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Traverse Area Paddle Club

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Trip Reports

August 25 Boardman, Forks to Brown Bridge Landing

 | Published on 8/25/2016
Since our September 2 trip was filled, and Mike T wanted to go, we set this trip up just a few days ago, and kept the numbers small.  It was Terry's first outing on the Boardman, and she was thrilled to see how gorgeous it is, and how remote it feels, even though we are only 20 minutes from TC. 
John & I took two cars, so we could do a reverse shuttle and therefore get on the river immediately.  No waiting for anyone.
There were two other registrants, but they got confused and went to the takeout instead of the put-in, unloaded their gear, and didn't call us to let us know what was going on.  Fortunately, we had cell service and were able to contact them.  Lessons learned....
So the four of us proceeded downstream, pausing a couple of times to pick up trash (we need to go back there with grabber sticks), and once for a short break at the horse crossing at Scheck's.  We saw the footings for the planned pedestrian bridge across the river; it will link the hiking trails on the north and south side of the Brown Bridge Quiet Area. 
But then we came upon several pieces of heavy earth moving equipment, just upstream from the old pond area.  Not sure what they were doing, but they have cut down all the bushes next to the river and are flattening the banks about 50 feet on either side.  Once we find out what's going on, we will revise this report.
Revision: We got this explanation from Steve Largent at the Grand Traverse Conservation District.

We have floodplain reconnection restoration work going on downstream.  After dam removal the banks (floodplain) which had accumulated sediment over the past 90+ years had become unreachable by the river after the river head-cut to its original elevation after dam removal.  The work that’s on-going right now will create a 25’ floodplain that the river can once again access during high flows. 

We had some headwind in the new part of the river, just like in the old days.  But the new foliage has filled in nicely, and it was a great day to be out there!  And Terry got all her questions answered.
Report by Lois, photos by John
View of the river from the access at the Forks
Lois, Terry and Mike
Mike Terrell
Terry MacKay
The site of the new footbridge over the Boardman