Saginaw Bay Water Trails

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Here are the water trails in the Saginaw Bay area of the eastern Lower Peninsula:


The Saginaw Bay is the unique feature defining Michigan's mitten and is easily seen and recognized on satellite photos of the Earth. Come see what it looks like up close along the coastal Blueways trail. White sandy beach shorelines small cottages and big houses are interspersed by large natural coastal marsh areas and provide the full variety of a coastal paddling experience. Experienced sea paddlers can find and ride big water or novice paddlers can cruise through gentle cove shorelines. Excursions into the heart of Michigan's historic lumbering era via our river routes that carried the logs for building much of the young country, are available for exploration with an online virtual historic tour to narrate the sights of the past and present.

The Saginaw Bay is at the intersection of the Atlantic and Mississippi Flyways. Seasonal migrations of the most interesting birds fly here and spend the summers, Great Blue Herons, Black-crowned Night Herons, Great Egrets, Sandhill Cranes, elegant Terns and the occasional wayward Pelican can be seen throughout the coastal area. Our shorebirds include Spotted Sandpiper, Greater and Lessor Yellowlegs, Short billed Dowager and many more unique waterfowl.

Trail 1: Saginaw Bay Blueways Saginaw Bay Blueways

These are the water trails along the southern and western shores of the Saginaw Bay including river trails on the AuGres, Rifle, Kawkawlin and Saginaw Rivers. Campground areas along the shore are available for longer excursions or as a base for day use.

Trail 2: Cass River Water Trail Cass River Water Trail

The Cass River Water Trail is a series of new canoe/kayak launch sites to be built on public property in Vassar, Tuscola and Frankenmuth. In addition to the launch sites, the water trail project includes parking and restroom facilities, along with promotional material and informative signage along the river.

Trail 3: Flint River Water Trail Flint River Water Trail

The Flint River Water Trail runs from the North and South branches of the Flint River to the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge.

Trail 4: Shiawassee River Water Trail Shiawassee River Water Trail

The Shiawassee River offers a diverse range of paddling experiences for canoeists and kayakers of all abilities. It is considered a warm-water river ecosystem, with fairly slow-moving current, very suitable for families in a canoe or groups of novice kayak paddlers.