A friend and I paddled cheap recreational kayaks approximately 8.5 miles from Riverside Park at Squirrel and Auburn Road to Veteran's Park at Avon and and Livernois.
Water level on at the Auburn Hills gauge site was .86 above datum when we started, which is low, and we had to drag the kayaks multiple times to get to deeper water. We considered bailing, but would have had to hike back so we pressed on.
Lucky for us it started to rain very hard while we were paddling and the water level rose about six inches very quickly. We were able to do the last half of the trip without getting out at all, although as a result of the downpour we felt like drowned rats by the time we finished.
There were no logjams encountered, but once the rain started the current got very fast. Lots of small rapids and hairpin turns. I won't do it again without first checking the water level. I think anything under 1.0 would not be worth it, 1.0 to 1.2, very marginal, and above 1.2 enough water to make it fun. Also not sure I would want to do it in a recreational kayak if it was too much higher than what we saw after the rain set in.
Metro Detroit area hotels are abundant
- Trip Duration: Day Trip
- Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
- Skill Level: Intermediate
- Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)