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Temporary closure this week at Portage Lake boating access site to install accessible features

accessible launch with someone dropping into water

In an effort to expand the growing list of accessible features on public lands, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Onekama Township will temporarily close thePortage Lake boating access site in Manistee County to construct new amenities.

The anticipated two-day closure at this jointly managed site will take place Wednesday and Thursday, June 29-30.

Onekama Township was awarded $75,900 from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund to install a new accessible kayak and canoe launch system and accessible parking spaces.Additional funding came from the Portage Lake Association and a grant from the Portage Lake Watershed Forever Annual Fund administered by the Manistee County Community Foundation.

The accessible EZ Launch kayak and canoe launch system, with a sliding bench and grab-bar feature, is designed to make it easier to get kayaks or canoes in and out of the water.Visitors can pull themselves into the water using side rails and rollers.

Paddlers can use the Onekama Village Park boat launch, located on the north side of Portage Lake, as an alternative access site during the closure.

"We're very excited about this partnership and very grateful to Onekama Township," said DNR Parks and Recreation Division supervisor Doug Barry. "The added parking spaces and EZ Launch kayak and canoe launch system will expand opportunities for all visitors."

Aug. 7 ribbon cutting

The public and media are invited to join Onekama Township and DNR officials at 10 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 7 for a grand-opening kayak flotilla starting from the Portage Lake boating access site. 

Additional information

For more details on the project, contact Douglas Barry at 231-723-7422 or 

Anyone planning to visit the Portage Lake boating access site is encouraged to visit to view any anticipated changes to the reopening date. 

Visit to find information on other accessible outdoor recreation opportunities across the state, including fishing, hunting and more.

Note to editors: An accompanying photo is available below for download. Caption information follows. Credit: Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

  • Accessible launch: The accessible kayak launch pictured here, at Interlochen State Park, is much like the new accessible kayak and canoe launch system that will be installed at the Portage Lake boating access site June 29-30.

Contact: Douglas Barry, 231-723-7422