Shiawassee River Water Trail

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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.

Experienced paddlers will enjoy the many twists and turns along the way. Strong paddlers occasionally paddle upstream against the current a few miles and then leisurely coast back to the put-in for a good workout on the water. This eliminates staging a car at the trip's end for a commute back to the start.

  • The narrow headwaters region has an intimate feel as the low riverbanks are full of shady trees and wildlife exists only a few feet away. The river's scenery is ever changing as it winds past many people's backyards.
  • Exploring the swampy fen region provides plenty of huge wide-open spaces where paddlers may feel a slight breeze and will definitely notice sunshine. These unique geological wetland areas occur via underground alkaline springs and are home to rare species of bats, turtles, and insects in Michigan.
  • The Shiawassee River also flows through numerous lakes of various sizes and depths along the way, providing habitat for dozens of species of fish and migrating birds.
  • As the river continues northward, the waterway widens out and the steep river banks often seem to tower like cliffs overhead.

SmartPhone APP for iPhone/iPad – Shiawassee River from Davisburg, MI - Parshallburg, MI

Print Paper Map – Shiawassee River from Holly, MI – Byron, MI

Print Paper Map - Shiawassee River from Byron, MI – Parshallburg, MI

Trail Map - Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge