Category Archives: Trips

Shiawassee River, Henderson Park to Ditch Road, June 16

We’ll meet at Henderson Park north of Owosso at 9:00 a.m., run shuttle, and paddle about 9 miles down to the old Parshallburg Mill Dam site off Ditch Road. This is an easy route with no portages or obstacles to avoid, although the old mill pond at the end of the trip will be slow going due to duckweed growth. There will be a lunch stop along the way. More details when you RSVP. PFDs must be worn while on the water. If you haven’t signed a trip waiver for the 2012 season, I’ll have forms available at the put-in. Please RSVP, loretta [at] loapc [dot] org.

Missinaibi River Live Blogging, Part III

[Jay called in this evening. Said it was sprinkling a little up there but stopped for a while, and he wanted to make the call before the rain started again.]

Sunday, July 19, Day 9: We were slow breaking camp this morning. It rained at night but only gray this morning. At 9 am we were packed up, and rain on the river by 9:45. The rain finally stopped by 2 pm, cooler and windy, headwinds but not bad. This was a slow section of the river with only 1 class 2 rapid right after leaving camp, and a class 1 where we stopped for lunch. By 3 pm we were in camp at rapid #30, which I later learned is called First Lake Rapid. It’s a class 1 and camp we camped on the island next to it. We covered 25km, a relatively easy day. It’s 5 p.m. and we’re relaxing at a scenic spot with 9 days behind us and 4 to go. Everything is hanging out to dry; it’s now mostly sunny with a northeast breeze. Monday will be another quiet day. On Tuesday we’ll encounter many rapids in final stretch to Mattice.

Monday, July 20, Day 10: A beautiful morning. The sky was finally clear. Although the temperature was 46 to start, it reached 80 by afternoon. Today was an easy paddle with slow steady current, tail winds and one class 1 rapid. We stopped at old logging bridge but there was no activity or vehicles. We reached Two Portage Falls and camped. We all took turns bathing and lying on the warm rocks. We covered 31km in 7 hours today, but didn’t paddle very hard to do it. We could have easily cut an hour off but took frequent breaks just floating on the river in the sunshine. Tomorrow we begin our push to Mattice.

Tuesday, July 21, Day 11: We broke camp at 8 am, finished portaging around Two Portage Falls, and ran the bottom class 1. The “Devil’s Rapid” series was next. We portaged around Pond Falls and Devil Cap Falls. We ran 1k-long Devil Shoepac Rapids, which was class 1 and 2. We ran Devil Base Rapids, a class 1, and the right side of Devil Base Falls, a class 2. We ran Z-Drag Rapids far left, after portaging our gear. After lunch, considering the continuing sunny warm weather with tail winds and current, we decided to push on to Big Beaver Rapids. We ran Upper Albany Rapids, a class 1, and Sleeping Beauty Rapids, no problem. At the bottom of Lower Albany Rapids, a class 2 ledge flipped Dan and Mary, and after the yard sale, the loss was one sock and a fishing pole missing. We rolled into Big Beaver Rapids by 5 p.m., a long day but not excessive. We can now lay over tomorrow and swim and relax without breaking camp. Covered 39km today.

PS: Big Beaver Rapid is raging whitewater at this level. It’s Class V, an awesome sight. It will be fun to explore tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 22, Day 12: it’s noon, this is our layover day and we are all relaxing. We had a slow breakfast, hiking and exploring, fishing and reading, and conversation without having to pack and unpack. Weather is great, bugs not bad. The only downside is we discovered an ATV access trail when portaging yesterday. Locals have cut a path through the woods from a road on the west side of the river down to Big Beaver Rapids. It joins the portage trail and they are driving ATVs down the portage trail to the canoe launch. Right on schedule after breakfast, an 8-wheel Argo ATV showed up with a canoe strapped on top. Two men and a boy got out, unloaded the canoe next to our campsite, left the ATV and went fishing. I took pictures of the ATV, the trail, and the serial number. I will contact Missinaibi Park Headquarters when I return to the states. ATV access has already trashed Glassy Falls near Mattice and the thought of people trashing this place too is sickening. Big Beaver Rapids is pristine. These guys fishing didn’t leave any trash, but with access it could be the next party hangout by less responsible users. I hope this can get stopped.

I will call again for the last time on Friday when we reach Mattice.

Live Blogging from the Missinaibi, Part II

[Editor’s note: Jay was a day late calling in because it was raining too hard on Tuesday night to come out of his tent and use the satellite phone.]

Day 5, Wednesday, July 15: We stayed at Barclay Bay campground in the provincial park last night. Left this morning at 9:30 am–we had a slow start getting things together. We paddled the rest of Missinaibi Lake to the source of the river, which was 12km, 3 hours. So it took us 2 days and 9.5 hours of paddling to cross Missinaibi Lake. We had excellent weather to make this huge open water crossing. Reached the source of the Missinaibi River, water was slow draining out of the lake. A little bit downstream from the source is first rapid, a class 2, which we ran after scouting. The next two class 1s we boat scouted and ran. We camped at Flying Post Creek. Bugs were bad in daytime, but at camp in the evening they were surprisingly good. Even though we were way back in woods, we were able to cook dinner and sit around in camp. Suddenly at bedtime the bugs found us again, so everybody dove for the tents at 10 pm. Total of 28km: 13km on the lake, 15km on river.
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Live Blogging from the Missinaibi River

[Jay called in on the satellite phone around 7:00 this evening with a trip progress report, which is posted below. -Loretta]

Friday, July 10: we left Lansing and drove as far as Alona Bay on Highway 17 in Ontario. Car camped for the night near the highway and Lake Superior.

Saturday, July 11: we drove the rest of the way and launched on Hawk Lake at 11 a.m. Paddled only 1.5 hours before being blown off Manitowoc Lake by high winds around 1:30 p.m We were windbound for 3.5 hours and got back on the water at 5 p.m. Made it to camp at the Stony Falls portage at 8 p.m. Stony Falls was our destination for that day, so we were on schedule even though we had down time. Paddled 30km total, late day but had time to get to camp.

Sunday, July 12: we broke camp at 8 a.m., finished portaging Stony Rapids, back on the water at 9:15 a.m. Traveled only 6km, by 11:45 we were blown off the lake again. Tried again at 2 p.m., winds still too high so we bush camped. We lost the whole day and were 22km behind schedule.

Monday, July 13: OMG, we made it all the way to Missiniabi Lake today. Light winds pushed us all day. Launched at 8:40 a.m. Passed town of Missinaibie by 9 a.m. Passed the previous campsite we were supposed to reach yesterday evening . Had headwinds in p.m. but still made great progress. We wanted to stage for Missinaibi Lake the next morning, and we made up almost all of our time.

Tuesday, July 14: we started at 8 a.m. crossing Missinaibi Lake. The lake was dead calm. Rounded Fairy Point, no wind. Lunched at Whitefish Falls, still no wind. Reached the provincial park campground at 4 p.m. We had planned to camp tonight on an island but it was already occupied so decided to not keep pushing on.  We found a group site out of way of other people. Paddled 24km today, still a couple km short due to slow travel days because of the wind. We’ll be on the river tomorrow.

Weather: a few sprinkles but nothing significant, hovering in 50s at night, high 60s to low70s during the day, close to 80 today.

Bugs are horrible, all mosquitoes. There are a few deer flies and no black flies, but the mosquitoes are out in force.

Saw a moose this morning, and saw black bear swim across the narrows of Lake Missinaibi yesterday.

Will call in again Friday evening, July 17.

Trip Report: Au Sable River 2008

Ever wanted to paddle the Au Sable River from the headwaters near Grayling all the way to Lake Huron at Oscoda? Canoe racers in the annual Au Sable Marathon do it in 14 hours, but mere mortal paddlers take somewhat longer, so this year we’ve broken it up into four weekends. Part I of the trip took place this past February 23-24 as the 27th Annual Au Sable River Overnight. Part II of the journey went from Parmalee to FR 4001 on April 26-27, and Part III went from FR 4001 to Five Channels Dam on May 10-11. Part IV will go from Five Channels Dam to Oscoda on June 21-22. Click “keep reading” for story and photos.
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TRIP REPORT: Big South Branch of the Pere Marquette River Overnight

The 2nd Annual BiSBotPeMRO took place as scheduled on Saturday, March 29. The promise of sunny skies and 40-plus degrees came true for the nine paddlers that rendezvoused for this little adventure. The presence of a fair amount of snow still covering the ground was surprising for those of us who have not been up north in the last month. We had been trying to get used to spring downstate.

The previous month’s Au Sable trip had the primary element of winter cold to deal with, otherwise the actual trip on the Au Sable is fairly straight forward. Not the BiSBotPeMRO. It is seldom paddled and is a relative unknown. That makes for lots of deadfall in the river and portaging when you can’t find a way to claw through the natural obstacles.

Many of the paddlers were only in it for the day, and just prior to the final stretch to camp they pulled off the river. The remaining four of us camped on a nice spot with a view of the surroundings. Night came with clear skies and the temperatures quickly dropped into the 20’s, but the weather changed around 2:00 a.m. and the wind came up with overcast skies.

Wildlife was active with sandhill cranes in abundance, along with the many ducks. Owls started chiming in at dusk and when we were all tucked in the coyotes let us know they were nearby. We saw beaver, muskrats and mink on both days in the daytime.

Sunday morning was a little warmer but windier so I think the chill factor balanced out. There was a little sleet like tiny styrofoam beads but nothing more and it didn’t precipitate the rest of Sunday.

Saturday’s portaging was physically draining but Sunday’s was a little easier. However, by the time we got to the last bridge and the slow, marshy section we were still having to jump out or limbo through the deadfall. Even 100 yards from the mainstream of the Pere Marquette River, we had one more portage to do.

The BiSBotPeMRO is not for the faint of heart. It is a tough little river that demands a high price of admission. However, you won’t find a more rewarding experience on a very wilderness feeling river in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan

Jay Hanks, LOAPC President

Shiawassee River Event in May

WilliH2O has asked LOAPC to publicize this upcoming trip. The Shiawassee River group is very active and has done a lot of work to make the public aware of this great river.
May 18, 2008 Shiawassee River Paddle Event If don’t own a boat – Heavners Canoe rental will be on site !!

Compete against other adventure racers in a 7 mile Paddle Race,
or do the leisure paddle with friends and family after racers depart.

Put-In = WaterWorks Park on Broad Street (Milford Rd) in Holly,MI
Take-Out = Strom Park in Fenton,MI

A river in Oakland County many have yet to paddle !

Highly Detailed map – Mileage markers