Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Petoskey whitewater
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Petoskey whitewater

Mike Terrell - August 8th, 2011
Petoskey Whitewater: New Bear River Valley Recreation Area packs spills & thrills
By Mike Terrell
The new 1.5-mile-long Bear River Valley Recreation Area, which splits
Petoskey down the middle, is a natural beauty.
Located just two blocks from the city’s famed Gaslight District, the
expansive 36-acre park features steep terrain, unpaved and paved trails,
boardwalks, forests and open meadows. You can bike, hike, fish, picnic,
nature watch and go whitewater rafting or kayaking in the newly created
Whitewater Park on the Bear River. It’s a real boon for area outdoor
The Bear River has the biggest drop of any river in the Lower Peninsula
over the last mile. It drops nearly 80 feet as it rushes from the
highlands to Little Traverse Bay. It made a perfect environment for a
whitewater park. Managed as part of the Petoskey Parks System, the park
was created with the help of a whitewater park design firm and officially
opened this spring. It has drops and rapids from Class I to Class III and
over a dozen features to challenge the paddler, according to Northern
Michigan Paddling Club president Gary Hunter.
“It’s like a section of rapids that could exist in West Virginia or
Colorado,” he enthused. “If you’re into paddling this will be a big
reason to come to the Petoskey area. There’s only one other whitewater
course currently in Michigan, and it’s not as long.
“The lower section of the course is designed for walking, which will allow
a paddler to easily carry the kayak upstream to run sections again and
again,” Hunter explained. “The further up you go, the larger the drops
and rapids. For those new to the sport it allows them to run the easier
rapids several times before heading on upstream to tackle the harder

The largest features and toughest rapids are located just below parking
area 5 located off Franklin Street. The first third of the of the
whitewater park, which starts from River Bend Park off Standish Avenue,
flows through a natural area that gradually picks up speed through a rock
garden before hitting the larger drops below Bridge Street. Total
distance is 1.5 miles from River Bend and one mile from the parking area 6
off Sheridan Street.
Avid paddler Sara Cockrell of Traverse City, who has participated in a
number of Au Sable Canoe Marathons, said it’s a great training tool for
those that aspire to run rapids.
“Overall it’s an amazing whitewater course for Michigan paddlers, but it’s
not for everyone,” she advised. “Don’t haul your tandem canoe or
recreational 10 or 12-foot kayak up there. If you don’t have a whitewater
canoe or true whitewater kayak with a neoprene spray skirt, don’t try it.
The river will eat aluminum canoes and Old Town Loons.”
She suggests renting Duckies, one and two-person inflatable kayaks from
the local outfitter in Petoskey, Bahnhof Sports. They are pretty stable
with the ability to bounce off rocks. Weighing a little over 20 pounds
they can be easily carried upstream for multiple runs and the open boat
can be easily exited in the event of a tip-over and at take-out. A
one-person Ducky, including paddle, wetsuit, PFD and helmet, rents for $58
for three hours.
For hikers, the recreation area offers a 1.5 mile walk from River Bend
Park down to the park on Lake Street, and you will see little of the
town. You can sometimes hear it above, but along the valley floor –
especially along the river – it remains pretty pristine. A wide paved
trail that passes a couple of picnic shelters runs from the park on Lake
Street to Sheridan Street, but it doesn’t always get as close to the river
as other natural trails. If you start from River Bend the first half-mile
is only natural trail.

I preferred hiking the non-paved trails when I hiked through the valley
recently. They often hug the riverbank offering great views of the wild,
tumbling river, and, if you’re lucky, some kayakers attempting the
The North Country Trail, which starts along the New York/Vermont border,
blazes a path through the park. Just follow the blue paint marks on trees
and signs. They will guide you along a scenic, mostly natural trail, with
great valley and river views. Follow the NCT through the Bear River
valley or to the middle of North Dakota if you like. That’s where the
4,400-mile-long trail ends.
For years the Bear River’s natural beauty had been obscured by industry
and dams that had altered the flow of the river. A few years ago
residents started cleaning up the site, removing some of the dams,
restoring the natural flow of the river and valley. The Bear River Valley
Recreation Area is the result, and it is a “gem” of a park offering lots
of activities and a beautiful natural area for all seasons.

More information
Bear River Whitewater Park and Northern Michigan Paddling Club

Bear River Valley Recreation Area

Bahnhof Sports Ducky rentals
or call 800-253-7078.
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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