Paddling, such as canoeing and kayaking, provides an opportunity to see some of the most scenic areas of the river that are not easily accessible by foot or vehicle.
Everyone wanting to kayak the Clinton River should understand that sections can be challenging and the water can run fast. With as much rain as we have had, the Clinton River runs very fast and high and there are sections that only experienced kayakers should paddle.
Please Note: Paddling with the proper equipment like life vests, helmets, a whistle and a phone should be standard. Paddling with a friend is always recommended.
With the river running high, this carries with it a lot of woody debris that can cause problems for safe passage. It is important to know your river and surroundings. Be familiar with where you are on the river.
Some stretches of the river are NOT for beginners! The lower river from Budd Park in Clinton Township downstream to Mt. Clemens is the best stretch for beginners.
Be sure to check the river levels and streamflow data below before attempting a trip.
|Oakland County||Macomb County|
WESTERN OAKLAND COUNTY
This stretch begins at Dixie Highway and ends in Cass Lake. Paddling is also possible through Waterford when river levels are high enough.
The Auburn Hills stretch begins at Riverside Park (at Auburn and Squirrel Roads) and ends at Adams Road. This is a scenic stretch through a mix of urban and “up north” environments.
The Rochester Hills stretch begins at Adams Road and runs to the corner of Avon and Livernois Roads. Paddlers can also continue on through Rochester to Bloomer Park but should take out above Yates Dam. Some of the most scenic spots on the river can be found through this stretch. You can take out at the Clinton River Trail parking lot on Second Street in Rochester, but the banks are very steep and this take-out is not advised for beginners.
BALD MOUNTAIN STATE RECREATION AREA
The Graham Lakes offer wonderful, peaceful lake paddling opportunities in one of the most pristine areas of the Clinton River watershed.
Canoe rentals are available on the lake at Independence Oaks County Park.
This stretch begins at Yates Cider Mill and runs to the south end of Riverbends Park in Shelby Township. Note that there are often a number of log jams through this stretch.
UTICA & STERLING HEIGHTS
This stretch begins at Utica City Park and ends at South Clinton River Park in Sterling Heights. Note that there are a number of log jams through this stretch.
CLINTON TOWNSHIP & MT. CLEMENS
This stretch begins at Budd Park and ends at Shadyside Park or the YMCA in Mt. Clemens. This is about a 2-hour, gentle paddle that can be done even during low flows in late summer.
STONY CREEK METROPARK
Canoe rentals are available on Stony Creek Lake in the Metropark.
Assist us in keeping our information up to date. If you notice any errors or omissions, please contact our office at (248) 601-0606 or email@example.com.
River MapsClick each image to view larger.
USGS Streamflow Data
- Drayton Plains, Waterford (Clinton River)
- Auburn Hills (Clinton River)
- Rochester (Paint Creek)
- Washington Township (Stony Creek)
- Sterling Heights (Clinton River)
- Moravian Drive, Mt. Clemens (Clinton River)
Have you taken a recent trip down the Clinton you would like to share with us? Please send a brief description of the river conditions in the stretch you paddled, along with a photo or two, to firstname.lastname@example.org.