Tuesday, January 19, 2010

McCaslin Lake Road Canoe Kayak Launch

Click on the map for a full screen detailed view of it all

Argentine Township / Linden Community  5 Year Parks and Recreation Plan

Shiawassee River Water Trail --- Draft –  January 2010 ---  Gould Engineering, Inc.-

Advocating the use of the Shiawassee River as a recreational water trail is highly recommended.
Development of the water trail through Argentine Township is an expansion of the 10 mile water trail system already developed to the east from the Village of Holly through the City of Fenton and
City of Linden.
By continuing efforts through Argentine Township a total of 30 miles of water trail will be created from the Village of Holly to the Village of Byron in Shiawassee County and extending into Saginaw County. The Argentine Shiawassee River Clean Up Committee is a local volunteer group that has made tremendous strides to remove debris and clear areas for safe navigation of the river. They are considered stewards of the river and are strongly encouraged to continue their efforts of protecting and promoting safe and appropriate use of the water trail.

Currently, the McCaslin Lake Road canoe/kayak launch site provides the only access to
the 10 mile stretch between the City of Linden and the Village of Bryon.
establishment of this unimproved launch is strictly the result of heavy use by local
canoeists and kayakers. Fortunately, the township recognized this growing population
and acquired land at this site for future improvements. However, additional land
acquisition may be needed depending on physical restraints of the present site. These
improvements will provide safe access to the water, nearby parking, improved staging
and traffic circulation, signage, benches and trash receptacles, with strong
consideration toward universal design.

The township also owns 10 acres on Oakwood Drive with access to the river and approximately 2 miles west of McCaslin Lake Road. This would provide another launch opportunity midway between the launches at McCaslin Lake Road and the Village of Byron. Important factors for establishing a water trail are the provision of safe and convenient access to a navigable waterway with unobstructed passageways. The water trail between McCaslin Lake Road and the Village of Byron is un-navigable in some locations. Therefore, other trail improvements should include removing litter, clearing log
jams for navigability, installing way finding and educational signs, and providing safe installing way finding and educational signs, and providing safe portage areas where needed.

Should it be necessary, narrow or low underpasses (i.e. small culverts or low bridges) should be replaced with larger openings. However, Bridges or overpasses are costly to reconstruct, therefore, an
alternative is to provide safe portage areas. A durable path should be provided for carrying
watercraft, which should consist of more natural, engineered facilities such as pervious pavers with
openings for vegetation to grow through to help retain the natural river bank appearance, along with providing proper roadside signage forewarning motor vehicle traffic of potential portage crossings. All construction along the river, within the floodplain and/or wetlands, is subject to approval by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment (MDNRE).

A detailed “Shiawassee River Water Trail Plan” would help officially designate and
delineate a Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail route, and identify trail-related
facilities that should be constructed and improvements that should be implemented to
establish a safe and navigable trail corridor for both recreational and educational
pursuits in an ecologically sensitive manner. The designation of an official water trail may
further instill a sense of trail stewardship among canoeists/kayakers to respect the quality
of the water and become good caretakers of the river.

Specific trail improvements and support facilities that should be identified on the plan may
include providing parking facilities, restrooms, handicapped access, and picnicking areas; removing litter and fallen trees for navigability; installing way finding and educational signs; and improving underpasses or providing safe providing safe portaging areas with durable paths and crossing signs.


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