THE BLACK RIVER HIKE, PICNIC & PADDLE (SAT., 10/14/17) HAS BEEN CANCELED DUE TO PREDICTION OF STORMY WEATHER.
It looks like the rain is supposed to begin around 5 am, and thunderstorms will begin around 9 am and continue through the afternoon. Consistent with our policy of continuing “rain or shine, but not thunder and lightning,” we are making the decision not to proceed with the event.
We apologize for any inconvenience, but hope that you will find another lovely way to spend your Saturday.
We look forward to seeing you at another SWMLC event sometime soon! Next Saturday (10/21) is the Grand Opening of our Portman Nature Preserve in Mattawan/Paw Paw. We would love to see you there!
Join us for a fun day of hiking and paddling in the Black River watershed!
Saturday October 14, 10 am – 4 pm
Brought to you by the Bangor to South Haven Heritage Water Trail Association (B/SH HWTA), Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy (SWMLC), and Two Rivers Coalition (TRC).
Ο The day starts with a guided nature hike at SWMLC’s Black River Preserve where we will explore this 120-acre property’s wildflower meadows, stream-filled ravines, and mature floodplain forest.
Ο Then, we will take a break with picnic fare and drinks while enjoying good company near the preserve’s trailhead.
Ο After fueling up, we will head across the street to Black River Trails Campground (formerly Golden Dreams Campground), where B/SH HWTA and TRC folks will assist with entering the river and then guide the paddle.
Ο Two trips to choose from!
Option 1 – short (4.2 miles), to the intersection of the Black River and 71 ½ Street.
Option 2 – Long (6.5 miles), to Black River Park near South Haven.
Ο Volunteers will be present at each takeout location to help paddlers exit the river and shuttles will be available from both takeout locations back to Black River Trails Campground.
Even though this is a FREE event, RSVPs are required.
Send RSVPs to cmdargitz at swmlc.org, indicating: 1) whether you will be bringing your own kayak or wish to borrow one – a limited number of loaner kayaks are available for those who need them – and 2) your intended takeout site (Option 1 Short or Option 2 Long).
* All paddlers MUST have a personal flotation device in order to participate in the paddle.
* Event parking will be at Black River Trails Campground, 68840 8th Ave., across the street from Black River Preserve.
* Kayaks will be attended for security purposes by volunteers during the hike, picnic, and shuttling process
* Restrooms will be available at Black River Preserve, however no restrooms will be available along the route (~2-4 hours).
* Check this page the night before for any weather related cancellations.
9:15 am: Paddlers (who are also hiking and attending the picnic) arrive at Black River Preserve (park at Black River Trails Campground across the street) to unload their kayaks.
10:00 am: Guided hike begins
11:30 am: Hike ends/Picnic begins
12:00 pm: Arrival time for paddlers who did not attend hike and picnic.
12:30 pm: Paddle Launch (Black River Trails Campground)
*2:30 pm: Arrive at Takeout Option 1: 71 ½ Street river crossing
*4:00 pm: Arrive at Takeout Option 2: Black River Park, East Wells Street, South Haven
* Paddle times are approximate
DIRECTIONS to BLACK RIVER PRESERVE (and BLACK RIVER TRAILS CAMPGROUND across the street from the preserve):
From M-43: At the traffic circle at Maple Grove Corners, take CR-689 north to the T-stop at 8th Ave. Turn right (east) on 8th Ave, and look for the preserve on the south side. If you get to 68th St, you’ve gone too far.
From US-196: Exit east onto Phoenix Rd. (exit #20). Take Phoenix Rd. about 1/2 mile to 71 1/2 St. Turn south onto 71 1/2 St. and go 1 mile to 8th Ave. Go east on 8th Ave, about 1 mile and look for the preserve entrance on the south side of the road.