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. Face coverings must be worn unless fully vaccinated
  3. Six-foot distancing must be maintained.
  4. Any change in health status within 14 days of the event must be reported back to Friends of the Rouge.
  5. Sign our waiver.

Paddling Trips

Come Paddle with Us!

2022 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!


Thank you to all who participated in the Friends of the Rouge 2022 National Canoe Day Celebration. “We had an awesome turnout, said Herman Jenkins, Friends of the Rouge Trails Manager. “Thank you to Motor City Canoe and Kayak who provided livery services for today’s event and to and all FOTR staff and volunteers for helping ensure a safe and exciting paddling experience for everyone. There were lots of families trying a canoe or a kayak for the first time during our Demo Day and some of our veteran paddlers enjoyed the trip from Dearborn Hills Golf Course to the Ford Field Park Pond. We are thrilled to offer this opportunity for people to come and enjoy the Rouge.”

The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan was on hand to help uplift healthy food and fitness alternatives and NKFM volunteers assisted paddlers in and out of their boats at the pond. “The vegan food samples provided by VegMichigan were a refreshing treat and kids were excited to hold some of Michigan’s native birds presented by the Detroit Audubon Society,” Jenkins said.”We thank everyone who participated and look forward to next year.” Here are a few photos to enjoy!

Dearborn Hills Golf Course Launch to Ford Field Park, Dearborn  9am – 12pm

Friends of the Rouge, Motor City Canoe and Kayak Rental, and Outdoor Afro are teaming up for the Outdoor Afro Paddle Trip on the Lower Rouge River Water Trail, Saturday, July 16 from 9am – 12pm. Come and join black and brown outdoor enthusiast for this first time event on the Rouge. Games, door prizes, raffle and more!

Kessey Fieldhouse Boat Launch, Melvindale  9am – 1pm

Kayak the Industrial Channel of the Rouge River and see one of a kind draw bridges, the Ford Rouge Plant, Zug Island, and see the new Gordie Howe International Bridge as it rises from the shores of the Detroit River. Riverside Kayak Connection will provide livery services, including kayak and PFD rental for the Industrial Paddle. 

Dearborn Hills Golf Course, Dearborn  10am – 1pm

Journey through this natural stretch of the Rouge, but be prepared for the scare! 

"Dry Dock" Pop-ups!

Bringing The River Experience To Shore!

Friends of the Rouge and the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan have joined forces again to bring a river experience to an event near you! The Dry Dock Pop-ups will feature a real canoe, paddling essentials and safety tips, crafts for kids, a terrain model of the Rouge Watershed, and scheduled interactive activities throughout the day’s event. Come share your story about the Rouge River!


Congresswoman Rashida Talib enjoys the Dry Dock Pop Up Experience at the Inkster Farmer’s Market and a family hangs out in the canoe at the Inkster Taskforce Easter Egg Roll.

Friends of the Rouge and the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan are on a mission to promote equitable access to the healthy fitness and recreation opportunities connected blueway and greenway trails can offer communities. Friends of the Rouge is working with Wayne County Parks and other community stakeholders to build and enhance blueway and greenway trails in communities along the Lower Rouge River. Come learn more at a Dry Dock Pop-up near you! Check for more dates and locations throughout the summer!

Upcoming Dry Dock Pop Up Events!

Westland Farmers Market – Kids Day July 21, Health & Fitness Day August 18, 3pm – 7pm
Inkster Task Force Golf Outing – (TBD)

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.