The Clinton River
Spanning four counties, the Clinton River is 760 square miles of clear, cold waters and is home to diverse wildlife. It flows through 10 of the 27 communities that make up Macomb County. Whether you are looking to connect with nature, fish, paddle or bike on a nearby trail, the Clinton River is the ideal setting.
The heart of the Clinton River (Auburn Hills to Utica) is comprised of steep gradients, hairpin turns and fluctuating water levels – to be paddled only by experienced kayakers. The lower river (Sterling Heights to the river’s mouth at Lake St. Clair) features heavily forested riverbanks and scenic stretches of slow-moving water that empties into beautiful Lake St. Clair.
The Clinton River is one of the nation’s best urban paddling rivers.
The lower river, particularly from Budd Park in Clinton Township to Mount Clemens, is the best stretch for beginners. A section from Utica to Sterling Heights is being improved for access and will become a key area for beginner and intermediate paddlers.
Anyone wanting to paddle the Clinton River should understand that sections can be challenging and the water can run very fast and high, especially after a rain event. You should always check the streamflow gage nearest to the area you are paddling to assess if the river is running high.
Dequindre Road and 23 Mile Road
5700 22 Mile Road
Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center
4101 River Bends Drive
44505 Van Dyke
42700 Utica Road
North Clinton River Park
8600 Riverland Drive
19000 Clinton River Road
Downtown Mount Clemens/MacArthur Park
96 North River Road
Harley Ensign Memorial Park
32995 S River Road
Waterfront Parks and Nearby Hike/Bike Trails
This hike and bike path is a 24-mile linear park that starts at 24 Mile Road and Dequindre in Shelby Township and travels northeast to the city of Richmond. It connects with Stony Creek Metropark, Bloomer Park and the Clinton River Trail.
This large park on Lake St. Clair offers a variety of activities, including a sandy swimming beach, marina and boat launching sites.
This expansive park offers a wide variety or year-round activities including swimming beaches, boating, hiking, golfing, mountain biking and cross-country skiing.
Downtown Mount Clemens River District
Once known for its mineral baths, today, Mount Clemens is the unique combination of city living and pastoral ambiance. Residents and visitors can boat or kayak along the scenic Clinton River, dock at the riverfront park and head inland to enjoy everything that charming downtown Mount Clemens has to offer. It has a thriving restaurant row, specialty shops and many options to enjoy the pub and nightlife scene. The city also offers top-notch special events that include riverfront concerts, parades, festivals and the area’s premier firework event.
Utica boasts a vibrant business district offering a wonderful variety of restaurants, quaint shops and hotels. In 2016, Jimmy John’s Field opened on Auburn Road adjacent to M-59 in downtown Utica. This state-of-the-art ballpark offers fun for the whole family. Utica is known for its beautiful park system and abundant opportunities to get outdoors and play – by picnicking, biking, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, hiking and more.