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Metroparks Improves Access to Paddling at Kensington Metropark

$154,000 in grant funding provides accessibility improvements and access to the Huron River and Kent Lake

[Brighton, Mich.] – As the seasons change from summer to fall, it is the perfect time to get out on the water to paddle Southeast Michigan’s rivers and lakes. The Huron-Clinton Metroparks has been working to improve access and accessibility across a variety of facilities within their 13 parks. One such recent project is to improve access to paddling on Kent Lake at Kensington Metropark.

A recent project in Kensington Metropark provided accessibility improvements and access to the National Huron Water Trail. Funding from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources through a grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. The grant award provided $154,000 to support improvements to the West Boat Launch area. Included in the project was a new accessible floating dock, launch and gangway, two new pea stone/sand launch areas, parking lot restriping, accessible picnic tables and grills, accessible walkways and an accessible vault latrine restroom. The Metroparks added an additional $154,000 in matching funds to complete the project, bringing the overall project cost to just over $300,000.

“We are excited to complete these improvements in time for our visitors to enjoy this fall. Whether paddling for exercise, relaxation, fishing or to take in the colorful views, Kensington Metropark and the Huron River will not disappoint,” said Huron-Clinton Metroparks Director, Amy McMillan. “Grant funding, like the DNR Trust Fund Grants, provide the Metroparks and other park systems an avenue for optimizing their project funds to finish larger projects than they otherwise would be able to.   It allows us to continue to increase accessibility and provide improved experiences for all our visitors.”

This project compliments additional paddling improvements the Metroparks are making in other areas of the Huron River.  Learn more on the Metroparks blog at

From the West Boat Launch area, visitors can access the Huron River or Kent Lake for a fall paddling experience. The Huron River is a national water trail encompassing 104-miles of inland paddling and picturesque exploring. In fall it is turned into a kaleidoscope of color perfect for viewing, photographing and immersing yourself into.

This year, prime fall color viewing in Southeast Michigan is estimated to fall between October 9 – October 29.


About Huron-Clinton Metroparks
One of America’s premier metropolitan park systems, the Huron-Clinton Metroparks have served the people of Southeast Michigan since 1940. Managed by the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority, the Metroparks are made up of 13 properties in Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties. The Metroparks are open 365 days a year and encompass 25,000 acres of nature and recreational facilities. Each year more than 1.5 million people engage with the Metroparks to enjoy amenities such as picnicking, fishing, swimming, boating, hiking, nature study, biking, golf, disc golf, cross country skiing, sledding, snowshoeing and a diversity of outdoor programs and special events. The Metroparks also provide educational resources on science, nature, history and the environment. Learn more at

Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund

The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund program which began as the Kammer Recreational Land Trust Fund in 1976. Funds were originally derived from royalties on state-owned minerals, primarily oil and gas.  In 1984 Michigan residents voted in favor of amending the State to create the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund for the development and acquisition of land for resource protection and public outdoor recreation. Since its origins, the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund has provided thousands of grants across Michigan, totaling more than $1.2 billion dollars.


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