Posts Tagged ‘Ford Lake’

Paddle Ypsi on the Huron River National Water Trail

Open for business this summer is the renovated canoe and kayak launch at Frog Island. Ypsilanti’s Frog Island Park on the Huron River, located just north of Depot Town between Forest and Cross, is getting a makeover. This access is located at river mile 40.7 on the Huron River Water Trail.

Since last November, invasive shrubs were removed and sight lines to the river opened up, hand rails on the stairs were installed, concrete cleaned, and an access path and launch graded and gravel added. The access is safer and easier to use. A new river-themed mural is in the works, too.

Stairs, path, and railing have been restored at the Frog Island Access

Stairs, path, and railing have been restored at the Frog Island Access

Try out the river in Ypsilanti and visit Frog Island. This section features mature tree canopy, newly restored fish habitat, and an unimpeded paddle trip into Ford Lake. Put in below Dixboro Dam, paddle the meandering river past the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital campus, portage the Superior Dam and Pen Park Dam, and see Ypsilanti from the water before taking out at Frog Island. Or start your trip at Frog Island and paddle past Riverside Park and Waterworks Park before entering Ford Lake. Paddle the upper end of the lake before taking out at Loon Feather Park. For a longer trip, paddle Ford Lake and take out at the new dam portage into North Hydro Park.

Ypsilanti Fall River Day on Sunday, October 9th offers a great opportunity to see the city by water in your own kayak or rent one that day.

Before your paddle, check out our podcast series that profiles three waterfront locations in Ypsilanti each with an important role in the city’s position as an automotive powerhouse:

  • The Faircliffe Home on Ford Lake
  • Motor Wheel
  • Water Street

Learn more about the Automotive Heritage Trail District.

HRWC leads this RiverUp! project, in cooperation with the City of Ypsilanti. Thanks to Bill Kinley for championing this project, with support from the Walter J. Weber Jr. Family, and many individual donors. Much gratitude to Washtenaw County Convention and Visitors Bureau and Margolis Landscaping for the many hours of labor and materials generously given to this renovation. Thanks to all of the community volunteers who kicked off the work in November 2015.

Paddle Ypsi!

Water Trail Team Surveys Portages

Grey, viagra rainy weather provided the backdrop to site visits that HRWC staff made this week to the canoe portages at the dams on Ford and Belleville Lakes. The visits are part of the needs assessment being done for planning on the Huron River Water Trail. Joining staff on the visits were representatives from HCMA, see Ypsilanti Charter Township, and Van Buren Charter Township, and paddling guide Ron Sell.

The landing at Ford Lake dam: Would you want to land a canoe here?

Some basic amenities are in place for the portages, but both sites need attention in the form of signage so paddlers know where to land, launch and portage their canoes and kayaks, as well as better landings, launches, trails, bathrooms and so on. The dams on these lakes (impoundments, really) are federally-regulated, which complicates matters. The Infrastructure Work Group for the Huron River Water Trail is working with the townships and other partners to complete the needs assessment, prioritize which improvements to fund, and seek sources of funding.

Once the portages are improved, paddling the lakes through this middle reach of the Huron River will be much more enjoyable!

Rickety stairs await the intrepid and brave paddler who portages French Landing dam

Conference for pollution reduction diets

Baltimore's Inner Harbor

Greetings from Baltimore! This is HRWC Watershed Planner, Elizabeth Riggs. I’m fortunate to be talking about HRWC’s work in the Huron River watershed at a conference this week about Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), or pollution reduction diets for rivers, lakes, and bays. More than 100 people from the U.S. and abroad are attending ASABE’s TMDL 2010: Watershed Management to Improve Water Quality. Yesterday, we were greeted by Rich Batiuk with the US EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program and Dr. Bob Summers with the Maryland Department of the Environment.

HRWC has a good deal of experience using this tool of the Clean Water Act to reduce pollution, starting with the TMDL for phosphorus in Ford and Belleville Lakes that spurred creation of the Middle Huron Initiative. Tomorrow morning, I’ll share with the conference attendees the story of that TMDL and HRWC’s efforts to measure impacts on phosphorus levels in relation to the City of Ann Arbor’s manufactured fertilizer ordinance.

While I’m in Baltimore, HRWC’s other watershed planner, Ric Lawson, also is sharing this story with conference attendees in Milwaukee. Check back here for a forthcoming blog from Ric about his experiences.

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