The North American Water Trail Association defines a water trail as “a recreational waterway on a lake, river, or ocean between specific points, containing access points, and day use and/or camping sites for the boating public.” A water trail is recreational infrastructure at its simplest. It is a network of access points, resting places, attractions and amenities for users of watercraft on lakes, oceans, streams and rivers. (courtesy of Friends of the Riverfront):
In the future, this project might also include:
interesting historical information
Here’s a draft excerpt from the general and historical information collected by Gloria Miller about a section of the Grand River:
Dimondale to Lansing North city limits
Woldumar Nature Center 1960
For over 50 years, Woldumar Nature Center has provided this community the highest caliber of environmental education programs. Its mission is to educate people about the natural environment. The center is nestled along the Grand River just 5 miles west of downtown Lansing on Old Lansing Road. The 178 acre center sits on a portion of a dairy farm once owned by Gladys Olds Anderson, daughter of the automotive pioneer Ransom E. Olds. Over 40,000 children and adults visit Woldumar each year either participating in programs or enjoying the 5 miles of hiking trails. Businesses and individuals just like you, modest program fees, and fundraisers support this 501(c)(3) nonprofit education center.
Lansing – Michigan Capital, from Waverley Rd. – western boundary of city
Lansing evolved over a period of 20 years. The first settlement was Biddle City in 1836. In 1847 the state Constitution required that the capital be moved from Detroit to a safer location in the state. There was fear that the British would attack Detroit again. There was much lobbying and political wrangling over a site. This turmoil was settled by the Michigan House of Representatives choosing the Township of Lansing, formerly, Biddle City, as the new state capital. In 1848 it was made official. Individual settlements began to develop and over time, Lower Town, Middle Town and Upper Town merged into what now is Lansing.
Jacob Cooley farm–1836–right side
Just after passing under Waverly Bridge is the area of the Cooly family farm. It is told that Jim the son of Chief Okemos from the Red Cedar band of Ottawas kept a camping place on the Cooly farm. Locals told of hunting deer with Chief Okemos on the river at night under torchlight while silently floating downstream with only a club as a weapon. Cooly held the first July 4 celebration on a huge boulder on the riverbank.
Grand River Park–left bank
In the early 1900s there was an amusement park complete with Ferris wheel and roller coaster in this area. At this time the pleasure craft, Michigan Princess docked here.
General Motors assembly plant–left bank
Soon after passing under the Martin Luther King (MLK) bridge is the GM plant. There have been many years of automotive activity in this area including Oldsmobile, REO and Cadillac.
…. more to come!