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.
Shiawassee River Water Trail Coalition - Download trail maps and lots of trip planning information.
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