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Shiawassee River in Michigan

Trip Overview

On Tuesday August 11th, 2009 Doug Lanyk and I paddled 9.7 miles on the Shiawassee River between the towns of Fenton,MI and Linden,MI in Genesee County.

The two of us started at the rear of the Fenton Community Center in a small park downstream of the Fenton Dam. We only portaged ONCE, and that was mandatory at the Linden Dam in downtown Linden, Michigan.

Launch time for Put-IN = 1:00 pm on a beautiful, warm, partly sunny day
Due to the recent rain storms, the river current was quite quick and fun to paddle near the launch site

We eventually crossed the US 23 Highway approximately 2:19 in the afternoon (nice leisurely pace). Paddling across Lake Ponemah was pleasant with only a few powerboats motoring around.

Arrival at the Linden Dam was approximately 3:30 pm

  • The frothy current enticed us to play in the standing waves for about 30 minutes until 4:00pm
  • Great place to practice in very strong current with relatively minimal consequences.
  • --Check out the video to see it for yourself.

We continued on until the Take-Out at Hogan Road (slightly north of Silver Lake Road) in Linden.

The time was just about 5:10pm as Maggie Yerman picked us up for a short shuttle back to our vehicle.

Total = 9.7 miles {Fenton towards Linden}
Started paddling at 1:00pm - Ended at 5:10 pm
Moving time = 3 hrs 17 min
Stopped time = 54 minutes (taking pictures, looking around, etc., etc.)
Moving average speed = 2.9 mph ( the river had a good amount of volume due to recent rain storms)

**If people started in HOLLY at WaterWorks Park they could easily paddle 16 MILES or more with only 2 portages (the dam in Fenton and the dam in Linden).


Google Earth file available at:

Map: http://www.umflint.edu/outreach/assets/shiawasse-river-trail-map.pdf

Website: http://shiawassee-river.blogspot.com/




Fenton Community Center on S. Leroy in the center of historic Fenton. Plenty of parking and a short walk to the river.

Alternate launch
Bush Park located on N. Leroy St. across from Dewey Automotive. Public restrooms, easy parking.
Launch across the bridge at shallow area. You can also enter the park from Adelaide or Lincoln St. and take road to furthest parking in the south-east corner of the park. Launch by the old concrete bridge.

  • Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip