|Wolverine resident Rick Meisterheim tackles one of the Bear River Valley|
Recreation Area's new whitewater features during the facilities grand
Petoskey’s grand opening of their new whitewater park gives Michigan canoe and kayak enthusiasts a new place to enjoy their sport. The improved section of the Bear River is now one of only two such parks in the lower peninsula and the first of this length below the bridge.
|Harbor Springs resident Wayne Blomberg (foreground) practices|
in his whitewater canoe at the Bear River Valley Recreation Area's
new whitewater park.
The one mile stretch of river that starts at Sheridan Street and ends just upstream of Lake Street is a part of the city’s major make over of the Bear River Valley Recreation Area that includes new parking, public restroom facilities, pedestrian sidewalks and trails, and a new access point off of Elizabeth Street.
|12 year old Bow Rudolph of Harbor Springs makes his first run|
down the Bear River Valley Recreation Area's new whitewater park.
Northern Michigan Paddling Club vice president Gary Hunter feels that under normal conditions the park will have a 2 to 2.5 rating on the whitewater rating scale which ranges from an easy 1 to an expert 6. During periods of heavy rain it could rate “up to a class 3 and during the recent high water it was pushing a 4.” according to Hunter. The only real issue paddlers will have to deal with at normal river levels is shallow water along some parts of the course.
|Northern Michigan Paddling Club member Wayne Blomberg gives|
Petoskey resident Missy Kruskie paddling tips during the opening of the
Bear River Valley Recreation Area's whitewater park.