Huron River Miles 53-46
The City of Ann Arbor is the largest Trail Town and home to over 100,000 residents and the University of Michigan. Here, Michigan’s two busiest canoe liveries (operated by the City) provide high-quality rental service as well as access for trail users with their own equipment. Scenic riverside parks line the trail with a few convenient spots to get out and find food. Ann Arbor’s main business districts for dining, entertainment and shopping require a walk of 0.5 to 1.0 miles.
The entire Ann Arbor section of the water trail offers three flat-water ponds (upstream at Barton, Argo, downstream at Gallup) and flowing river.
The Argo Cascades, a series of manmade drops and pools, is a very popular and exciting feature. Summer weekends here can be busy with kayaks, canoes, standup paddle boards, rafts, tubes, racing sculls, row boats, and even paddle boats, sometimes seen all on a single trip!
Park and Recreation Areas
Parks with public launches and parking: Barton, Bandemer, Argo, Island, Gallup
Scenic parks: Broadway, Riverside, Nichols Arboretum, Parker Mill
For land-based adventure, jump on the Border to Border Trail (pdf), a shared-use hike and bike path stretching across Washtenaw County.
Argo Nature Area and Livery
Argo Nature Area and Livery rents canoes, one-person kayaks, five-person rafts, and tubes and provides van transportation up river. Argo to Gallup (1.5 hours) is the Huron River’s most popular trip, with a paddle down the drops and pools of the Cascades by kayak or raft (canoes are launched downstream) and a nice current through beautiful scenery. Stop at Island Park for a picnic lunch before paddling on to the Gallup Livery.
The livery offers a still water paddle on the 2 mile long Argo Pond and two longer trips: Barton to Gallup (2.5 hours) and Delhi to Argo (4 hours).
Gallup Park and Livery
Gallup Park and Livery, downstream, offers canoe, one-person kayak, two-person kayak, paddleboat, and rowboat rentals. This award-winning park includes a 3.25-mile asphalt trail, fishing, public boat launch, playgrounds, picnic areas and pavilions, nature areas and indoor rental space year-round. The Gallup Coffee Shop provides concessions, ice cream and baked goods.
Gallup Park offers the only universal access launch on the Huron River Water Trail. Click here for more information on how to use the launch.
In 1823, a group of pioneers passed through a fur trading post known as Detroit and pushed on along the banks of the Huron River in search of a location for a new frontier community. Among the settlers was a Virginian named John Allen and fellow pioneer Elisha Rumsey. Some 40 miles west of Detroit, in the slopes that bounded the Huron River, the pioneers established their settlement. By May of 1824, the name “Ann Arbor” had been chosen for the town. Both Rumsey and Allen’s wives were named Ann, and the word “arbor” means “a leafy, shady recess formed by tree branches and shrubs,” which perfectly describes the landscape of the area in 1824. In 1837 the University of Michigan moved from Detroit to Ann Arbor, setting the stage for the community’s growth into one of Michigan’s larger cities.
Ann Arbor’s main riverside outdoor festival is Huron River Day at Gallup Park in July.