Kayaking the Huron River from Barton Dam to Gallop Park

Spread the love

Kayaking the Huron River from Barton Dam to Gallop Park

When it comes to adventure, water sports are on the top of my list! Two years ago I purchased a kayak and I’m definitely enjoying it! If you love being on the water, I recommend trying kayaking and there are many places in our area to rent before you buy. 

Recently I kayaked from the Barton Dam to Gallop Park in Ann Arbor. This 5.7-mile trip took me about 2 hours. Launching at Barton Dam is easy because you can drive your vehicle down to the launch (shown above). If you are going to kayak the river, you will either need a driver to pick you up at the end or two vehicles (one at the beginning and the other at the end). I was with my husband, so after I launched he went sightseeing/hiking. 

The first part of the river is very calm, deep, and wide. If you kayak near the shore you will surely see some turtles and birds. Along the way, you will pass Argo Park, another launch area. This area is bustling because tube and kayak rentals are available. If you prefer fewer crowds, be sure to start out early! On this particular Saturday, I started out at 11 am and it was just starting to get busy. 

Once you pass Argo Park, you will hit a series of nine cascades. For this part of the trip, I put on my life vest and tucked my phone into my waterproof bag. And it’s a good thing because the water came over the stern (front) of my kayak a couple of times. In fact, by the time I finished my trek, hubby and I had to drain my kayak to lift it.

I’ll have to admit that I was a little anxious about kayaking the cascades. I’m glad I got up the nerve because they were a lot of fun! The river flows quicker and it’s shallower and narrower after the cascades. There are a lot of geese in this area and they will swim right up to your kayak. They are obviously well fed!

Just as before the cascades, you will pass under both footbridges and vehicle bridges. You may also hear an Amtrak train, U of M helicopter, and emergency vehicles. In fact, you will pass the U of M Hospital. These things can take away from the peacefulness, but the trip is still very enjoyable.

Gallop Park marks the end of this trip. You will pass the Gallop Park Livery which is for rented kayaks only and continue until you reach the Gallop Park Boat Launch. Parking here is easy and the launch is very large (pictured below). 

This was my favorite kayak trip so far. At 5.7 miles, the trip is easily doable in 2-3 hours and the mixture of calm waters and rapids makes it a fun adventure! Please let me know if you’ve experienced this trek and if you have any questions. 

For another fun kayaking trip, check out Kayaking in the Lower Huron Metropark. And find places to rent kayaks here

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.