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.

"Dry Dock" Pop-ups!

Bringing The River Experience To Shore!

Friends of the Rouge and the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan have joined forces 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!


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!

Juneteenth Celebration – River Rouge, MI    June 19      4am – 8pm  

Beachwood Center

Westland Farmers Market – Westland, MI     July 15        3pm – 7pm  


                                                                          August 19   3pm – 7pm  

Paddling Trips

National Canoe Day

June 26, 2021
9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Come celebrate National Canoe Day, Saturday June 26, from 9:00am – 2:00pm at Kessey Fieldhouse in Melvindale, Michigan. Friends of the Rouge will partner with the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, and Motor City Canoe and Kayak Rental to promote paddling as a healthy fitness and recreation alternative! If you are a beginning paddler or if you’ve never paddled before, join us for the “Demo Day” session! This is your chance to learn basic boating safety tips and try a kayak on the Rouge River!  We will also host two paddle trips! Come float with us! Register today at Motor City Canoe and Kayak Rental

Experienced Paddle Trip  9am – 11:00am  Kessey Fieldhouse Boat Launch 

Demo Day                 11:30am – 2:00pm Kessey Fieldhouse Boat Launch

Beginner’s Paddle Trip     2:00pm – 2:30pm  Kessey Fieldhouse Boat Launch

Kayak the Industrial Rouge

(2020 Trip was canceled)

September 18, 2021
9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

This one and a half to two-hour trip begins at the Melvindale Boat Launch, travels past the Ford Rouge complex, under historic suspension bridges, past Zug Island and the take out is on the Detroit River at Belanger Park in River Rouge. Riverside Kayak Connection has partnered yearly with Friends of the Rouge since 2007 on this tour.

Full Details

Paddle the Lower Branch

October 24, 2021
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Paddle a stretch of the Lower branch.  The actual route will be dependent on prior logjam work.  Details will be posted closer to the date.

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.