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Difficulty II
Length 12 Miles
Gauge ~ FORD RIVER NEAR HYDE, MI
Flow Range 300 - 2000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 3 months ago 289 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 04/29/2015 11:37 pm

River Description


While the Ford from Hwy.2 to Hwy.35 may have higher maximum and average gradient, and thus seem a 'better' run, it has no apparent ledges or significant geology, thus consists primarily of waves (at high enough flows). This stretch lies well upstream, and has very low overall gradient, but has a brief stretch which looks very promising. Indeed, at the right flows, it appears it could be worth a 'park-and-play', if it can be legally accessed (if the unimproved roads which seem to provide access are not gated or posted against trespass) and if the roads are passable. After the brief rapids, the remainder of the stretch is likely to be flat/flowing, possibly a few areas of swiftwater, riffles and rips.

Rapid Descriptions

USGS sampling site

Class - N/A Mile - 0
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

USGS lists a sampling site very near our listed put-in, and shows drainage area at that point as 230 square miles.

Begin rapids sequence

Class - II Mile - 1.77
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

About a mile-and-three-quarters of generally flatwater paddling from the listed put-in brings you to the best stretch of rapids on this section of river. It appears there may be a couple good ledge/wave/holes to start, and possibly some nice waves/riffles/rips for a ways downstream.

It appears there are unimproved roads either side of river which may provide access to this location for inspection, and possible park-and-play (if features merit).

Possible additional minor features

Class - I Mile - 2.1
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

After the 'main event', it appears there may be some additional geology which could created additional minor features as the river jogs left then back to the right.

Island chain

Class - N/A Mile - 2.25
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

A string of islands break up the flow. Watch for possible wood accumulating at head of each. There may be minor waves and eddy-work possible amid these various channels.

Possible short access

Class - N/A Mile - 2.5
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

Almost the entire stretch downstream of here is flatwater (and perhaps swiftwater riffles and rips). It may be possible to use what appear to be logging roads (if they are not gated or posted against trespass, or impassible to your particular shuttle vehicle(s)) to access the river at this point to make a short trip.

Comments

Summary of Gauge Readings

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Gauge NameReadingTimeComment
FORD RIVER NEAR HYDE, MI
AW Gauge Info
289 cfs ℹ️ 96d07h41m Gauge (450 sq.mi. drainage) lies well downstream, thus will certainly lag rise and fall. Flow here will be nearly half gauge reading.
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Directions Description


If the roads are accessible, most paddlers looking for just the best whitewater will do a very-much-abbreviated trip, or possible park-and-play of some of the accessible features.

Otherwise, the shuttle is somewhere near 3/4-hour (each way). 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 near an hour-and-a-half) before putting on river!

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Rob