Headwaters Trails will hold its annual “Canoeing in Color” this Saturday, Oct. 5.

   This event is a paddle down the Shiawassee River from Water Works Park in Holly to Strom Park in Fenton. It is one of the last paddles of the summer paddling season, at the beginning of the fall color season.

   In light of the risk of the Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus, spread by mosquitoes, attendees are advised to use mosquito repellent.

   This is a great time to see fall colors along the river as well as migrating birds and deer preparing to mate. There is a beaver dam under construction, so paddlers may be able to see beavers swimming in the water at the new dam site.

   Registration for the event begins at Water Works Park in Holly, 690 S. Broad St., at 11 a.m., with boats launching at noon.

   This is a fundraiser for Headwaters Trails. Although there is no charge for members, they ask that people join if not a member and renew if they have not done so this year. There is a $5 charge if you would like organizers to transport you from Fenton back to Holly, either to spot your car or if leaving your car in Holly, bringing you back to get your car.

   Non-members are charged $10 for the event, with transportation included. You may rent a canoe or kayak from EZ-Kayak in Linden, but you must reserve a boat at least one day in advance. They will not have extras for rent on the day of the event. Call EZ Kayak at (810) 241-1195.

   Headwaters Trails Inc. in conjunction with the 23 member Shiawassee River Coalition, has achieved getting State Heritage Water Trail Status for the Shiawassee River from Holly to Chesaning. It is seeking National Water Trail Status and has worked with the National Parks to meet the guidelines for that status.

   Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin has sent a letter of recommendation to the Secretary of the Department of the Interior, as have many others, to ask them to grant that designation. The river meets all the criteria needed for the designation, which may come soon.

   This year, the organization is honored to have Slotkin attend the event. They will be serving free grilled Ball Park franks to all that attend.

   Headwaters Trails has acquired land at the intersection of the Shiawassee River and Fish Lake Road in Holly for the development of a canoe/kayak launch. They are currently attempting to raise the money needed for that launch. Due to county and state requirements, this launch will cost around $80,000 to build. Donations and membership fees go toward that goal.

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