Argo pond on the Huron river in Ann Arbor is located on the northern edge of the city.
Ann Arbor Pioneer, Ann Arbor Huron High and U of M crew teams practice here. Ann Arbor rowing club is also located on Argo pond.
Downstream from the dock the river opens up as you get closer to the dam there are two small islands to the east. Up stream is beautiful. The view of fall colors on this stretch of the Huron is my favorite in Ypsilanti or Ann Arbor. After the unpleasant noise of M-14, the river narrows to the right is a park. I have seen only a few people in this park in several years I think it just has a few trails going through it. It wouldn't be too hard to get out somewhere along the park and take a walk. The water here is fairly clear unlike places lower on the river (below AA's waste water treatment plant).
It is common to see all types of birds including birds of prey on Argo. If you take the time to look into the water for any length of time you will see fish. I have caught a few bass and I have heard that people fish for catfish at the dam. From the dock to Barton Dam (going up stream) takes 20-45 minutes. From here cross under the foot bridge and come close to the dam staying to the left there is a good place to get out of your boat.
When I plan on going to Barton pond I go through Argo. The paddle is short and portaging reduces greatly the distance you will have to carry your boat. Parking at the Barton Dam park is far from the nearest put-in on Barton Pond. After walking up the hill you will find another nice floating dock. Across the lake form here is Barton Hills. Barton Hills is a corporation/city I am not exactly sure but I am told they have there own police and fire departments some of the wealthiest people in Ann Arbor live there including the CEO of Domino's Pizza. There is nothing to spoil your paddle on Barton Pond. The houses are beautiful the Maple Rd bridge picturesque and boat traffic minimal. Going up stream past the Maple road bridge you will cross under two sets of two railroad tracks then Huron River Drive and the railroad tracks again. After Huron River Drive the river gets very shallow and a line of rocks block your path.
If you go past this tell me about it I have always stopped here.
There are porta-potties at the U of M dock and I hear a disc golf course. There are picnic tables at Barton Dam park I am not sure what else.
No fees or park passes are required.
From I-94: Take the Ann Arbor/Saline Rd exit turn north. Drive Ann Arbor Saline Rd turns into Main Street. Drive through downtown Ann Arbor past the railroad station at a Lotus building on the right is Lakeshore Dr.
There are two good places to launch from:
There is a livery on the east bank of the river off of Longshore Dr and the U of M dock on the west side of the river at Lakeshore Dr.
I like the park off of Lakeshore. The dock is very large and a great hight for getting in and out of your boat parking is also close and it is easier to drive to. As far as I know the park is open 24 hours I used to paddle from 1am to about 3am after work and never had a problem.