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friends@therouge.org | 734-927-4900 | Fax: 734-927-4920

Lower Rouge River Water Trail Events

Because any in-person contact risks spreading the disease, Friends of the Rouge requires all participants to abide by the following procedures until further notice.

  1. All volunteers must pre-screen themselves prior to their participation.
  2. Sign our waiver.

Paddling Trips

Come Paddle with Us!

2024 Lower Rouge River Water Trail Paddle Trip Schedule

If you are an experienced paddler, or if you have never paddled before, we’ve got a trip for you! Don’t miss your chance to paddle the Rouge! Register below to join us for a paddle trip on the Rouge during the 2024 paddling season!

End of Winter Paddle Trip – Saturday, March 23 (Ford Field Park)  

Join us for a self-return paddle trip beginning at Ford Field Park to mark the end of winter and the beginning of Spring!! We will meet at 9:30am. Boat rental fee is $45, includes canoe or kayak, pfd, paddles, and shuttle service. There is a $10 service fee for paddlers bringing their own boat. ALL FEES DUE IN ADVANCE.

REGISTERT TODAY AT: www.https://motorcitycanoerental.com

*PADDLING IN WINTER IS FOR EXPERIENCED PADDLERS. ALL PARTICIPANTS ARE REQUIRED TO WEAR A PERSONAL FLOATATION DECEIVE. WE RECOMMEND THATPADDLERS DRESS IN LAYERS AND WEAR A THICK WOOLLY HAT. A DRY SUIT IS THE BEST WINTER PADDLING SOLUTION, WE ALSO SUGGEST THAT YOU WEAR A THICK WARM PADDLER’S CAG. POGIES. NEOPRENE GLOVES, AND THICK WARM WATERPROOF BOOTS. IT IS ALSO RECOMMENDED THAT PADDLERS BRING A CHANGE OF CLOTHES. LASTLY, WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU BRING A DRY BAG TO STORE ELECTRONIC DEVICES OR SNACKS.

Open Water Birding Paddle Trip – Saturday, May 13 (Nankin Lake) 

Friends of the Rouge and the Detroit Bird Alliance will host a Spring Open Water Birding Paddle Trip on Nankin Lake! Come explore the bird species of the Rouge! On past trips we have sighted over 30 different species of birds. We will meet at 9:30am at the Nankin Lake Boat Launch.  If you love birding and you love to paddle, this is the trip for you! Boat rental fee is $45, includes canoe or kayak, pfd, paddles, and shuttle service. There is a $10 service fee for paddlers bringing their own boat. ALL FEES DUE IN ADVANCE.

Pride Paddle Trip presented by the Queer Outdoors – Saturday, May 18 (Dearborn) 

Join Friends of the Rouge and the Queer Outdoors for a paddle trip on the Lower Rouge River from Dearborn Hills Golf Course to Ford Field Park. The Queer Outdoors is the queer friendly hiking/foraging/camping group! The group welcomes all and encourages respect for each other’s pronouns and identities.We will meet at 9:30am at Dearborn Hills Golf Course. Boat rental fee is $45, includes canoe or kayak, pfd, paddles, and shuttle service. There is a $10 service fee for paddlers bringing their own boat.

National Canoe Day 2024 – Saturday, June 22 (Dearborn) 

Experience a guided paddling trip on the Lower Rouge River from Dearborn Hills Golf Course to Ford Field Park to celebrate National Canoe Day. We will meet at 9:30am at Dearborn Hills Golf Course. Boat rental fee is $45, includes canoe or kayak, pfd, paddles, and shuttle service. There is a $10 service fee for paddlers bringing their own boat.

If you are new to paddling, join us at the Ford Field Park Pond for our free Demo Day to try a canoe or kayak for free. MetroParks, Friends of the Rouge, and other community partners will be on hand with interactive exhibits and games! 

Summer Magic – presented by the Inkster Task Force and MetroParks –  Saturday, August 3, 2024  9:30am – 1pm

Sign up for the Friends of the Rouge Summer Magic Paddle Trip presented by the Inkster Task Force and MetroParks on Saturday, August 3, 2024 from 9:30am – 1:00pm. We will meet at Venoy-Dorsey Park and paddle downstream to Inkster Park. Experience the Friends of the Rouge Dry Dock Pop Up and MetroParks interactive exhibits. 

There is a $45 boat rental fee that includes shuttle service. There is a $10 service charge if you are bringing your own boat.

Industrial Paddle Trip  – Saturday, September 21, 2024  9:30am – 1pm

Paddle the Industrial Channel of the Rouge River beginning at Melvindale’s Kessey Field House and ending at Belanger Park in River Rouge on the Detroit River. See the original Ford Rouge Complex, one of a kind drawbridges and the new Gordie Howe International Bridge. There is a $45 boat rental fee that includes shuttle service. There is a $10 service charge if you are bringing your own boat. Participants bringing their own boat, must have a double hulled kayak and personal flotation device (PFD).

Fall Open Water Birding Paddle Trip Newburgh Lake –  Saturday, October 5,  9:00am – 12pm

Take an open water paddle on Newburgh Lake with Detroit Audubon and Friends of the Rouge. Explore the bird species of the Rouge! Phoenix Lake, Plymouth, MI.

Haunted Paddle Trip  – Saturday, October 19,   10:00am – 1pm

Be prepared for a scare! Friends of the Rouge will host its annual Haunted Paddle Trip on the Rouge. Paddle from Dearborn Hills Golf Course to Ford Field Park and experience the spooky scenes created by Friends of the Rouge and community partners! See the Bog Monster, the Killer Clown, and the Rouge Witches. Don’t be afraid!

VOLUNTEER! JOIN THE FRIENDS OF THE ROUGE TRIP CREW!

Friends of the Rouge is looking for experienced paddlers to support its planned paddle trips during the 2024 season to help ensure a safe and fun paddling experience on the Lower Rouge River Water Trail. To sign up, click the button below, or for more information contact: Herman Jenkins: Friends of the Rouge Trails Manager at hjenkins@therouge.org


Please Note

The water is generally safe for boating if there has been no heavy rain or snowmelt; swimming is not recommended.

The Lower Rouge River Water Trail is a consortium of interested groups and communities and is a project of the Lower Rouge River Water Trail Leadership Committee. Contact us through info@therouge.org.