The best play wave in southern Michigan when the level is right. There is an old cement, river wide low water dam that is broken up. Most of the year the water is only a few inches deep, but at higher levels a decent play wave is created.
See Flow Info, Map and Directions tabs for additional information.
Additional details about this and another site on the Red Cedar River can be found HERE.
The following clip from youtube shows side surfing at about 800 cfs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igWjePY-p7k
Gauge is less than a quarter-mile upstream, so very accurately reflects actual flow at this feature.
The gauge is on the river not far from the wave and is very accurate. If it is below 650 cfs, don't even bother. Anything above this level is playable. The characteristics of the wave change as it gets higher. At levels over about 2,300 cfs it mostly washes out. The 'best' level is probably around 1,200 to 1,600.
Gauge/flow analysis (based on gauge data 1902-08-31 to 2008-10-31):
Drainage area at gauge: 355 sq.mi.
Minimum mean daily flow during gauge period: 3 cfs ( 1931.07.31)
90% of time flow exceeds: 30 cfs
10% of time flow exceeds: 515 cfs
Maximum mean daily flow: 8,000 cfs ( 1904.03.24)
10/90 ratio: 17.2 ('flashy-ness')(under 3 is fairly steady, over 10 is quite 'flashy')
Average days per year over recommended 'low' threshold: 16
Average days per year over recommended 'high' threshold: 1
Permits are not required for this reach.
Since this is a 'park-and-play', the directions shown below have been defaulted to show routing from your zip-code to this feature. You can use the text entry box to input your home or other more starting location to get more specific drive time, distance, and directions to this location.
Parking and river access are available on either the north or south shore of the river at the wave.
From the south, there is a small, 15 car parking lot in a pull out loop by the bus stop. This is about 100' from the wave. Parking is by permit only until 6:00pm on weekdays. After 6:00pm and on weekends, anybody can park. There is a cement 'viewing' platform just upstream of the wave. This is underwater at high flows, but at lower flows is a good place to get into your boat and seal launch into the river.
From the north, the wave is behind (south) of the Administration building where there is metered parking. (I believe the meters are free after 6:00pm and on the weekends.) The parking area is about 50 to 70 yards from the wave. A cement wall goes upstream from the wave. Just past the cement wall there is a grassy hillside where you can slide you boat into the river.
Red Cedar with Steve and Doug
Getting the Stern down and the Bow Up
Turning around in River Center
Front Surf Close Up on River Left
Front Surf on River Left
Eddy on River Left
Side Surfing the Wave
Front Surfing the Wave
Kayak Surfing the Wave
Rafting the Wave
Surfing for the Crowd
Starting to Surf
Hitting the Wave
Surfing the Wave
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