Canoe launch trail at Flushing Township Nature Park closed - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Canoe launch trail at Flushing Township Nature Park closed

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(06/18/13)  - A trail that allowed canoeists and kayakers to drive to a launch on the Flint River has been closed, and that isn't sitting well with those who use it.

The Flushing Township supervisor says there are some legal questions that need to be answered before the trail can be re-opened.

Last year, the trail was developed from the main parking lot at the Flushing Township Nature Park with the help of a $19,000 DNR Recreation Passport Development Grant.

"It's a great site. It's very picturesque when you get out. The nature park itself is great. The access down there is a real nice spot to go," said Greg Palinsky, a kayaker from Mt. Morris Township.

"There's more wildlife. There's not homes and stuff here. We see a lot more herons and eagles," said Leanne Ackert, a Flushing kayaker.

But a few weeks ago, someone raised an issue with the Flushing Township supervisor.    

"We came here Memorial Day and it was locked," Palinsky said.

"We were really disappointed," Ackert said.

Walking to the river is a bit of a hike. It took us about 10 minutes to get back here to the canoe launch from the main parking lot. That was a very leisurely pace. Imagine trying to do it with a canoe or kayak with the paddles and any other supplies you need.

The Nature Park was created in 2002 and an ordinance said vehicles can be used in the park only if they have a special permit issued by the township. But the ordinance - spelled out on the township website - also says cars will be allowed to pick up boats and canoes at the landing area.

Supervisor Rian Birchmeier declined an on-camera interview, but said, "The investigation in this matter is still ongoing. More information has come up to my attention that it's a possibility the board and/or park committee adopted a policy prohibiting motorized vehicles in the park."

"To shut it off like this is kind of a misuse of public funds," Palinksy said.

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