2018-05-20 / Insight

Guided paddle tours offered to enjoy river

LAPEER — Now that warm weather has finally arrived, residents of Lapeer County will be looking to have some fun in the sun without costing an arm and a leg, and the Flint River Watershed Coalition has a few suggestions.

With the waterway snaking its way diagonally across Lapeer County, the conservation organization offers guided paddle tours along the river throughout the summer, including two planned to launch from the boat launch constructed last year in Rotary Park.

The first, launching Wednesday, June 27 at 5:30 p.m., invites interested aquanauts an opportunity to meet up and paddle down a portion of the river. The trip will take roughly 2 hours, ending at the Saginaw landing upstream. Some portaging may be required, and the FRWC asks that pre-registration be completed by June 24.

The second launch aims to close out summer on Sept. 5, with another evening paddle from a section of river further north. Leaving from Millville Road Landing just north of Plum Creek Road, the group is inviting paddlers to meet up at 5:30 p.m. for a threehour journey ending at the Norway Lake Road Landing. Pre-registration is requested by Sept. 1.

Both Lapeer-based launches are $10 if bringing a vessel, and $15 if renting. Thanks to support from the Genesee County Drain Commissioner and the Genesee County Community Water Quality Consortium’s “Our Water” program, the FRWC is hosting the Flint River Paddles from May through September, and according to organizer and guide Jaime Welch, each one is a uniquely beautiful journey down a different part of our Flint River. Welch invites the community to paddle together to explore the beauty and wonder of our healthy thriving Flint River on a guided tour, as well as paddle on your own at your own pace with friends.

According to the FRWC website, wildlife that can be seen from the river includes Bald eagles, great blue herons, kingfishers, dragonflies, turtles, walleye, bluegills, smallmouth bass and more, as well as an opportunity to enjoy the nature of Lapeer County from a slightly different perspective. The fee includes insurance, shuttling, water and snacks. Personal floatation devices are required to be worn at all times on the water and all trips are scouted ahead of time. A limited number of canoes and kayaks are available to rent, so the organization asks that participants register early by contacting Welch at 810-767-7140 or jwelch@flintriver.org. For more information on all the guided paddles scheduled for this summer, visit flintriver.org/blog/programs/ frwcs-paddles.

— Nicholas Pugliese

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