New Year's Eve Paddle

Au Sable River Paddle
Auld acquaintance was NOT forgot on the Au Sable River by the East Coast Paddlers on New Year’s Eve. And Niwe acquaintances were made too. For the past 6 years, one constant has been our New Year’s Eve paddle on the south Branch of the Au Sable River (as pretty a stretch of river as there is in Lower Michigan). The variable of the trip has always been the weather. It has ranged from well below freezing with ice shelves lining the shore to this year’s 48 degree temperatures with thick fog and rain for much of the 10.3 mile trip. And it was still fun.
Fourteen of us put in at Chase Bridge where we immediately floated into the beautiful Mason Tract, a protected stretch of river revered by trout fishermen throughout the state. There were few obstacles and only a little bit of drizzle until we reached “The Durant Castle” about 3.5 miles downstream. We stopped for lunch and enjoyed a seal launch off of the ice shelf back into the river.
The rain began right after lunch so we didn’t slow down much for the remainder of the trip. We were all prepared for cold and wet weather so the rain posed no problem.

One unique aspect of the East Coast Paddlers is the members who congregate at each paddling event. It’s a little like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’ll get. On this trip Rodney came from Grand Rapids and brought Linda from Lansing. Tom came from Ann Arbor, Karen from Davison, Dave from Flint, the Seibert’s and Cindy rolled in from Bay City, and I came over from Beuliful Beulah. In addition, Karen invited five guys (why are we not surprised?), who came from the Flint and Manistee areas. Every paddling event is like a reunion—we like to hear about each others families, travels, and new equipment. The East Coast Paddlers are a great group of people. Thank you one and all, and on to 2011!

New to Kayaking?

Don't know how to get started? Which boat to buy? How to learn without embarrassment? What if it tips over? Do I have to roll the kayak?

We were all beginners once and we'd be happy to help you with the basics. Before you even buy a boat, why not stop in at our monthly meeting (see the Paddlers Calendar) for some friendly advice from experienced paddlers. Whether you're interested in calm afternoons on one of Michigan's beautiful lakes and rivers or two weeks in the wilderness, we can help - we've been there.

To ask any questions or to contact the group for any reason, please send an e-mail to