First Ever Huron River Chain SUP Trip

Not sure if anyone else has done this or not, however I think it might be the first ever SUP trip taken down the Huron River in Southeast Michigan.  Stand Up Paddle boards are still new to the Midwest.

SUP Start

Contemplation at the start - Huron Meadows

We traveled from Huron Meadows Metro Park  (a beautiful under utilized park on the Huron River) to Portage Lake.  This was a distance measured by GPS of 13.5 miles.

At the Start

At The Start 13 Miles To Go

We averaged 3.2 knots and launched at 10:16 AM,it was quiet and peaceful on the river, power boaters were still sleeping.

Winans Lake Bridge

Winan's Lake Road Bridge

There are many sections of the river without development, the water was very clear, the bottom could be seen when there was no river grass.

Three SUP's

The Three Amigos

Power boaters don’t know what they are missing in the sights and sounds without motors.


Peaceful Human Powered Trip

The Paddle took us through many Townships: Green Lake, Brighton, Hamburg, Putnam, Dexter.

Ore Lake

Near Ore Lake In Brighton Mi

Next Hamburg Mi

Hamburg MI

Near Hamburg Park After M36

Near Strawberry Lake

Lakeland Trail

Lakeland Trail Bridge

Low clearance at the Railroad Bridge

Rail Road Bridge


Gerry the tallest of the three.

sup bridge

Railroad Bridge

Next milestone Strawberry Lake

Entering Strawberry Lake

On Strawberry


SUPs Crossing Strawberry just before noon

Took a break and  lunched at noon outside on the deck at the Zukey Lake Tavern till almost 2:00 PM

Zukey Tavern

Waiting for the first pitcher

(some friends showed up late and we stayed longer than expected).

After Lunch

After Lunch at the Tavern

Now refreshed and ready to complete the trip, the weather is perfect.

Getting underway after the lunch stop

We took out at close to 5:00 PM, unfortunately I did not look for the exact time, Ron the GPS guy does have the exact data if anyone wants to know.

Huron river SUP

Heading Down The River SUP Style

We had a Boardworks Ohana 14 foot SUP, a 12.5 Tahoe Rubicon SUP and a Naish Nalu 12.5 SUP.  The 14 foot board was clearly the ticket, faster than the other two boards.  If you want a cruising board go with a 14 foot board, they are fast and stable.  We won’t say the operators had anything to do with the SUP performance.

Leader testing the waters

One person was in the water five times, four after lunch and one person was in the water once at the end of Baseline lake near the end of the trip, there was boat wake on Baseline, we went down the middle of the lake.

SUP On Gallager

Gallager Lake

The weather could not have been better, mid to high 70’s and mostly sunny, low wind until the end of the trip on Portage, note the wind sock in the pictures.  We had a pontoon full of 20 something young ladies greet us with woops at the end of the Portage Lake pontoon channel, we think the ladies were feeling no pain.   They most likely did not realize the SUPers were all close to 60 years in age.  But then we are a young looking bunch, being active can’t hurt – exception is Gerry with the hurt part.

Baseline Lake

Getting Near Baseline Lake - See the Blue Heron?

We all agreed it was a great paddle, and we want to do it again before it gets colder this season.  The sections along the river were very relaxing and it did not feel like we were paddling 13 miles.  Lots of turtles, blue heron, and fish were observed along the way.  The boat traffic was very light for a sunny and warm Saturday on the Chain of Lakes.  Water levels were high as observed by the flooded shorelines near the starting point.

Boat Traffic

The Apres Sup relaxing, watching Portage Lake

Oberon Time

Leave A Comment


  1. These is a very good family bonding adventure. Thank you for sharing this. You all look very happy.

  2. Your pictures are fantastic! It is easy to see how peaceful it is out on the water.

    I could not agree more with your comment that motor boaters don’t have any idea what they are missing! I have said that for years. Just to be able to paddle almost silently into an area and listen for wildlife, or even catch the sound of faint running water, and be able to follow it all the way to its origin is something you can never do on a boat!

    Keep up the great work documenting your adventures. I love hearing about them!

    Paddle On!

  3. How did you get back to your car after your 13 mile trip?

  4. We shuttled our cars at Zukey Lake Tavern before the trip so we would have our vehicles there, then just one car to go back to the park for pickup.

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