Thursday, June 30, 2011

The River – Traverse City introduces TART-Boardman “Pedal & Paddle” Loop

There are so many ways to get off the beaten path in the Traverse City area. The River, a kayak/tube livery and bike rental company operating along Grand Traverse Bay in Clinch Park, invites you to explore the trails this summer – whether that’s the biking trails or the waterway trails.

The TART-Boardman Pedal & Paddle Loop is a three-hour adventure, beginning and ending at Clinch Park. Of course, the tour could also begin at Logan’s Landing, with a paddle to Clinch Park where you can enjoy lunch, shopping, and beachcombing, before heading back to Logan’s on a rental bike.

Outfitted with a modern 15-speed McClain’s bicycle, you’ll head out on the former railroad bed-turned-TART trail, along the waterfront and through downtown Traverse City’s shopping district. The 2-mile wooded Boardman Lake Trail is paved on the north mile, while the south mile is crushed limestone – stretching along the quiet, tree-lined eastern shore of Boardman Lake.

Captain Boardman of Naperville, IL purchased land in the mid 1800s and built a saw mill at the mouth of the Boardman River, which flows through Boardman Lake to the west arm of Grand Traverse Bay. This was the beginning of what became Traverse City. In recognition of his contributions to the area’s history, the river and lake now proudly bear his name.

Within 20-30 minutes on the trail, you’ll arrive at the kayak livery at Logan’s Landing and the Medalie Park Bird Sanctuary, also recognized as an exceptional nature-viewing area. A variety of waterfowl are present on the lake during the warm-weather months. During periods of migration, there have been some unusual sightings of waterfowl, gulls and sometimes shorebirds.

For the Boardman backstretch, launch a sleek Jackson kayak and begin your paddle back to Clinch Park along the picturesque Boardman River system – including Boardman Lake, which is alive with swans, ducks, coots and loons, as well as native brown trout, bass, pike and even walleye. Those interested in wetting a line during their paddle should request a Jackson Coosa fishing kayak.

At any time during your trip, feel free to stop and shop at Cherry Republic, Kilwins, Backcountry Outfitters or the countless other hip retail stores throughout Traverse City’s vibrant downtown area. Enjoy a quick Randy Rice Burger, brat or hot dog from a “fourth generation Benzie County cattle farmer” at Clinch Park or savor a pint of award-wining beer at Right Brain Brewery, situated on the banks of the Boardman in TC’s warehouse district.

Your day on the trails awaits!

The River operates a kayak/tube livery and bike rental operation at Clinch Park (behind Con Foster Museum), along the Boardman River and Grand Traverse Bay, in downtown Traverse City.

In addition to its Traverse City operation, The River operates a kayak/canoe/tube livery and miniature golf course along the sparkling shores of the Crystal River at 5959 S. Oak Street in Glen Arbor, just a block off famed M22. To make reservations for any of these activities, call 231-883-7890. For more information, log onto


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