your paddlesports destination

Clinton River in Michigan

Trip Overview

We did the Clinton River on Sunday, 8/10/08. There had been no rain for 2 weeks, then it rained a good portion of Saturday. On Sunday, we took our two kayaks to the Riverside Park, at the N.W. corner of Auburn & Squirrel Roads.

The Clinton River is shallow so you need to make sure it hasn't been too dry. We had a great time, but did have a parts where the river widened out to where it was too shallow to float, we did occasionally have to get out and drag a few steps, but nothing major. It's a clear little river, with sand/mud and rocks on the bottom. The rocks go from little pebbles right up to toaster and suitcase-sized boulders. Sometimes bumpy under the boats. Very twisty-turny river, with some downed trees, but someone must work to keep the river clear, we never had an impassable part. Some fun shallow rapid-y areas. I don't think it was ever deeper than 3'.

It's very pretty scenery, lots of woods and meadow grasses, surprisingly very few houses considering it's in Oakland County. You go under M-59, Adams Rd, and Crooks. We never saw another person on the river that day.

We were amazed to see a huge variety of wildlife! Maybe no one goes down this river and the animals are not expecting people. We saw at least 6 doe deer and a fawn, a beaver, crayfish, many herons, kingfishers, and the best was a huge brown owl, up in a nearby tree, awake in the daylight (probably disturbed by us). That was the best part of the day. Take some binoculars! Our day was cloudy and it did rain on us lightly. We had a pleasant breeze, and were not bothered by any mosquitoes or bugs.


No fees or permits needed.


From I-75, you can take the Adams Road exit, take it north to Auburn Road, left on Auburn to get to Squirrel Road. (Careful, Squirrel Road crosses Auburn in 2 places.) Riverside Park's address is 3311 Squirrel Court.


Put in at Riverside Park. There is a nice little parking lot close to the river; they also have clean bathrooms! My husband drops the boats & me off at the park, then drives to our end point at Livernois and Avon (in Rochester Hills), there is River Crest Banquet center and a plaza of doctors offices at 900 W. Avon Rd. where you can park in their large shared parking lot. He then rides his bicycle on the roads back to our starting point & locks up his bike. Then we float down the river to our car. We were on the river for 4 1/2 hours on this stretch.


  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip