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

Lower Rouge River Water Trail

Paddling the Lower Rouge River

Where can I paddle the Rouge?

Michigan Water Trails Map imageFriends of the Rouge, Wayne County Parks, the eleven communities along the route and other partners are developing a water trail from Canton to the Detroit River along the Lower branch and Main Stem of the Rouge River. The upstream stretches are forested and protected within Wayne County parkland. Fallen trees are abundant but hard-working teams of volunteers have opened routes in the City of Wayne and in Dearborn. The lower industrial stretch is wide open and offers fantastic views of the Ford Rouge plant and associated industry. As the trail develops, more sections are being opened, new launches installed and signage added.

Suggested River Trips

1. Lower Rouge River Industrial Route
One and a half to 2 hour paddle from Melvindale to River Rouge passing by the Ford Rouge plant, Zug Island, etc. Check out our Rouge Uncruise videos to learn all about sites along the route (videos start from the mouth and head upstream).

2. Wayne Lower Rouge Parkway
Paddle through the forested floodplain within Wayne County Parks

 3. Newburgh Lake
Newburgh Lake is a great picnic paddle on a large lake with rentals available on week-ends

4. Dearborn Paddle – In and around Ford Field
Ford Field offers an easy launch into the pond with access upstream

River Conditions: What to Check Before Going

Industrial Stretch
(Melvindale to River Rouge)

Lower Branch
(Canton to Dearborn)


Current Water Levels

Check Logjam Status

2008 Trip Video

Water Quality Reports
under development

Safe Paddling Tips


Motor City Canoe & Kayak Rental
website | location

Riverside Kayak Connection
website | location

Water Trail Events

Experience the Rouge River!

Join the Rouge Paddling Group on

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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.