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Huron Meadows Metro Park to Mill Creek Launch

by  luv2yak

A self-supported trip created by luv2yak

Trip Overview

Went with a friend and staged a vehicle at the Mill Creek Launch site. In hind site, this was not the best choice. I'll get to that later. We had originally planned to drop in at the McCabe rd location that we saw on the Go Paddling App. However, the site is mislabeled on the map and we were unable to locate it. We were in a little bit of a hurry to get started so we decided on Huron Meadows Metro Park. Arriving at the park there are signs stating a Metro Pass was required. However, there was no buildings, outposts, etc. to obtain one. We decided to risk it and get on the river.
There was a gate that was locked that appeared to be a place to get closer to the river. However, it was a short distance, maybe 200 yards, to the river which wasn't an issue. On the river, the river quickly separates into multiple pathways to the same destination. Staying to the right would be the best choice as it became shallow with lots of plant life for about half a mile. Further on down, passing the lakes was a refreshing addition to the journey. The current gives way so prepared to paddle. Especially at Strawberry and Base Line Lakes. Base Line opened to several sail boats in the open water. At the end of Base Line, we were ready for a lunch break and stopped at the Big Portage Lake Launch Point. The site was easy on and off and does maintain a single bathroom. Back on for the final stretch, we portaged over the damn and into some minimal rapids. The current is fast here and there are some high rocks that my friend got stuck on so use caution. At one spot, there is a sign warning of rapids and deep water. There is a sign to portage to right. Well we must have missed it and hit a little canal with a downed thick branch right in front of the entrance to the rapids. I had to hop out of the yak, help him over (stuck on it) and pull mine over. He made it passed the corner and down the rapids quickly. I was not so lucky. Immediately after the downed branch is a rock right at the low hanging branch. STAY TO THE RIGHT. With a lot of effort, I straightened out the yak and was quick forth going down the rapids. There is an exit point here. However, if you are not to the far left going down the rapids, you'll find yourself paddling against the current to hit the sandy exit. Else, you'll be getting out at the rocky edge further down. To the exit we go! Where is the path? Back up and to the right. "Up" being the key word here. We didn't realize we'd be paddling the remainder of the way upstream against heavy currents. By far, the best workout and calorie burner I've had in years.
Roughly 17 miles in 6.5 hours (.5 stopped to eat and a bio-break). Perception Swifty DLX and a Field and Stream Blade.

Safety Notes

Once set of tricky rapids, decent current but overall easy going trip.

Portage Notes

Easy up and over at Portage Lake Dam

Trip Details

  • Trip Dates: 6/2/2018
  • Trip Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Number of Portages: 1

Trip Location