Paddle the Shiawassee Heritage Water Trail

Rate this Adventure 690 South Broad Street

Incredibly scenic paddle on one of the first designated Heritage Water Trails in Michigan.

This adventure begins at Waterworks Park in Holly. There is a parking lot, pedestrian bridge, map, nature lookout, and designated launch at this site. From here to Storm Park in Fenton, it is 7 river miles and will take most paddlers 2-3 hours. The Shiawassee is a slow-moving, warm water river that is fairly shallow in parts. Because of this, you may want to check river gauges before your trip. The river is deep enough to paddle in all but the dry stretches of summer. Experienced paddlers can paddle both downstream and upstream to avoid having to stage a car.

As you navigate the river, you will come across forests, marshes, wildlife, beaver dams, trees to paddle around and under, and countless many twists and turns. With the constantly changing scenery, you will also find mile markers and informational posts along the way.

As you reach Fenton Mill Pond, the current slows. Your final mile of paddling is essentially on a lake with Storm Park launch on the left before the bridge. In the works, an additional launch is being constructed about half way into this trip at Fish Lake Rd. in Holly. Be on the lookout for this in the near future. Unfortunately, this last stretch gets pretty skunky and full of algae in late summer, so the best months for a paddle would be early spring/summer or autumn, in my opinion.

Have fun! 

Pack List

  • Kayak
  • Personal Flotation Device
  • Sun protection
  • Water shoes
  • Water
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Activities Canoeing, Kayaking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Features
Food Nearby
River
Scenic

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