The Huron River enters Wayne County at Belleville Lake and travels 34 Miles to the Lake Erie. Belleville Lake is 6 miles long and may be accessed by numerous boat launches. Downstream of Belleville Lake the Huron River is gently flowing and suitable for novice paddlers. For the 19 miles that follow Belleville Lake, the river travels through Lower Huron Metropark, Willow Metropark and Oakwoods Metropark. These three metroparks connect end-to-end and are on both sides of the river in most places. The result is one of the longest stretches of flowing river bordered mostly by public land. The chain of metroparks have six access points and a biking trail that parallels the river for the entire distance should you want to add another dimension to your trip. After a challenging portage around the Flat Rock Dam, the last nine miles takes you through Flat Rock and a mix of parkland and residential shorelines down to the river mouth at Lake Erie Metropark and Pointe Mouille State Game Area.
Recommended River Trips
The following are a sampling of some the many routes. These are all one way trips that go with the river current.
- Lower Huron Metropark – 3.4 miles / 1.5 hours. This gently flowing section takes you thorough a mix of natural shoreline and parkland. See Route on Interactive Map.
- Lower Huron Metropark to Willow Metropark – 7.8 miles / 3 hours. This trip picks up where the previous trips end (the two trips can be combined for a 10.5 mile trip). The route is mostly though the two parks but you will see an occasional cluster of housing on one side of the river or another. Paralleling the entire route are the Metropark’s Hike-Bike Trails providing a great opportunity to spot a bicycle at your end point and bike back to retrieve your car where you launched your boat. See Route on Interactive Map.
- Flat Rock to Lake Erie Metropark – 9.5 miles / 4 hours. Along this segment you will find an ever varying shoreline including natural areas, parkland, golf courses, neighborhoods and a stone quarry. Map of the trip. See Route on Interactive Map.
Recommended Flat Water Paddling Areas
Easy round-trip paddling that does not require any transportation arrangements.
- Oakwoods Metropark – there is a 1 mile canoe trail in the backwaters of the Flat Rock Dam. You may pick up an interpretive map from the nature center that corresponds with numbered posts along the route.
- Pointe Mouillee State Game Area – Just south of where the Huron River meets Lake Erie the Pointe Mouillee State Game Area, a major migration stopover point for many species of waterfowl.
This stretch of river is currently serviced by two outfitters:
- Motor City Canoe Rental – Offers equipment rental (canoes, single and tandem kayaks, tubes) and transportation for a variety of Lower Huron River trips. They operate from Oakwoods Metropark. Personal canoe and kayak transportation (porter service) is available. Motor City Canoe Rental.
- Atwater Paddles – Offers equipment rentals (canoes and single and tandem kayaks) and transportation for a 2-hour trip in the Lower Huron from Flat Rock to Labo Park. Personal canoe and kayak transportation (porter service) is available. Atwater Paddles.