Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Kayaking Detroit River / Belle Isle Previous Next
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Keith
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Username: Keith

Post Number: 9
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, April 27, 2007 - 10:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I am interested to hear about the experiences from those who kayak on the Detroit River around Belle Isle or other places. I like the idea of going around the outside of the island.

Is it do-able, safe (within reason and with common sense regarding boat traffic, etc.)?
What in your opinions are the best places to kayak on the River?

Thanks for your input,
Keith
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French777
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Username: French777

Post Number: 166
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Friday, April 27, 2007 - 10:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah also anywhere one can rent Jet Ski's or speed boats
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Gibran
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Username: Gibran

Post Number: 266
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Friday, April 27, 2007 - 10:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Watch the currents and check conditions ...combined is very difficult...My Dad and a group of his crew tried to cross the river...and found themselves very tired after the endevour..He never mentioned just around the Isle....

Tell us how it is ?
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Jimaz
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Username: Jimaz

Post Number: 2049
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Friday, April 27, 2007 - 10:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My Dad used to tell a story about how he risked his life to save a capsized sailboat out there. He'd say to us, "You came close to never being born." :-)
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Irish_mafia
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Username: Irish_mafia

Post Number: 883
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, April 27, 2007 - 10:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If you are not experienced, stay away from the river the current is dangerous.

If you are experienced, wear your life jackets. My fiends pulled two guys out of the mouth of the river at the northern tip of Peche Island who were just about cooked when he got them.

That was at 7 am and there was not another boat to be seen that might have helped these guys out.

I am a big promoter of our waterways. Know proper safety when using them though. They are unkind to those who are not prepared.
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Lilpup
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Username: Lilpup

Post Number: 2067
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Friday, April 27, 2007 - 10:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Crossing the river would be a lot different than going around the island. I've been told the river's summertime freestream current is four knots. In the spring it's going to be fast as hell.

My major concern would be wind and powercraft, including those obnoxious jet-skis. Not too long ago I saw a guy in the middle of the river and, despite his red boat, he wasn't very visible due to the kayak's low profile. Stick fairly close to shore where the powercraft are less likely to go. Definitely WEAR your flotation, don't just carry it onboard. The water's still cold and exposure is still a threat. You'll tire easily if you flip or get swamped. Basically, on all the Great Lakes waterways, respect nature's power, don't do stupid stuff, and keep out of trouble by being honest to yourself about your strength and skills.

Take me to the river

Detroit Heritage River Water Trail
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Urbanoutdoors
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Username: Urbanoutdoors

Post Number: 275
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Saturday, April 28, 2007 - 1:20 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

http://www.google.com/maps/ms? hl=en&q=belle+isle&near=Detroi t,+MI&ie=UTF8&msa=0&z=15&ll=42 .34535,-82.965832&spn=0.013068 ,0.028925&om=1&msid=1178223396 43243821931.000001123695219dea 79a
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Dan
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Username: Dan

Post Number: 1386
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, April 28, 2007 - 3:43 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I recommend kayaking downriver near Grosse Ile. The river is wider; so of course the current is more manageable. You can easily make it across to Canada and back. There are also more islands and little bays to explore. Grosse Ile offers lots of opportunities to drop in (no public launches, but its easy to park and drop the boat in the water).

Just make sure you go when boat traffic is down. Early morning is good, or on a week day. Also watch the weather, and the water. Obviously try and go on a calm day to start off.

I was out there kayaking during the blackout in 2004, and it was magnificent. Some friends and I kayaked out to Stoney Island and grilled on the beach. The river was dark as far as you could see, except for the occasion freighter.
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Oladub
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Username: Oladub

Post Number: 35
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Saturday, April 28, 2007 - 9:50 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroit's Serbian Orthodox church once had a grass shack in its basement for Hawaiian Night. Mike Birac, formerly of Alter Road, dissembled it, transported it to Peach Island on his canoe by himself, and reassembled the Hawaiian grass shack there. He said that waves were dangerous between freighters.

Kayaking the coast of Belle Isle, you, at least, won't have the polar bear problems that Inuits have - especially since the zoo was closed.
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Charlottepaul
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Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 874
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 5:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Good question French, is there anywhere one can rent Jet Ski's or speed boats like near downtown somewhere? Seems like there should be, but I guess it could potentially be some kind of security issues border crossing and what not.
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Sstashmoo
Member
Username: Sstashmoo

Post Number: 78
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 8:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I wouldn't kayak anywhere between lake saint clare and lake erie. The current is dangerous, alot of the boaters are rude and inconsiderate. They will run you over.

There are all sorts of submerged obstacles to become entangled in. There are intakes and exhausts of different plants that use river water and they are very turbulent areas.

Renting speedboats or jet-skis would be a great thing to have. Jet-skis and other personal craft be restricted to designated areas. Areas prohibited by general river traffic. Clean sections of the river with slow current, like the area in between belle isle and the city.

Detroit has got to be the most detached from the river, riverfront town in the US. Other than a few festivals and a just implemented boardwalk, not much happening. Go to other waterfront towns like Baltimore and they have water taxis that take folks to different places along the river etc. In water exhibits, nice restaurants, a huge very impressive aquarium.

I'm going to be called crazy, but Detroit should consider water taxis or excursion boats to carry people to belle isle, area restaurants and other places of interest along the river. Not many now, but it would spur growth of other areas along the river. Like a restored version of Waterfront Delray?

We had the tallship festival back in 2001 or whenever, it was spanish galleons and Motown music. Like a banjo and a base drum.

Nothing wrong with either, but there were a few hundred years that weren't even represented. The Detroit river has a very interesting and deep history, that few that even live here know anything about.

If there is one tourism resource in this area being over-looked, its the river. The EPA got it cleaned up, it's time to do something with it again.
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Lilpup
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Username: Lilpup

Post Number: 2076
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 8:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

screw jet-skis - rent canoes and kayaks

Jet-ski operators are the most obnoxious POS on the waterways and they're usually drunk to boot.
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Kevdog
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Username: Kevdog

Post Number: 156
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 8:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I've kayaked multiple times from the altar road boat launch (at Altar and the river) out to the middle of the river (Peche island) and back. It's totally fine. I'm inexperienced. Just don't go in a kayak that easily flips over. Some kayaks are very stable.
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Sailor_rick
Member
Username: Sailor_rick

Post Number: 179
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 9:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I've kayaked plenty on the St. Clair River which has similar characteristics of the Detroit River, with no problem.

Use common sense, chose a day with little or no wind, maybe a weekday so the drunken dip-shits on the jet-skis or powerboats don't cream ya' and have fun.

I'm amazed we didn't plow into more of those clowns as they'd slid right up to the hull of our ships, a few would flip over on our propwash.

Then again, if I was 19 and had one...

Where's the best place(s) to put in on the River Rouge to kayak down to the Detroit River?
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Sstashmoo
Member
Username: Sstashmoo

Post Number: 79
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 11:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lilpup, I agree about the jet-skis. I have a boat and they are annoying as hell..

I've said several times they should go the way of the three wheeler. Above and beyond the idiotic operators zinging in and out in front of everyone, the noise they make is just annoying. The wining drone, its a form of pollution too.. Go to a nice lake setting and a few of those kinda wreck it for everyone.
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Keith
Member
Username: Keith

Post Number: 10
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, April 30, 2007 - 5:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks for the input. Someone gave me a map put out by the folks establishing greenways and "blueways" for canoeing/ kayaking. There are many routes with some descriptive text and pics. Some of these include existing and proposed access sites from Lake StClair to Lake Erie. Some of the interesting routes include:
- The River Raisin going through Monroe
- The Rough River from the Detroit River past
the Ford Rouge, Greenfield VIllage, the Ford
Fairlane mansion, etc
- Grosse Isle as mentioned by the posters here.
- Recommended hugging the shore downtown.
- Bell Isle
- The Huron River at various points along its
long and meandering route.
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Long_in_the_tooth
Member
Username: Long_in_the_tooth

Post Number: 37
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Monday, April 30, 2007 - 6:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Keith.. You might want to check out Riverside Kayak Connection.
www.riversidekayak.com
They are having a kayak open house in the water this Sunday. You can try out different kayaks and equipment that will be there. FREE!!!
They also have great maps of all the rivers and lakes with the launch locations.
Hope to see you on the water.
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Long_in_the_tooth
Member
Username: Long_in_the_tooth

Post Number: 38
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Monday, April 30, 2007 - 6:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hey Sailor Rick. I think you can put in at the north point of River Rouge Park, just off Plymouth road.
No damns all the way to the river.
Wanna go?
I'll buy you a beer.... or a Grog.
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Sailor_rick
Member
Username: Sailor_rick

Post Number: 181
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Tuesday, May 01, 2007 - 6:46 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sure, sounds fun, fending off three-eyed carp with a Falstaff bottle. Best time?

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