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Kayak launch being installed in Williamston

Williamston kayak launch
Posted at 9:20 AM, Jul 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-13 13:41:42-04

WILLIAMSTON, Mich. — A new construction project is underway in Williamston off of Grand River Avenue - a kayak launch.

“This is the very edge of our downtown development authority and what this is really, it's a continuation of all the work that we put in with our Old Mill Park Trail improvements. We really look at this as the western edge of that,” said City Manager John Hanifan.

Hanifan said construction started a little later than originally planned.

“We did have to wait a little bit later in the summer to lower the watermark here on the river," Hanifan said. "But yeah, we're excited and we're full speed ahead.”

He said they're excited to finally begin construction on the new kayak launch and 20-space parking lot.

“It'll add a kayak launch on the Red Cedar River, and so a person could come into Williamson, and they can put in at McCormick Park and kayak all the way down here and back, or they can put it here and kayak upstream the other way,” Hanifan said.

Hanifan said the city wanted to invest in more recreational activities along the river.

“We have great parks here in Williamson, always have," Hanifan said. "But this is really the next logical step. I mean, our city festival is called the Red Cedar Jubilee, so only makes sense that we're turning our efforts and attention towards the river and enhancing the use of it.”

The project was primarily funded by grants from the Ingham County Parks and Recreation Department.

Hanifan said they don't anticipate getting into renting kayaks as a city.

“What we really look at is the larger regional effort," Hanifan said. "There is a regional effort with a lot of the rotary clubs in Ingham County, in this part of the county to really open the Red Cedar up more for recreation.”

Once it's open, he encourages anyone with a kayak to come enjoy it.

“It's more for folks to just either come to town visit town with their kayak or just, you know, take your kayak here in town and launch from here,” Hanifan said.

Hanifan said he expects the kayak launch will be ready to use late this summer or early in the fall.

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