A big part of building the Huron River Water Trail means making the portages around dams safer and easier for paddlers. Everyone agrees that the portage of the Flat Rock Dam in the City of Flat Rock is the most difficult. The designated portage is to boat to a concrete pillar next to Flat Rock Metal and then haul yourself, your canoe or kayak and gear several feet vertical to perch on the pillar. Then proceed on foot a few yards to a locked chain link fence (avec barbed wire) and hope that you remembered to call the company ahead of time to arrange access. See the problem?
This past week, the work group investigating the portages along the Huron River walked the area to figure out a better portage. We are working with HCMA, the City of Flat Rock, Flat Rock Metals and others to figure out a more accessible way for paddlers to enjoy the Downriver reach of the Huron River. In so doing, we’ll be attempting to balance access to river recreation and water trail town businesses with costs and property owner interests. We anticipate having portage concepts sketched out during the winter.