A river is a wonderful place. It may offer food, water, or many other forms of recreation. It is a place where you may go and hear the rushing of the water, trickle of a stream, songs of birds, or the excited voices of people enjoying its offerings. It may be a place to go, or it may be a trail to be traveled.
My favorite river place is close to where I work, a bend of the Huron River in Island Lake Recreation Area called the “Huron River Fishing Site” (though I rarely see anyone fishing here). It is down a dirt two track that seems to be largely undiscovered. A peaceful, horseshoe shaped bend of the river, slow and quiet. A great place for a dose of Vitamin N (Nature). I like to come here to enjoy a quiet lunch, and it is the spot from which I most often launch my kayak.
Whether simply sitting stream-side and enjoying some solitude, or paddling the (mostly) quiet stretches of river up and down stream, it is a great place to come for a quick recharge. Paddling up or down stream, you can easily stay entirely in the park on any short paddling excursion. Travel upstream first, and you’ll wind your way under Kensington Road, and all the way to the dam holding back Kent Lake. This trip is a great trip, but it has a few more sound intrusions from the human world as it winds closer and closer to I-96 and the park’s great shooting range. Head down stream first, and you wind your way back deeper into the park, a bit more removed from mechanical sounds. You may see a mountain biker or two on a bluff above the river, but for the most part you will find solitude (though on a recent trip in the spring it was quite evidently spawing season for some sort of large, brown fish).
My favorite time to visit, and especially paddle, is after a healthy, sticky snow in winter. Even better if it is still snowing, as that makes the trip that much more amazing. Either way, you are greeted with a white winter wonderland and the snow seems to absorb all the sounds of the modern world. I dress warm in water friendly layers, and bring a change of clothes in a dry bag just in case. The river here is not more than knee deep, thus if ever I did take a spill I would have no real worries with my precautions.
Here are a few pics of my favorite stretch of the river. What is yours?
(Sadly, the tree is no longer standing, as you can see at the top of the page)