Red Cedar Expedition 2018

Dates: June 1-3, 2018

Location: Start in Meridian Township & end in downtown Lansing

Registration: Information will be available March 3, 2018 at Quiet Water Symposium. 

MGROW has partnered with the Lansing Oar and Paddle Club (LOAPC) and will be hosting a 3 day expedition on the Red Cedar River, June 1-3, 2018, starting in Meridian Township, Michigan, and ending in downtown Lansing.
The Red Cedar River is a beautiful tributary of the Grand River.  Wild and remote in its upper reaches near Williamston, it winds through suburban Meridian Township, the incredible Michigan State University campus, and the urban neighborhoods of the city of Lansing. The Red Cedar joins the Grand River upstream of the Lansing City Market and the historic Old Town district.
You’ll be surprised at the beauty of this river even in its urban sections.You’ll get a unique view of the city of Lansing from the water and a fresh perspective on the value of rivers for urban communities.
Camping will open on Thursday evening, May 31 (site to be announced on this page), after two optional activities during the day.
  •  Take a van tour to the headwaters of the Red Cedar in Livingston County for the opening ceremony of the Expedition and hear an environmental expert talk about the history and natural resources of this area, as well as threats to the watershed and what you can do to help.
  • Participate in an “Iron Paddler” trip from Williamston to Grand River Avenue at Meridian Road. It includes areas that have not been maintained with at least two dozen portages around fallen logs. The Iron Paddler trip is for experienced paddlers only.
Friday, June 1, commences the official expedition, launching from the roadside park on Grand River Avenue in Meridian Township. We’ll camp on Friday and Saturday nights as we work our way downstream. On Sunday, June 3, we’ll make our way out to the Grand River and explore the area upstream before ending up at the takeout in downtown Lansing.
Fallen trees are a constant occurrence on small rivers like the Red Cedar and are part of the natural ecology of small streams. LOAPC has done some tremendous work on the river in Meridian Township over the past two years, devoting hundreds of hours of labor to keeping a channel open for recreational paddlers. All work done conforms to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Woody Debris Protocol to protect the river environment. We don’t guarantee an expedition without portages – in fact, we guarantee there WILL be a few portages, or it wouldn’t be an expedition! – but the river has been nicely maintained for paddlers thanks to LOAPC’s hard work.
If you have young children, or if you’re looking for a very easy day on the water, we partnered with a local livery to set up a “Family Day” on Sunday, June 3. You’ll be able to paddle upstream into the Red Cedar, meet up with the Expedition coming downstream, paddle the Grand River with us, and appear in a group photo of paddlers on the water.
Registration fees will be announced at the Quiet Water Symposium on March 3, 2018, with online registration available on this page. Fees will cover meals, camping, shuttle between the put-in and takeout points on paddling days, evening presentations, and safety and shore support. The fee does not include equipment, so if you’re looking to rent a kayak or canoe, we’ll guide you to a local livery that can set you up.  
Hope to see you on the river! If you have any questions, please contact or visit MGROW’s booth at the Quiet Water Symposium on March 3, 2018.