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rivegauche

Biking, kayaking, and snowshoeing near DT.

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We just made the move to Grand Rapids about 3 months ago, and we were wondering where to find places for biking, kayaking, snowshoeing (or cross country skiing, if it ever snows again!) near the downtown. We are living in an apartment now at the Boardwalk.

The Boardwalk sales material says that a boat dock may be added someday to the Grand River at the park out front. But I could only imagine being caught in a never ending barrel roll under one of those dams on the river!

Any suggestions?

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Not near downtown, but you can kayak on the Rogue River in Rockford.

http://www.paddling.net/places/showReport.html?949

You can also bike from Riverfront Park North of you (take Monroe North about a mile, Riverfront Park will be on the left), and then pick up the White Pine Trail which will take you as far as Cadillac (pavement ends at about 14 Mile).

http://www.whitepinetrail.com/

They used to have mountain biking at Robinette's Apple Haus on the East Beltline, but I don't think they are doing it this year. Just West of Robinette's (Take the East Beltline North of I-96 to 4 Mile, go West) is Provin Trails:

http://www.accesskent.com/CultureLeisureAn...arks/provin.htm

Great for snow-shoing and cross country skiing. Here's a link for all of Kent Trails system:

http://www.accesskent.com/CultureLeisureAn...kent_trails.htm

I did find that Cannonsburg State Game Area has mountain biking trails (about a 20 minute drive):

http://www.dirtworld.com/trails/trail.asp?...%20Bike%20Trail

I mainly know the NE side of town, so there may be other areas on the West, South or SE sides.

Welcome and hope that helps.

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My brother is a marathon runner and just turned me on to something called "Yak Trax" which can be found at most sporting goods stores. They are like little bear traps that you slap onto your shoes. They aren't spikes, just metal coils but they keep you from slipping on the snow and ice. I picked up a pair over the holidays but we haven't had any snow or ice to test them out on. I plan to use them so I can keep taking my walks this winter. I've been walking for about a year and don't mind the cold - I just bundle up, but I have severe arthritis and am always afraid of falling. They are much cheaper than snowshoes. My brother uses them for running races in the winter and swears by them.

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Another spot to consider is Aman Park Trails, a 331-acre site, the park has been preserved as a natural area with hiking and cross-country ski trails. I think you can bike there too. This park has interpretive signs and six self-guided trails ranging from .8 mile to 1.5 mile loops.

You may also want to check this link out with regards to Kayaking in West Michigan.

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If you don't mind a 35 mile drive there is Saugatuck state park.

2.5 miles of undeveloped forest and dunes on the lake Michigan

shore line (2700 acres) and you will be lucky to find another soul.

my wife son and I have been going there for 15 years.

once you go you will be hooked.

Cannonsburg State Game Area (mountain biking trails) is closed for small game season (till March) 7 mile loop.

this is a great trail, ride it all the time.

There is also Yankee Springs with a little more difficult terrain and length of 11 miles. (now open)

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We just made the move to Grand Rapids about 3 months ago, and we were wondering where to find places for biking, kayaking, snowshoeing (or cross country skiing, if it ever snows again!) near the downtown. We are living in an apartment now at the Boardwalk.

...

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Kayaking on the Rogue in the fall is great. I also enjoy a nice calm paddle on Reeds Lake every once in a while. There are many places out on the lakeshore to paddle. I like to put in at Hemlock County Park in Olive Township and paddle all the way to Lake Michigan. The Flat River in Lowell had some nice paddling also.

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Try stopping in at Bill and Paul's Sporthaus. They sell kayaks and many of their employees kayak.

I used to work there...a great bunch of people.

We just made the move to Grand Rapids about 3 months ago, and we were wondering where to find places for biking, kayaking, snowshoeing (or cross country skiing, if it ever snows again!) near the downtown. We are living in an apartment now at the Boardwalk.

The Boardwalk sales material says that a boat dock may be added someday to the Grand River at the park out front. But I could only imagine being caught in a never ending barrel roll under one of those dams on the river!

Any suggestions?

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I kayak the grand river all the time...without needing to barrel roll :)

It's not downtown, but there's an easy access point at Fulton and the Grand River (in Ada) and at Knapp St. and the Grand River. You can connect those two, or do an out-and-back paddle.

The river is nice, slow moving, safe and there's plenty of wildlife to look at.

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I kayak the grand river all the time...without needing to barrel roll :)

It's not downtown, but there's an easy access point at Fulton and the Grand River (in Ada) and at Knapp St. and the Grand River. You can connect those two, or do an out-and-back paddle.

The river is nice, slow moving, safe and there's plenty of wildlife to look at.

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I love Fort Custer. It's probably the nicest trail in southwest Michigan. Cannonsburg State Game Area (also called Egypt Valley) is really sandy and pretty much overridden because it's so close to the city. It'll be packed after 5 pm on weekdays. I also really enjoy the first loop at Bass River because it's perfectly flat and twisty. It's a lot of fun trying to bomb through it at full speed dodging trees. The second loop totally sucks.

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I love Fort Custer. It's probably the nicest trail in southwest Michigan. Cannonsburg State Game Area (also called Egypt Valley) is really sandy and pretty much overridden because it's so close to the city. It'll be packed after 5 pm on weekdays. I also really enjoy the first loop at Bass River because it's perfectly flat and twisty. It's a lot of fun trying to bomb through it at full speed dodging trees. The second loop totally sucks.

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