As part of a national effort to recognize and celebrate Canada’s Heritage Rivers, as well as the country’s 150th birthday, the Essex Region Conservation Authority and a number of local partners will host free paddling events throughout the Detroit River watershed on Sunday, June 4.
Amateur and expert paddlers alike will have the opportunity to explore the Detroit River, and a number of its tributaries, alongside professional guides.
“This event is perfect for those who don’t typically get the chance to explore these waterways,” explained Essex Region Conservation’s Director of Communications and Outreach Services, Danielle Breault Stuebing, adding that all paddling equipment and instruction will be provided for those who register.
The Detroit River was designated as a Canadian Heritage River in 2001, and to date, remains the only river in North America with both Canadian and American Heritage River statuses.
Participants will enjoy paddling in one of four locations in the Detroit River watershed. On the river’s east end, Windsor Adventure Inc. and Paddle Anywhere will provide kayak and canoe tours to Peche Island, where the river meets Lake St. Clair. Both companies will provide three paddling sessions throughout the day, starting at 9:00am.
Heading west, participants can also enjoy a leisurely guided canoe tour of the River Canard in LaSalle. With three trips departing from River Canard Park starting at 10:00am, paddlers will learn about the natural and human history of the waterway with an experienced river guide.
For those looking to clean up the environment while paddling can participate in the Turkey Creek Canoe Cleanup, hosted at Vince Marcotte Park in LaSalle starting at 11:30am. Participants will head out on the water and collect garbage. Gloves and garbage bags will be provided, along with a limited supply of canoes. Those with their own canoe or kayak can also sign up to help clean up the waterway.
“As one of 46 rivers in the Canadian Heritage Rivers System, the Detroit River is nationally significant for its natural and human heritage, this event will highlight that history while emphasizing the importance of ongoing conservation,” Breault Stuebing said. “It also serves as a celebration of the river, which is particularly relevant in Canada’s 150th year as a nation.”
Event details, locations, and registration can be found online at www.erca.org/paddling