Water Trail Master Plan

Restoring the Grand River one trail at a time

As a continuation of our mission, the Upper Grand River Watershed Alliance is always working to restore and protect the Upper Grand River through various programs and volunteer events. Although they have seen great progress through these initiatives, the Alliance has determined that a better, long-term strategy needed to be established to sustain the progress. After much research evaluating the work of other watershed groups and consulting with professionals, the Alliance came to the conclusion that it needs to introduce more people to the river, so they develop the appreciation for it like so many others have. This will be done by improving and expanding the existing water trails.

Learn more about this initiative to restore and protect our watershed by reading the entire Water Trail Master Plan.

The Plan

Our Water Trail Plan was created to expand the usage of our water trails to those within our community and to encourage visitors to come to the area, stimulating economic development. The plan includes recommendations for 33 new canoe and kayak access sites, improved parking, adding necessary signage, installing information kiosks, developing a system for ongoing maintenance and more on over 90 miles of the Upper Grand River, Portage River and chain of lakes between Grass Lake and Michigan Center. Developing trail maps for the areas is a critical component of this plan, as they will provide users with detailed information about the waterways.

Expanding the Trails

Ultimately, the plan is to join the Upper Grand River Water Trail with similar trail networks on the middle and lower sections of the Grand River, stretching over 225 miles from headwaters to Lake Michigan along Michigan's longest river. The primary water trail for the Upper Grand River outlined in the master plan begins at Vandercook Lake County Park. The plan also includes the development of a water trail on the seven-mile long chain of lakes and a third along the Portage River.