2019 was the year for the development of a Paddlers’ Landing at the Mott Park Recreation Area. Our grant funding requests were submitted and approved and we had high hopes that we would complete this project to follow up on our successful installation of our disc golf course last year.
Canoers and kayakers frequently use the upper reaches of the Flint River, and occasionally travel as far downstream as our recreation area. When the river is high, it can be dangerous to cross beneath the Ballenger Highway bridge where the river exits Mott Park. However at normal flows, one can travel down to public access sites in Flint Township, or all the way to Flushing, or even further if you wish to float or paddle through the Shiawasee National Wildlife Refuge, through Saginaw, and perhaps all the way to Bay City and Saginaw Bay.
Every year we plan to be the landing site for the Flint River Flotilla, a day when hundreds of people canoe, kayak, boat or raft down the Flint River from Grand Traverse Avenue to just east of the Ballenger Highway Bridge. Due to river bottom work downtown, the 2017 Flotilla was cancelled, but the sponsors approved using their contributions for the organizers to pay for the development of plans to improve the landing site at our recreation area.
Finally, in 2019 the Flint River Watershed Coalition’s contractors completed the Paddlers’ Landing except for the installation of a permanent railing on the steps. That was delayed by the outbreak of the pandemic and has still not occurred. There was enough funding left over from construction to construct a small parking area for the landing. Currently, the city of Flint has delayed construction to locate a storm drain which runs somewhere beneath the old golf course. When we know the drain is safe from traffic, the parking area will be developed.
To make a contribution to our Canoe and Kayak Launch development program, please go to our Contributions page.