I have been wanting to paddle the Jordan River for years, but haven't had a chance to until this weekend. I was finally able to paddle it Saturday with a group of friends. It was everything I heard it was, and well worth the wait. I can see why Jeff considers it one of his favorite rivers, and he has paddled all over the country.
We camped the night before in Interlochen State Park, located next door to the Interlochen Center for the Arts. It has been a lot of years since I camped here, too many in fact. I had spent a lot of summers here as a kid, and recall hearing music from the arts camp all day long.
We had a campsite in the rustic section overlooking Green Lake. Not sure why this campground was chosen as it was still an hour and fifteen minute drive to the river from here. There were plenty of campgrounds closer, but it was nice to visit Interlochen again and see that, except for a couple of new bathroom facilities, it hasn't changed much in the past thirty-five years.
The drive to the river and the area along the river itself is through some of the most scenic country in the Lower Peninsula. Even the drive shuttling vehicles was enjoyable as we drove through some absolutely gorgeous forests and valleys.
The water in the Jordan River is known for its clarity and cold temperatures. It is also very popular, so that means it is usually crowded. Luckily with the cold spring we have had there were only a couple of tubers who braved the water today. But the kayakers and canoeists were out in force, along with the alcohol many feel they need to enjoy the day. That is really the only complaint about the river, and unfortunately the litter that goes along with the crowds.
The trip down the river was absolutely wonderful, the type of day that defines why it is I love to kayak. A day whose memories will live on long after it is over.
The weather could not have been better with clear skies and temperatures in the mid 80s.
There were just enough trees down in the water to keep things interesting, nothing to cause any problems, with our group at least.
Jeff returning a tandem kayak upstream to a young couple who got tangled in a tree and capsized. The kayak was several hundred yards downstream from the pair by the time we caught up to it. Not sure how they expected to get it back since they didn't seem too concerned about the situation. The large boat took a while to flip over and empty the water out of it. It was the girl's first time kayaking, and she grabbed on to a low tree branch as they passed under it. A hard wet lesson learned, but being young they were none the worse for the experience. We continued to paddle with them until their takeout spot to be sure they didn't have any more problems.
This will definitely be on the list of my favorite trips of the year. Jeff and I may just plan an entire weekend around paddling this river.
Miles paddled today: 9 miles. Year to date: 96.3, including the 15.7 miles paddled on a return trip to the Kalamazoo River with Rodney and a short 4.7 miles paddled on a Wednesday night trip where the batteries in my camera died on the Grand River
View Jordan River in a larger map