The lower sections of the two branches of the Huron can be difficult to catch with adequate water, but are eagerly sought after for their big drops. That said, for some rare occasion(s), if you happen to find everything in this area running large, it can be handy to be aware of other options. This upper reach may fit that bill.
We are not specifically aware of any runs of this section, nor of how feasible the listed accesses may be. It is extremely doubtful any of these road are plowed in winter, so early-season (late-winter/early-spring) runs are likely impossible without snowmobile or four-wheeler/off-road-vehicle support.
Anyone having specific information (about access, features, etc.) is encouraged to help out your fellow boaters by providing a comment or report.
Disclaimer: All which follows is solely the result of online aerial and topo investigation. We have no specific awareness of actual runs on this stretch. Anyone with actual first-hand information (on feasibility, access, and features) is encouraged to help out your fellow boaters by providing input via the "Add a Comment" button which should appear below for all registered, logged-in users.
Put-in is actually on the Little West Branch Huron River. Just less than a mile downstream, the Little East Branch enters, and the combined flow is the East Branch Huron.
Good moving water for a quarter-mile brings you to a tight left-hand bend. An island splits the flow, and midway down either side some brief light rapids occur before flows rejoin.
About a half-mile into the run, a bit of a braided area is (some islands are) encountered. Start to the right (first island), then stick with the best flow the rest of the way, catching a ledge/wave/hole in the early going. Or . . . just stay left all the way for strongest flows (but no apparent ledges or features).
A series of islands split the flow. It appears the best option may be to keep left, where (maybe 125 yards down) it appears you may find a small ledge/wave/hole.
Just after the Little East Branch enters from the right, you'll find a fine left-right-left combo, in light-to-moderate current. (No apparent rapids.)
At about a mile into the run, as the river takes a bend to the left, a fine series of ledges and waves will be encountered. (There may be a somewhat aggressive ledge about 0.1 mile down from the marked bend.)
Taking the right-side around a long/narrow island, you'll find a pair of ledge/wave/holes. Not likely very big, but (at some flows) it looks as though one or both could get a bit aggressive. (Or not?)
After a couple of gentle bends, it appears a couple of islands split the river. Deadfall is likely to accumulate and block one or more of the channels. Taking the rightmost channel appears to hold a couple ledge/wave/holes.
After a good stretch of moving/tripping water (maybe a random feature here or there), the river takes a big horseshoe bend to head South (briefly), then West (briefly), before resuming it's mostly Northerly direction. As it does, it encounters a fine series of (3-4) ledges in very quick succession. (Not likely very big, but possibly fun or possibly aggressive at some flows.)
A (very small) side-creek enters (river-right), and the river takes another horseshoe bend to the left. As it head (very briefly) South, it picks up a little more action, heads (very briefly) West, then resumes a Northerly direction, action increasing (for nearly a quarter-mile) as it does so.
It appears that a minor single-track nears the river from the West, and could allow access at this point to cut off the upper 3.2 miles of this run, catching the best action which lies downstream.
Just past an apparent ford (low-water stream-crossing of truck-trails), side-creeks enter from both sides. In this same area, it appears there is an island, the left side which appears to contain some nice rapids.
It appears one could access this area from truck trails (logging trails / single-track) just East of the river. Starting at this point, the river drops very near 100 feet in the next mile (100 FPM), of which 65 feet is in the next half-mile (equivalent of 130 FPM). So . . . while this is not nearly the awesome, steep-creeking gradient of other rivers/sections in this area, it certain should be adequate to merit some attention! Expect a fine series of ledge/wave/holes. Some may merit scouting, so proceed with caution!
A pretty good track heads to the river, and could be a better choice for take-out (if it can be driven to, and if the listed take-out cannot be driven to -- neither is likely available when snow is still in the woods).
Having spent much gradient in the mile upstream, the next full mile is VERY low gradient (the lowest full mile, at ~24 FPM).
After suffering the lowest full-mile gradient, as the river takes a sharp right (and passes a building nestled in the trees) finally a welcome ledge/wave/hole which may take you a bit by surprise.
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Permits are not required for this reach.
Some shuttle roads are likely to be impassible in late winter / early spring, as many roads up here are not plowed in winter, and may include gravel/dirt logging roads. Alternative routing may be necessary, including possibly opting to shorten the trip to just the mile of steepest gradient, or some other subset stretch.
Otherwise, as shown by GoogleMaps, this shuttle is somewhere near an hour (each way)! If attempting full run, we highly recommend meeting at take-out, gearing up, swapping boats and boaters to as few vehicles as possible (to leave 'drop vehicles' there), then driving to put-in to run river. This gets you on water without the delay which would result from meeting at put-in, having to run shuttle down and back up (while some boaters wait somewhere nearly two full hours) before putting on river!
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