Archive for the ‘Huron River Water Trail’ Category

Quiet Water Symposium, Saturday, March 1, 2014

Mark your calendar for this year’s hottest outdoor recreation event!

The 19th Annual Quiet Water Symposium celebrates non-motorized outdoor recreation and a shared concern for our Great Lakes environment with a day of talks and exhibits fromQuiet Water Symposium outdoor recreation providers and experts.

Date:  Saturday March 1, 2014

Location: The Pavilion for Livestock and Agriculture Education
(Farm Lane, south of Mt Hope – on the campus of MSU)

Time: 9am to 5:30pm

Admission: Adults $10.00 Students (with ID) $5.00 – under 12 Free

With 1500 attendees and another 500 exhibitor and volunteers, the Quiet Water Symposium is the largest one day show of its type in the nation.

This year’s program will include entertaining presentations on outdoor activities such as canoeing, camping, hiking and general outdoor skills by noted authors including, Kevin Callan, Cliff Jacobson and the McGuffins.  Along with these seminars will be interactive displays manned by knowledgeable enthusiasts and experts on topics such as wooden boat building, camp cooking, cycling, kayaking and protecting our watersheds and environment.  In addition to displays, many vendors will be available to help you chose the right gear or classes of interest.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.quietwatersymposium.org

The Huron River Water Trail will be at this year’s QWS. The Water Trail is a 104-mile inland paddling trail connecting people to the Huron’s natural environment, its history, and the communities it touches in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. The Huron River Water Trail is a consortium of interested groups and communities, and is a project of the Huron River Watershed Council and RiverUp!. See www.riveruphuron.org and www.huronriverwatertrail.com for more information.

Anita Twardesky joins RiverUp!

LinkedIn profile imageThe Huron River Watershed Council is pleased to announce that  Anita Twardesky has joined the RiverUp! initiative as Trail Towns Coordinator. Anita will guide the five largest communities on the river – Milford, Dexter, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Flat Rock – in becoming Trail Towns, trailside and gateway communities that are true recreational destinations. The Huron River Water Trail is a project of RiverUp!, the initiative to make the Huron River a new “Main Street” for the river towns where residents and tourists recreate, live, commute, do business, and treasure their riverfronts.

Anita is an experienced and respected recreation and trails professional. She  also serves as Public Relations & Community Outreach for Riverside Kayak Connection in Wyandotte where she is responsible for promoting outdoor recreation, paddlesports, and the ecotourism in the region. Previously, she served as Parks & Recreation Director for the cities of Woodhaven and Flat Rock. Her appointments include co-chair of the Downriver Linked Greenways Initiative, Chair of the Trails Committee for the Michigan Recreation & Parks Association, and a member of the State Wide Advisory Group Michigan Water Trails.

The Huron River Water Trail is a 104-mile inland paddling trail connecting people to the river’s natural environment, its history, and the communities it touches in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. The Huron River Water Trail is a consortium of interested groups and communities, and is a project of the Huron River Watershed Council and RiverUp!.

News to Us


Swimming in Base Line Lake

Swimming in Base Line Lake

There is a lot of local action this edition of News to Us.  Read about a potential new wastewater treatment facility in Superior Township and lakeside residential development on Woodland Lake in Brighton.  Hamburg Township has come to resolution on conflict around boater behavior on Base Line Lake.  Learn more about the work of HRWC and many partners to enhance the role the river plays in many of our communities.  And finally, a recent article provides a good summary of the current status of fracking in the State of Michigan.

SUPERIOR TOWNSHIP: Board updated on developers’ DEQ permit application  Negotiations continue around a proposed 1,200 unit mobile home development and new wastewater treatment plant that would discharge into the Huron River in Superior Township.  Rock Riverine has submitted an application to DEQ for a wastewater discharge permit which would add phosphorus to the Huron in stretch of river that already exceeds the TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) for phosphorus.  TMDL’s are part of the Clean Water Act and set the maximum amount of a pollutant that a body of water can receive while still meeting water quality standards.

Development worries residents  A proposed project would bring nearly 50 new homes to Woodland Lake in Brighton Township on what may be the last undeveloped parcel on the lake.  The 43 acre parcel is currently forested with wetlands and is hilly.  Local residents are voicing their concerns over the development of this parcel and the impacts it would have on the lake. There is a public hearing tentatively scheduled for Feb. 10, 2014.

Hamburg won’t seek watercraft ordinance from state  Last month we highlighted an article citing growing concerns about noise and the inappropriate behavior of boaters on Base Line Lake.  In lieu of a watercraft ordinance, the Township has decided to provide additional patrolling as a first step to manage the issue.

Guest Blogger: Tom Woiwode  Friend of HRWC and champion for greenways in Southeast Michigan, Tom Woiwode blogs about RiverUp!, the water trail and other efforts to invest in the river for community vitality, economic development, and recreational and cultural activity.

Tighter regulations coming for hydraulic fracking in Michigan  For those following the fracking issue in Michigan, this article provides a nice summary of recent changes to regulations.  Read more about the natural gas extraction process, the rules regulating it and the public’s concern about the growing number of wells drilled using high volume hydraulic fracturing in the State.


News to Us

the michigan hand 2The latest edition of our biweekly news round up provides an update on Great Lakes water levels, highlights a major road construction project in the watershed and shares how Ann Arbor is planning to implement its Climate Action Plan.  Read about potential riverside developments in two of the Huron River Water Trail Trail Towns. Also, how often do you play tourist in your own state?  Take a fun survey to see how many sites you have seen in the Mighty Mitt.

Issues of the Environment: Ann Arbor’s Climate Action Plan  A recent broadcast of WEMU’s Issues of the Environment interviews Ann Arbor’s, Environment Coordinator, Matt Naud.  The interview discusses the City’s Climate Action Plan and the push to implement strategies identified in the plan that will help reduce carbon emissions and prepare the city and its residents for anticipated changes to the local climate.

Great Lakes water levels recover from near-record lows  Water levels in the Great Lakes is an issue many Michiganders are paying attention to.  Much has been debated about the cause(s) of record low levels in the Great Lakes and what can be expected over time pertaining to lake levels.  Here is the latest update that brings some welcome news on the issue.

Environmental group raises concerns about US-23 project north of Ann Arbor  A newly proposed highway project in our watershed is getting some attention from environmental groups wanting to make sure improvements appropriately address potential impacts.  A public meeting is scheduled for December 12, 2013 for those interested in learning more or providing input.

Milford’s AMP in Central Park Nears Fundraising Goal   Community members in Milford have joined forces to raise funds for improvements to its Central Park along the Huron River.  The group is nearing its fundraising goals that will bring an outdoor amphitheater and barrier-free public restroom facilities to the park. Milford is a Trail Town on the Huron River Water Trail.  Read more about the value of riverside amenities and municipal spaces at RiverUp!

Waterfront development with restaurants, a boardwalk and upscale apartments proposed for Ford Lake  Ford Lake, a reservoir of the Huron River, is the location of another proposed riverside development.  The concept plans shows potential amenities such as dining and retail along the water, as well as housing, recreation trails, and a disc golf course. Improving walkability and access to the lake on the north shore of the lake could be assets to Ypsilanti Township and the City of Ypsilanti, a  Trail Town of the Huron River Water Trail.

Michigan Tourist Attractions  And for a little fun, how good of a local tourist are you?  Take a look at these Michigan attractions.  How many have you visited?  Tell us! What tops your list of must-sees?

RiverUp! scores another win for river users

  • Quiet waters for landing and launching at Island Park Quiet waters for landing and launching at Island Park
  • Soil erosion and sediment control measures are installed prior to earth-moving Soil erosion and sediment control measures are installed prior to earth-moving
  • The site is graded to achieve an easy slope for hauling canoes and kayaks The site is graded to achieve an easy slope for hauling canoes and kayaks
  • Boulders at the site are used to stabilize the new design. This gravel won't scratch canoes and kayaks Boulders at the site are used to stabilize the new design. This gravel won't scratch canoes and kayaks
  • Our friend Mike happened to be fly fishing near the project site. Catch anything? Our friend Mike happened to be fly fishing near the project site. Catch anything?
  • The perfect spot for one, two or ten boats to rest. The perfect spot for one, two or ten boats to rest.

RiverUp! strikes again! Another makeover at the river’s edge is nearing completion, this time in Ann Arbor’s Island Park.

The construction crew just wrapped up at the new canoe and kayak access located at river mile 49.4 on the Huron River Water Trail. The new launch and landing replaces the eroded and undersized (and unofficial) landing just upstream near the footbridge that had become the taking out spot for paddlers. Way-finding signage will be installed soon directing river users to the improved access point.

City of Ann Arbor Liveries Manager Cheryl Saam envisioned a better option at the new site. RiverUp! program staff and project consultant SmithGroupJJR worked with Cheryl and the city to design and implement the project. Upon visiting the site this week, Cheryl offered, “All looks really good. I think the landing is easily seen from the main river, and I really like the pea gravel mix for boat dragging.” Island Park is situated along the popular Argo to Gallup paddle trip. Cheryl adds, “We will be directing many groups to this launch since Island Park is the best stopping off point for wading, playing, picnicking and restroom breaks.”

This river access improvement was made possible through the generous support of Marguerite Smith whose own experiences with the river motivates her philanthropy. “My husband was an avid outdoorsman and particularly enjoyed solo canoeing,” shares Marguerite. “The Huron River was a favorite of his and he paddled the entire length over a period of two summers,”  she recalls, “He would be pleased with the improvements that are underway through RiverUp! to enhance access and enjoyment of this wonderful resource.”

RiverUp! is the signature placemaking initiative for the Huron River and its communities. Through this effort, we are working to assist communities to maximize the Huron River as a community asset to attract residents, visitors, and businesses. From the launch of the initiative in August 2011 to present, RiverUp! is generating interest in the river and its communities, and is part of a broader Great Lakes vision to maximize freshwater resources for community development.


Your New Resource for Water Trail Trip Planning

Welcome to the virtual launch for the new Huron River Water Trail website!

HRWT_newweb_screenshot-300x275The new online tool, seven months in the making, offers a nearly complete Water Trail experience . . . minus the water.

While nothing beats trying out the site for yourself, here’s a sample of what to expect:

  • Clean, user-friendly interactive trip planning maps
  • Extensive trail amenities – where to grab a sandwich? where to pitch a tent? what activities are happening in the Trail Towns?
  • Real-time weather and stream flow information
  • Outfitters with canoe and kayak rentals
  • And much, much more

Are you looking for a lazy float on flat water or a chance to try your whitewater skills? Flat water, flowing river, portages, and other trail features are all mapped with recommended trips to last a few hours to a few days. Investigate the distance, time, level of difficulty, highlights, and more for each recommended trip.

The trail information and graphics complement the new Paddler’s Companion, the indispensable waterproof map book for the Huron River Water Trail. Get your own copy today!

Help us spread the word about the new planning tool for the Huron River Water Trail. Use it to plan your next trip! Tell you friends and family! And become a part of it by sharing your observations and photos.

HRWC acknowledges the planning and design team of The Greenway Collaborative, Inc. and Imageweaver Studio, the Partners of the Huron River Water Trail for their review and recommendations, and the support of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, the Erb Family Foundation, and the many partners of RiverUp!.

Final River Expedition Dispatch

Day 5: Lower Huron Metropark to Lake Erie

The crew celebrates the completion of their adventure at Pointe Mouillee with the waters of Great Lake Erie behind them

The crew celebrates the completion of their adventure at Pointe Mouillee with the waters of Great Lake Erie behind them

27 miles
6.5 hrs paddling

After another quiet and peaceful night camping, we’re up early for an 8 am start.  Mike George arrives to accompany us as far as Oakwoods Metropark, and Jim Pershing, Superintendent for the Park arrives to bid us a Bon Voyage.

This next stretch of river is perhaps the best kept secret of the whole river. It’s surprisingly remote and mostly natural with few houses or intrusions; only negative is the constant noise of jet traffic overhead (choose a day with north winds if you can when paddling this stretch, as the jets will be taking off in the other direction).  Herons, Kingfishers and Orioles escorted us along the banks. Sycamores, Catalpas and Redbuds provided the greenery.  We didn’t glimpse the Paw Paw trees but knew they were there.  Future Water  Trail mile markers and sign posts will be a welcome addition as landmarks are few and far between.  Highway and railroad bridges are soon passed and we enter the backwaters of the Flat Rock impoundment and Oakwoods Metropark, a wonderful stretch of oxbows and bayous.

Our weather karma wanes a little as the east wind gets funneled down the lake giving us a stiff headwind for the crossing.  Mike George waves goodbye and heads for the Nature Center, and we set our sights on the right end of the Flat Rock Dam anticipating the portage and lunch stop ahead.  Flat Rock Metals has graciously left the gate unlocked so the portage is surprisingly quick and easy, we move our gear to the bank below the low dam by the covered bridge and enjoy our well deserved lunch.  Ten miles to go.

The current helps along for the next few miles and the woods gradually gives away to more open marsh and wetlands. A few more houses along the banks with some impressive metal breakwalls, and soon the Jefferson St bridge is in view.  We pause to collect the group and marvel at the remains of the circa 1800 plank road [editor's note: the road built for the War of 1812 known as Hull's Trace] visible along the shoreline and ready for the last push across the river mouth to Pt. Mouillee.  Kay, Klaus and Aileen are there to greet us with our shuttle vehicles await in the parking lot.

What a great adventure. I couldn’t have asked for better paddling companions and our shore support was wonderful.  Once I get home and unpacked, notes and photos sorted, I’ll post a Trip Epilogue with more details and observations. Until then, thanks to all that made this adventure truly special.

Total river miles: 101.8
Total hours paddling: 28

Friday’s Dispatch from the River Expedition

Day 3: Hudson Mills to Superior Pond

22.7 miles
6.5 hrs paddling
Total miles (so far) 60.09

On the water before 8 am. Up close and personal look at the tornado damage from March 15 2012. Some impressive “tornado art” just above Mill Creek. Great blue herons escorting us all the way down the river. Several elected to run Delhi Rapids; the rest of us chose to portage.

I forget how nice the stretch below Delhi is to paddle, must do it more often.

Our good paddling karma continued with a tailwind across Barton Pond, two egrets and an osprey inspired us on. Quick stop to salute the Huron River Watershed Council staff then on to lunch at the Argo Livery before tackling the Cascades. Be sure to stop and enjoy the Ned Sharples bench in front of the livery–he inspired many of us to paddle and enjoy and protect the river. We ran with empty boats without incident but all dragged our sterns on the rock on the last drop.

Easy run across Gallup Pond and quick portage over the Geddes Dam put us in Superior Pond. We discussed the history of this forgotten and peaceful stretch of river, waiving to the Governor and ogling the mansions on the high bank. We end the day at a secret campsite we’ve nicknamed “Superior Bluffs– a gated community”.

Two days, forty miles, four challenging portages to go…


The June 2013 Huron River Expedition outside the HRWC office

Day 2 – the Dispatch from the River Expedition

All is going well for Ron and the crew. Visit HRWC on Facebook for more photos from their trip.

Hudson Mills Metropark features class I-II rapids

Hudson Mills Metropark features class I-II rapids

Day 2: Island Lake Camp to Hudson Mills

22.75 mi
6.5 hrs paddling
2 hrs stopped
3.4 MPH moving avg

Peaceful camping overnight, no drinking water available on site. Paul Seelbach (one of the original Riverfesters) joined us in the evening for the rest of the trip. 8:00 am start on the water through one of the nicest stretches of the river. Deb and Klaus joined us at Place ways for the day. The rest of the morning was very pleasant paddle dodging fallen trees. First lunch at Huron Meadows, then on to the lakes.

Good paddling karma gave us light following breezes across Strawberry, Woodburn and Galleger Lakes and got us to Base Line where we stopped for second lunch at the Michigan Sailing Club. Paul explained how we were leaving the first phase of the river– upland wetland woodland and entering the section that works its way through the rocky, gravelly glacial moraines.

Mink, muskrat, great blue heron, orioles, catbirds, kingfishers, killdeer, cygnets riding on the back of a swan, owl (barred?), pileated woodpecker.

Many carp splashing, suckers along the bottom and small mouth bass. A fisherman at the rapids at Hudson Mills reported catching (and releasing) 27 this day.

Great day on the river, 60 some miles to go . . .


River Expedition 2013 Begins

Ron consults the Paddler’s Companion while paddling the Huron River

For the next five days, we’ll post blogs from Ron Sell and his merry crew of paddlers as they complete their through-paddle of the 104-mile long Huron River. We look forward to hearing about their adventures and sharing their observations with you.

A little over 20 years ago, Joan Martin (HRWC Adopt-A-Stream director emeritus) had the wonderful idea of getting a bunch of people together and paddling the whole length of the river. After a year of planning, her simple idea had grown into RIVERFEST, a nine-day celebration of the river from start to finish.
It seemed like time to do the trip again, see what has changed over 20 years. And armed with the new River Paddler’s Companion guide book, find out how close we have come to making a true water trail. Today a smaller group of 7 started the day at Heavner’s Canoe Livery headed to Lake Erie in five days. We’ll report along the way and share our findings as we go. Stay tuned….
Proud Lake to Island Lake canoe camp.
14.63 mi,  4 hrs 29 min
Beautiful weather, lots of birds and fishes. Light tail wind made the 3 mi crossing of Kent Lake a breeze. Two easy portages, nice clean water after the Kent Lake Dam. Canoe camp is very pleasant and secluded. Finished earlier than planned, lots of time to relax.

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