Kayak or canoe down the Clinton River

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published May 20, 2015


ROCHESTER HILLS — An upcoming canoe and kayak race on the Clinton River promises outdoor adventure close to home.

The seventh annual Paddlepalooza, to be held this year May 30, invites experienced paddlers to compete for prizes while traveling from Auburn Hills through Rochester Hills on an 8-mile river trip.

The event “keeps growing, which has been wonderful,” said Stephanie Carroll, Auburn Hills community relations coordinator. “We get more and more people every year. It has been really exciting to see the participation.”

Paddlepalooza offers three paddling activities to choose from — an 8-mile single-person kayak race, an 8-mile two-person canoe race and an 8-mile adventure river paddle. Prizes will be awarded for each race class, and all participants will receive lunch and an event shirt.

Races include the Mayor’s Cup to encourage friendly competition between the two cities.

“Auburn Hills took the Mayor’s Cup title away from Rochester Hills last year, and we are hoping for back-to-back wins,” said Auburn Hills Mayor Kevin McDaniel in a statement.  

Registration costs $20. Pre-registration before May 24 is encouraged and includes a $5 discount. Personal flotation devices are required, and participants may bring their own canoes or kayaks. A limited supply of canoes and kayaks is available for rent through Clinton River Canoe and Kayak Rental for a cost of $35 by calling (248) 421-3445 before May 24. 

Paddlepalooza is not recommended for beginner paddlers because the Clinton River can be considered difficult at certain times of the year, organizers said. Participants must be at least 12 years old, and all paddlers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

A rain date is scheduled for June 6, “and if the river is too high or the rapids are too dangerous, they will change it to the rain date,” Carroll said. 

“Paddlepalooza is a high-energy event that keeps people coming back,” Auburn Hills Parks and Recreation Director Brian Marzolf said in a statement. “The Clinton River adds to the sense of community by connecting our two cities and neighborhoods, and improves the quality of life for residents and visitors.”

The event begins at 8:30 a.m. at Riverside Park, located at Auburn and Squirrel roads in Auburn Hills, with check-in at 7 a.m. All races conclude with awards and lunch from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the River Crest Banquet Center at Avon and Livernois in Rochester Hills.

Trophies are awarded for first, second and third places for each race class. The winning canoe and kayak racers will receive $100 gift certificates to Summit Sports or Bass Pro Shop. 

Event details, including parking and shuttle service, along with registration and waiver forms, are available at www.auburnhills.org and at www.rochesterhills.org, or by calling the Auburn Hills Parks and Recreation Department at (248) 370-9353.

“Paddlepalooza not only showcases one of our greatest natural resources, it encourages outdoor enthusiasts to experience firsthand the tremendous asset we have right here in our own backyard,”  Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett said in a statement.