Chippewa - Mount Pleasant (1 mile)

Chippewa, Michigan, US


Mount Pleasant (1 mile)

Usual Difficulty I-II (varies with level)


Photo of Adam and weirs by Jeff Torok taken 04/17/06 @ over 600 cfs

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-04154000 200 - 800 cfs I(II) 01h14m 374 cfs (running)
Mild, beginner play at a couple of the weirs. Gauge (416 sq.mi. drainage) is about 5 miles downstream, with no major tribs intervening, so should very accurately reflect flows in this reach.

River Description

Two possible play sites are located near downtown Mount Pleasant. One is at Island Park. Go into the park, hang a right and follow the road around until you get to the parking lot. Look west and you will see a bridge ... the rapids are right there.

The second (and potentially more interesting) site is just a bit upstream. Access is by driving west through town on Broadway, crossing the river and proceeding about 0.2mi to Leaton Road. Turn left (south) and proceed into a park. The rapids begin just under a large bridge.

Summer of 2002 the city removed a dam, uncovering 5 feet of drop in 500 feet of distance. A series of five rock weirs (to prevent the silt from going downstream and killing all aquatic life) were installed. Local boaters and 'officials' cooperated to construct the weirs in such a way as to facilitate whitewater play in this stretch. Based on low water 'tests' so far, it appears they were quite successful, as (even at flows of 120-150 cfs) there are playable waves and good eddies.

(This description will be updated as the course is experienced at a wider range of water levels. Our thanks to Ryan Storzbach for providing information on this project.)

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2009-09-09 01:28:32

Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
December 14 2013 (1861 days ago)
dalmspc (155506)
Great place in the lower peninsula (centrally located) for easy in and easy out so you can
practice. Great training ground.
May 28 2011 (2792 days ago)
Scott PuthoffDetails
Checked out the park today. The intact dam has a tree across all three chutes of water and is
unrunnable. Also, not necessarily a place that I'd like to run due to all the rocks and junk at the
bottom, but that's just me. Also, it didn't seem like there was much in the way of play at the
weirs. Most of the flow after drops ran into trees or rocks, and there were several drops with
slightly submerged rocks that would give people issues in the event that they'd want to practice
stern squirts. Not much surfing at all. However, great place to practice ferrying, catching eddies,
peeling out, and doing S-Turns. Just make sure you don't run the 3-chute dam under the bridge until
that tree is gone!
September 6 2008 (3785 days ago)
Lee GreenDetails
Our group of four from the Raw Strength and Courage Kayakers (U Michigan kayak club) checked out
the upstream and downstream spots today. Gauge was 390 this morning falling to 360 this evening. We
found, just as described, an excellent practice site. This level was good, though 400+ would be
better. We also found that the hydraulic below the intact dam made a very enjoyable surfing hole.
The intact dam is on the other branch of the river in the upstream of the two parks; the river
splits around an island and the weirs are on the river-left branch, while the dam is on the right
branch. After running the first three weirs, you come to the downstream tip of the island and can
paddle easily upstream to the hole. Be very careful of the broken concrete; only the river-left of
the three sluiceway hydraulics is playable. The other two are good places for a fracture, as you
can see by scouting from the bridge atop the dam. The concrete in the center and right sections is
all points and edges, and very shallow. The playable hydraulic is very tractable, just sticky
enough and easy to maneuver around in. The two parks are close enough together that the whole
section can be run by dropping boats at the upper, driving to the lower, spotting the car, and
walking back. The section of river is pretty, mostly overarched with trees, shady and pleasant.
It's also very popular for tubing among the local college students; expect flotillas from time to
time in warm weather.
May 26 2006 (4620 days ago)
Thomas AumentDetails
We ran the wiers in March at around 400-500 CFS and had a great afternoon. Water Temp was just
above 30 degrees. An open boater running the wiers without a lifejacket capsized and got into some
serious trouble, so it's a good idea to keep the PFD's on.
**FYI-I was cautioned that there are submerged concrete blocks with rebar sticking out at the
bottom of the dam sluice.**
April 21 2006 (4654 days ago)
Adam VollmarDetails
I kayaked this stretch last weekend. The river was gorgious and I found the dam to be a more
interesting run than the 3 or 4 small drops.
December 23 2003 (5504 days ago)
greg weeterDetails
Some flow/fun values that we paddled in 2003 for the dam/park

200cfs - fun for novices to practice in current/eddy lines. 3 of the 5 weir locations are too
shallow, and the play hole/wave-forming rock at the end is out of the water

500cfs - better level with stronger eddy lines at the weir breaks. Hole at the bottom is small but
quasi-retentive. 2 of the 5 weir breaks have surfable waves.

My guess is that 400-500cfs would be optimum.

This river park is probably 200 feet long, 20 feet wide, 5 feet deep, with a Lower Yough
"loop" type of arrangement-paved paths for access.
Best learning facility in lower Michigan