38 mile chain of rivers and lakes cutting across Northern Lower Michigan from Petoskey to Lake Huron.
- The 105,000 acre Pigeon River Country State Forest, and the 80 mile High Country Pathway which encompasses the beautiful Pigeon River and Pigeon River Valley.
- As the southern gateway to the "Great Waters" Region of Michigan our tours travel the Great Lakes inland shoreline from Munising to Sault Ste. Marie on Lake Superior, the Les Cheneaux Islands and the communities of Cedarville, Hessel, St Ignace and Mackinac Island on Lake Huron to Manistique on Lake Michigan.
We offer a great variety of day or extended overnight outdoor adventure tours for you to enjoy at all skill levels with any combination of biking, kayaking, and hiking. We offer everything from fully-supported Inn-to-Inn outdoor adventure bicycle tours to do it on your own with limited "SAG" support. It’s your adventure! Do it your way.
Great Lakes Eco-Adventure Center
Exploring the "Great Waters" Region
Bike • Hike • Paddle
Become known as the destination location and learning center for outdoor adventures in Northern Michigan and the “Great Waters” Region of Michigan. Ultimately, we want to be known as a passionate group of outdoor professionals who wish to share our experiences and knowledge with other fellow adventurers.
The "Up North Gang":
Jerry Van Slembrouck
I am the “old man” of the “Up North Guys”, Jerry Van Slembrouck. I graduated from Michigan Technological University in 1976 and had the privilege of serving in the US Air Force as an officer and pilot. I currently own a small business in Petoskey Michigan. I have been involved in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) as an adult scout leader and scoutmaster for over 14 years. Two of the best vacations I ever had were involved in taking two different groups of scouts to Philmont High Adventure Scout Ranch for two weeks of backpacking in the Rocky Mountains of New Mexico. This is where I realized how much I enjoyed outdoor adventures with like-minded people. My wife, Vickie, and I have 6 grandchildren with the oldest being 6 – so far Grandpa and Grandma can do “No Wrong” in their eyes.
Doug Engler is our head mountain bike guide and river guide. He is a graduate of Lake Superior State University with a degree in Public Safety. He is an active duty police offer with 12 years of law enforcement experience. As a police he is trained as a fire fighter and wildfire fighter, as well as medical first responder and incident command specialist. He is a native to our guiding region and has basically grown up on two wheels. Starting with BMX at age 8, he quickly climbed to the expert class. He was soon ranked #2 in the state of Michigan by the American Bicycle Association. For the last 13 years he has been traveling around the state racing in the expert single speed class. His passion for the sport has been instilled into his family as well. His wife Sherri, daughters, Lexi 9, and Lauryn 6, are no strangers to the MTB race podiums. Doug has been actively river kayaking for over 8 years. With the Engler residence sitting but 40 yards from the famed Pigeon River, his knowledge of both the Pigeon and Sturgeon rivers enables him to custom pick a float trip to suit any clients needs.
David Van Slembrouck
David Van Slembrouck is our head sea kayaking guide and instructor. He has been kayaking the waters of Michigan for the past 10 years. Instead of a car for his 16 birthday he wanted a kayak. He has been a scout almost his entire life and earned his Eagle Rank when he was 18. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource and Development from Oakland University with a minor in Training and Design. Following school he has become a Level 1 kayak instructor through the American Canoe Association and was recently certified as a Wilderness First Responder. David’s passion for the outdoors and his love of sharing it with others is one of the main reasons he helped found the Great Lakes Eco-Adventure center. Through it he hopes to introduce more people to the outdoors and give them the skills and confidence to experience it further.