Delightful Destinations

Making Connections

You won't believe all the freshwater paddling opportunities here. The Detroit River is home to the only International Wildlife Refuge in North America, the oldest county park in Michigan, and is the "Walleye Capital of the World". You will see landscapes of its historic manufacturing past mingled with Bald Eagles, beaver, and other wildlife.

 

Lower Detroit River Water Tour

  • Starting Point

    Bishop Park, Kayak Launch- 2840 Van Alstyne Wyandotte (12.2 acres)

  • Ending Point

    Gibraltar Municipal Kayak Launch, downstream of Captain Jim's 13500 Middle Gibraltar Rd. Gibraltar (3 hours)/return to Bishop Park (6-7 hours) or Restaurant of your choice

  • Difficulty

    Extensive experience on open water is suggested. Be sure to check local weather conditions before venturing out on any water trail.

  • Estimated Time

    3 hour- Water Tour, Approximately 3 hours one way (7-10 nautical miles)

  • Travel Components

    Kayaking, Southern Detroit River exploration

  • Special Interest

    Families, Adults, Outdoor Enthusiast, Birdwatchers, Boating

  • Points of Interest

    North America's only International Wildlife Refuge, the oldest county park in Michigan, Walleye Capital of the World, Hennepin Point and Gibraltar Marina

  • Cost

    None

  • Submitted By

    Downriver Linked Greenways

     

Our Suggested Lower Detroit River by Water Delightful Destinations Includes:

Starting Point

Kayak Launch at Bishop Park-Wyandotte, MI (2840 Van Alstyne Wyandotte)

Wyandotte's Bishop Park is home to an adaptive kayak launch and numerous park amenities including ample parking, playground, concessions, fishing pier, restrooms, and gazebo. The Detroit River and Lake Erie are considered "prime walleye country" and a beautiful canal system awaits you towards the end pf your paddle: a unique spot where the Detroit River and Lake Erie meet to create a world-class kayaking experience. Head south to start the journey along the Detroit Shoreline.

The channel between Hennepin Point and Grosse Ile can be difficult to paddle late in the summer due to vegetation. Mink are often sighted on the rocks on Hennepin Point shoreline. This is the best way to view the Grosse Ile lighthouse, from the water, because it is not accessible from the shore without special permission. Swans and other waterfowl are often observed in the marshy area between the Hennepin point and the Grosse Ile Toll Bridge. There is a series of Grosse Ile canals to explore if you have time as well.

The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge (DRIWR) - 5437 W. Jefferson. It is the only international refuge in North America and one of the few urban ones in the nation. The12,000 square foot Gold LEED-certified Visitor Center is positioned on the shores of the Humbug Marsh, including multipurpose spaces and classrooms, as well as a 740-foot school ship dock and fishing pier, a canoe and kayak launch (coming soon), three wildlife observation decks, outdoor classroom spaces and more than three miles of hiking trails connected to more than 100 miles of greenway trails. Located just south of warm water discharge and adjacent to DRIWR's Humbug Marsh, Michigan's only "Wetland of International Importance" designated by the Ramsar Convention and the last mile of undeveloped shoreline along the U.S. mainland of the Detroit River, the Refuge Gateway's unique location boasts of high biodiversity.

CAUTION: Winds and waves in this part of the river change often and may be dangerous so only those with proper equipment and experience should do this paddle. If paddling back to Bishop Park be aware that the upstream paddle can be quite difficult and takes more time than the downstream portion of the paddle.

As with any paddling excursion, it is recommended that research be done to ensure that the trail you are using matches your paddling ability.

Food Options Hungry on the water? Stop in Wyandotte, Trenton, Grosse Ile or Gibraltar

Wyandotte: Docking at Portofino's or along shore at the end of Pine St. near the golf course next door.

Trenton: Stop at the end park at West Road in Trenton to check out these restaurants on West Jefferson-Docking will be available at street end.

*Includes Healthy Trenton Options certified by Beaumont Dietitians.

Grosse Ile: pull into the marina just downstream of the free bridge and the restaurant is across the street.

Gibraltar: Downstream of the DRIWR Visitor Center property, pop into Gibraltar Humbug Marina -

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