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1300 Bluff Street
Suite 114
Flint, MI 48504
Ph: 810.767.6490

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The FRWC is a non-political, non-partisan nonprofit organization; as such, we do not endorse candidates for political office.

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About Water Trails


What is a water trail? 

According to the National Water Trails System, “water trails are recreational routes on waterways with a network of public access points supported by broad-based community partnerships. Water trails provide both conservation and recreational opportunities”.

The Michigan Water Trail Working Group via classifies a water trail as, “a designated route along a lake, river, canal or bay specifically designed for people using small boats like kayaks, canoes, single sailboats or rowboats. The trails, sometimes called “blueways,” are the aquatic equivalent of a hiking trail (or “greenway”). Water trails feature well-developed access and launch points; are near significant historical, environmental or cultural points of interest; and often include nearby amenities such as restaurants, hotels and campgrounds”.

About the Flint River Water Trail

The Flint River Water Trail (FRWT) Planning Project, with the assistance of the River, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program of the National Parks Service, has brought together project partners, the Flint River Watershed Coalition, Genesee County Metropolitan Planning Commission, and Genesee County Parks & Recreation Commission, land managing communities, and stakeholders to create a common vision that will increase awareness of the Flint River and opportunities for education, recreation, and conservation along the water trail. Over the past year and a half we have taken inventory of all access sites, identified potential areas for enhancements, engaged with the public and Flint River landowners, created a FRWT Management & Development Guide and interactive trip planning map, and applied for National Water Trail Designation through the National Water Trails System.

There are 24 access sites along the 73 mile Flint River Water Trail. The water trail provide paddlers with a variety of paddling opportunities and experiences. You can paddle in natural environments, and through small towns or an urban area from the City of Lapeer to Montrose Township (includes portages around dams)! We offer a number of opportunities of varying distance and time to get out on YOUR river. Join us for tour!

To view a copy of a printable Flint River Access Site Map, click HERE!

Flint River Water Trail Mission Statement and Goals

Mission Statement: The Flint River Water Trail will provide a variety of recreational experiences
by connecting river users to natural, cultural, and historic features along a safe and accessible
river trail. The water trail will promote recreation, education, and economic revitalization, and
increase stewardship of the Flint River and surrounding lands.

Goals for the Flint River Water Trail:

  • Promote and improve river access sites and user experiences
  • Inform and educate the public on topics related to river health and safety
  • Support local and regional efforts to increase water based recreation and tourism
  • Enhance partnerships among water trail landowners
  • Preserve and protect river resources for future generations
  • Increase connections between communities, public lands, and land trails
  • Secure long-term sustainability for the water trail
  • Showcase positive features of the Flint River


Some may ask, “Why National Designation?” and we say, “WHY NOT!”

Benefits of designation into the National Water Trails System include:

  • designation by the Secretary of the Interior, including a letter and certificate announcing the designation as a national water trail
  • national promotion and visibility, including use by the management entity of use the National Water Trails System logo in appropriate settings and trail publications
  • mutual support and knowledge sharing as part of a national network
  • opportunities to obtain technical assistance and funding for planning and implementing water trail projects

Other benefits that come along with national designation may include:

  • positive economic impact from increased tourism
  • assistance with stewardship and sustainability projects
  • increased protection for outdoor recreation and water resources
  • contribution to public health and quality of life from maintaining and restoring watershed resources
  • access to networking and training opportunities
  • assistance with recognition and special events highlighting the trail

For more information on National Water Trails please visit the National Water Trails System website. The National Water Trails System is an interagency collaborative effort administered by the National Park Service through the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program and the National Trails System.

Materials on planning for a water trail and other helpful resources can be found on the FRWC, Water Trail Resources page.