Winter Kayaking On The Huron


A friend and myself spent 7 hours on the Huron this last weekend in sea kayaks. We paddled 5 miles against the river current and 10 miles with the current. The section of the river was from Kent Lake Dam to Placeway Picnic Area in the Island Lake State Park.

Huron in Winter

Huron River In Winter

Saturday’s weather was windy and cold, the top decks of the kayaks became icicles during the paddle. I was struggling to keep one hand warm and for it not to lose feeling. I was trying out a new drysuit and discovered the arm seal was so tight it was limiting circulation to my right hand. The suit was just not sized for me, I needed the next size up but did not realize this until I put on enough layers for the cold.  The two hours paddling up the river against the current with the equipment issues for me, made it a long paddle, the return 1.5 hour paddle with the current was more fun.  However by the time we returned to the put in point we were both cold and had a little trouble getting ourselves out of the kayaks.

Huron River

February Paddling

On Sunday was the annual Huron River winter paddle for the local environmental group  using canoes and kayaks with 12 brave souls, getting off the couch and braving the elements to enjoy the river in the winter.  Saturday was cold and windy, Sunday was warmer and sunny a perfect day for the paddle.  The current however was much less on Sunday than Saturday which made for a safer paddle for all who attended.  Hot chocolate, hot coffee and cookies were ready for us at the take out point.

Annual Paddle

Annual Winter Paddle

Kayaks In winter

Getting Near the Takeout

Winter Canoe

The Cookies and Hot Chocolate Are That Way!

Bottom line, you can get out and start kayaking even in the winter. Enjoy the water, wildlife, and the great outdoors.

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5 Comments

  1. It’s really a joy to read about your winter kayaking adventures, it’s fascinating how everything looks so different and more.. enchanting! Do you prefer paddling in the winter than under a hot summer sun?

  2. Summer is better!

  3. Barney

     /  March 5, 2012

    The Huron from Placeway to Kent Lake Dam is my second favorite section of the river. I usually started at Placeway, paddled up to the dam, then returned to the put-in going with the current. Sorry to hear that you got a little cold during your paddle. I really dislike wet/dry suits, one of the reasons is for the issue you had wearing one. Winter offers up really good paddling opportunities and advantages, as long as the paddler prepares properly. Paddling in the winter can be as comfortable (or more so) than summer paddling and full of photo opportunities. I wish I had known about this environmental group’s paddle (Sierra Club?), they seem to always put on a fun, safe, well organized winter paddle.

  4. Yes it was the Crossroads Group of the Sierra Club, the link in the post would have provided more information on the group. Winter can be a nice time to paddle with the right gear.

  5. good summer better

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