Huron River Miles 42-39
The City of Ypsilanti is a small city of 20,000 residents and Eastern Michigan University, with a hip urban scene and a rich automotive heritage. Here, the water trail winds through a serene corridor of lush urban parks, with nearby shops, delicious dining, vibrant entertainment venues, history, culture and architecture in Ypsilanti’s two districts, Downtown and Depot Town.
Riverside Park is a popular launch and landing.
For land-based adventure, jump on the Border to Border Trail (pdf), a shared-use hike and bike path stretching across Washtenaw County.
Further downstream are the flat waters of Ypsilanti Township’s Ford Lake (River Miles 39 through 35). Parks with access points include Ford Lake Park (boat ramp, launch, restrooms, picnic shelters, and recreation facilities) and Lakeside Park (boat house, restrooms, picnic shelter, fishing docks and lookouts). The Ford Lake Dam and Powerhouse is a National Historic Landmark.
Ypsilanti is a historic community figuring prominently in the 19th and early 20th century industries of railroad, air, and auto transportation. Many stunning buildings show this rich history. The vision for Ypsilanti’s riverfront came from the landscape architecture firm of the Olmsted Brothers, led by Fredrick Law Olmsted, Sr. He saw the Huron River as a necklace of water with vibrant green spaces dangling from it like gems. There is also river access to important historical sites related to the auto industry and its labor movement. The Automotive Heritage District Destinations feature interpretive signage to help visitors learn the story of the auto companies.
Four seasons of outdoor activity with themed walking tours, group paddles and fly fishing instruction. Outdoor festivals at Riverside and Frog Island parks include the Heritage Festival, Mittenfest, Michigan Summer Beer Festival, and the Orphan Car Show.