Water Trail users can now enjoy better access to the amenities at Island Park with the completion of a new launch and landing for canoes and kayaks. The Island Park trailhead for the Huron River Water Trail is situated at river mile 49.4, arguably the most popular section of the river between Argo and Gallup liveries.

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 direct river users to the improved access. [easyrotator]erc_95_1379679905[/easyrotator]

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.” Michigan Hardscape LLC served as the construction contractor.

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.” In addition to Ms. Smith’s support, the City of Ann Arbor contributed the initial investment to leverage future donations.