What should I bring on a trip?

  • A properly fitting life jacket/personal flotation device is required for each person in the watercraft.  Children 16 years and under must wear their life jackets any time they are on board the boat.
  • A river map
  • Food and water
  • Appropriate clothing and footwear (hat, long sleeved shirt, water sandals, river shoes, old tennis shoes, rain gear, paddling gloves, etc.).  Consider clothing that can get wet and is comfortable for both air and water temperatures.
  • Sunscreen and insect repellent
  • Sunglasses
  • ID, first aid kit, and cell phone in waterproof bag or container
  • Toilet paper and trash bag
  • Camera 
  • Binoculars
  • Dry bag
  • Fire starter
  • Fishing gear and license
  • Knife
  • Two signaling devices (whistle, waterproof flashlight with extra batteries, reflecting tape on the paddle or jacket, etc.)
  • Extra lines or tie-downs

Where can I go camping?

There are a few different options for camping in St. Clair County, including two state parks.  In the southern part of the county there is camping at Algonac State ParkLakeport State Park is located in Burtchville Township in the northern part of the county.

 Additionally, there are two KOA locations, which are private campgrounds: the Port Huron KOA and the Emmett KOA

Other private camping options include:

Where can I find information about paddling?

U.S. Coast Guard's Recreational Boaters 

Be Smart, Be Safe, Have Fun Beginner's Guide to Safer Paddling

Paddling 101 Guide

Beginner's Guide

Other Educational Resources

What is Operation Paddle Smart?

Operation Paddle Smart provides owners of kayaks, canoes, standup paddleboards, and other unregistered watercraft a free "If Found" sticker for their boat to reduce the number of search and rescue events when a paddle craft is found adrift.  Stickers can be obtained from local harbormasters, through the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and at select marine retail and supply stores.

What is a Float Plan?

A float plan is left with someone who is staying onshore, so they know where you are and when you plan to return.  At a minimum, include the names of the people in your party, time and location of departure, anticipated route, and time you expect to get back.  Let them know when you have arrived back safely.

Float Plan Template

Where are the No Wake Zones?

Check out the maps for the No Wake Zones.

Where can I practice my paddling skills in St. Clair County?

The 40th Street Pond Park in Port Huron Township is a great place to learn.  The water is shallow and there are no obstructions or water current.

Are there other water trails in Southeast Michigan?

Detroit Heritage River Water Trail

Tip of the Thumb Heritage Water Trail

Lake St. Clair Coastal Water Trail

Michigan Water Trails

What are the State's boating laws?

Check out the U.S. Coast Guard's webpage for information about State Boating Laws.

Where can I find information about hunting and fishing regulations?

 Check out the Michigan DNR website