Windsor/Detroit Belle Isle and Peche Island

Detroit, Michigan

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Mention the Detroit River to most people and visions of the urban waterfront or the industrial monstrosities of the River Rouge area come to mind. Wildlife and island parks are not likely to make the list. Located in the Detroit River just downstream of Lake Saint Clair, Peche Island is a provincial park that provides quite literally an island of wilderness between the cities of Windsor and Detroit. In the near future the city of Windsor will likely take control of the island as a city park, but it will be left wild and undeveloped regardless. Belle Isle is connected to Detroit by a bridge, is more developed, and gets far more use than Peche Island. Belle Isle was purchased by Detroit in 1879, and this city park was designed by landscape architect Fredrick Law Olmstead, who also designed Central Park in New York City. Attractions on Belle Isle include a maritime museum, zoo, aquarium, swimming beach, fountain, Coast Guard station, and marina. The Detroit River is also a great place for boat-watchers. All ships that travel between Lake Huron and Lake Erie pass between Peche Island and Belle Isle.
Guide to Sea Kayaking on Lakes Huron, Erie & Ontario

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Guide to Sea Kayaking on Lakes Huron, Erie & Ontario

by Sarah Ohmann & Bill Newman (The Globe Pequot Press)

Mention the Detroit River to most people and visions of the urban waterfront or the industrial monstrosities of the River Rouge area come to mind. Wildlife and island parks are not likely to make the list. Located in the Detroit River just downstream of Lake Saint Clair, Peche Island is a provincial park that provides quite literally an island of wilderness between the cities of Windsor and Detroit. In the near future the city of Windsor will likely take control of the island as a city park, but it will be left wild and undeveloped regardless.

Belle Isle is connected to Detroit by a bridge, is more developed, and gets far more use than Peche Island. Belle Isle was purchased by Detroit in 1879, and this city park was designed by landscape architect Fredrick Law Olmstead, who also designed Central Park in New York City. Attractions on Belle Isle include a maritime museum, zoo, aquarium, swimming beach, fountain, Coast Guard station, and marina. The Detroit River is also a great place for boat-watchers. All ships that travel between Lake Huron and Lake Erie pass between Peche Island and Belle Isle.

©  Sarah Ohmann & Bill Newman/The Globe Pequot Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Sea Kayaking
Nearby City: Detroit
Distance: 11
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: Day trip
Season: Spring to fall, weather permitting
Local Maps: NOAA 14848, USGS: Belle Isle and Detroit
Driving Directions: Directions to Windsor/Detroit: Belle Isle & Peche Island

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Apr 2018