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
Bishop Park, Kayak Launch- 2840 Van Alstyne Wyandotte (12.2 acres)
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
Extensive experience on open water is suggested. Be sure to check local weather conditions before venturing out on any water trail.
3 hour- Water Tour, Approximately 3 hours one way (7-10 nautical miles)
Kayaking, Southern Detroit River exploration
Families, Adults, Outdoor Enthusiast, Birdwatchers, Boating
Downriver Linked Greenways
Our Suggested Lower Detroit River by Water Delightful Destinations Includes:
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
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