Fun on the waters of the Huron River
© Becky Linhardt 2012
It is surprising to realize that a power company is to be thanked for the beautiful string of parks that line the Huron River as it flows through Ann Arbor, Michigan. Land along the river was bought by power companies with the idea of generating hydroelectric power from a series of dams. When demands for electricity increased to a point that it became financially unfeasible, the parcels of land became available and were purchased for public use.
Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation now watches over more than 630 acres of preserves and parks that line the Huron River as it passes near downtown and through portions of the extensive University of Michigan campus. There are numerous walking trails and from May into October you can rent a canoe, kayak, or water bike at Argo Park or the Canoe Livery at Gallup Pond to explore the natural beauty along the river.
Groups of school kids visit each year to learn about the ecosystems of the water world here and families and couples rent watercraft just for fun, sun, and a relaxing paddle or peddle. When you are on the water be sure to watch out for the low pedestrian bridges that span the waterways and be sure to duck your head if you are on a water bike.
All too soon it’s time to bring your watercraft of choice back into the dock. Remember that fun on the water does not end at Labor Day. The waters of the Huron River are warm into the autumn and Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation sponsors an annual Candlelight Paddle each September and in late October there is a special day time Trick or Treat Down the River that has paddlers going from stop to stop along the river to collect treats – costumes are encouraged for both paddlers and those handing out the treats.
The Ann Arbor parks along the Huron River are part of the Huron River Water Trail, the subject for an article I wrote for Long Weekends Magazine.
Gallup Park Canoe Livery, 3000 Fuller Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48105 Phone: 734-794-6240