What's New
Proposed Trail Routes
About Us
Trail Supporters
Trail Resources

Upcoming Events

(see What's New for Details)

Paddlesports Demo  May 15 - 17, 2015

Summit Sports will be putting on a Paddlesports Event May 15 - 17, 2015, where people will be able to try out the equipment that they sell and hear presentations topics such as the Evolution of Paddleboarding at 11:00 a.m., Kayak Fishing at noon, Kayak Designs at 1 p.m., Paddle Techniques at 2 p.m., Kayaking 101 at 3 pm and Camping from your Kayak at 4 p.m.  The demonstrations will be in Kensington Park and the clinics will be at their store on Grand River in Brighton, MI.  You can visit their site at www.summitsports.com.

Birding at Magee Marsh Sunday May 17, 2015

Sue Julian will be leading a trip to Magee Marsh, on the southern shore of Lake Erie, in Ohio, Sunday  May 17, 2015, to see the migrating spring warblers.  This trip will depart from the office of NOHLC at 7150 Dixie Hwy, Suite 2, Clarkston, MI, at 5:00 a.m.  We will stop for breakfast at the Big Boy in Toledo then head off to the marsh.  Bring your binoculars and you may want to bring a camera.  The boardwalk through the marsh typically has hundreds of people there to see the beautiful spring warblers along with other migrating birds, like Baltimore Orioles.  There are nesting Bald Eagles in the parking lot.  Don't worry about not being able to identify all the birds you see.  There are lots of avid birders there who are more than happy to tell you what you are looking at.
You ought to bring a sack lunch and something to drink.  Some years there has been food for sale and others not.  
This event is billed as the Biggest Week in American Birding.  There are presentations by various groups, including the State of Ohio, DNR, about birds. There is bird banding going on.  Last year a wildlife rescue group brought Eagles and Owls that you could see up close.
If you are considering a new set of binoculars, there is a tent with displays by all the major binocular and spotting scope manufacturers, where you can try out everything from beginning level to top of the line units.  These are fun to look at even if you are not in the market.  Have you ever wondered just how good a $4000.00 pair of binoculars are or whether you might prefer a spotting scope to binoculars?
The weather Sunday is predicted to get to 81 degrees and mostly cloudy early in the day.  There are possible thunder showers in the afternoon.  Overcast may not sound good, but it is great for viewing birds.  You are not struggling to see birds looking into the sun and the dispersal of the sunlight makes identification and photography of the birds easier.

River Cleanup June 7, 2015

There will be a river cleanup on Sunday June 7, 2015, meeting in Water Works Park at 9:00 a.m.

Adventure Paddle Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Adventure Paddle on the Shiawassee River is scheduled for  Sunday June 14, 2015.  Meet at Water Works Park in Holly Michigan at 11:00 to register and spot your cars.  The paddle starts at Noon.  More details will be coming soon.

Who We Are

Headwaters Trails Inc.

Headwaters Trails is a non-profit 501(c3) group whose mission is to facilitate and promote the cooperation of local governments in Southeast Michigan with specific emphasis on Holly, Rose, Groveland, Springfield, Fenton and Argentine Townships, the Village of Holly, the City of Fenton, and the City of Linden to create new recreational opportunities including the creation of a network of trails for the area residents and visitors.  Those trails include both water and land trails.

The Sorenson Park 5K Trail is a walking and jogging trail constructed by Headwaters Trails within the confines of Sorenson Park in Holly, Michigan.  The trail was cleared, leveled and then wood chipped to make a walking surface.  Along the edges of the trail, large amounts of the invasive tree, autumn olive, were removed and chipped for use on the trail.
Sorenson Park 5K trail / Hiker T. Moose Trail Sorenson Park 5K Trail / Hiker T. Moose Trail
Sorenson Park 5K Trail / Hiker T. Moose Trail
Sorenson Park 5K Trail / Hiker T. Moose Trail
The Trail gets used in all weather.
 Sorenson Park 5K Trail / Hiker T. Moose Trail Sorenson Park 5K Trail / Hiker T. Moose Trail

The Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail is our major accomplishment over the last several years.  For the last several years we have sponsored "The Adventure Paddle", Canoe races and Pleasure paddles in June and "Canoeing in Color" a Color Paddle in October.  In 2014, we did not hold the race, though we still held the Pleasure Paddle.  We might reconsider, if there is enough demand for a race.   The trail starts in Holly and goes to Byron.  The Keepers of the Shiawassee have joined us as have the Friends of the Shiawassee and the river is now open for canoers and kayakers from Holly to Saginaw, except for the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, where portages are necessary because of regulations against removing trees from the waterway in the Refuge.  Several volunteers paddle the river regularly and help remove downed trees and trash.  We are always looking for additional volunteers to help keep the river open and free of trash.

We started out, removing trash, 

Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail - cleanup 

Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail cleanup

then rebuilding a bridge and constructed a new bridge where we had built a temporary bridge along the river.

Old Academy foot bridge Rebuilt Academy foot bridge

Makeshift bridge Harding Mott Bridge

Water Works Park is the start of the Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail.  We did a lot of work to improve the appearance of that park and the river, with help from the Village of Holly, the Holly DDA, The Harding Mott Foundation, Saginaw Valley WIN, REI, Haddon Nursery and a host of dedicated volunteers.

Water Works Park, Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail starting point Water Works Park, Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail start Water Works Park in Holly, Michigan, Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail

The Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail is one of lower Michigan's treasures.  Along the river you will see very few houses, mostly, open fields, trees and wet lands.  Wildlife is abundant.  The Shiawassee has beavers who have built a dam.  This might be your first time to have ever seen a beaver dam or glimpse a beaver, since most have been killed for their fur.  The river has abundant fish and birds attracted by the fish and the plants along the river.  Deer graze along the shore.  Blue Heron are common as are kingfishers, king birds, and ducks.  Nature presents itself in all its glory as you glide down the waters of the river.  Water quality monitoring shows the Shiawassee to be a healthy river, accounting for all the wild life.

Beaver Lodge, Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail Blanding's Turtles - Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail

Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail

Headwaters Trails has also helped promote equestrian activities in the Northwest corner of Oakland County.  They co-sponsored with Rose Oaks Equine Adventurers several "Ride the Rose" events which acquainted the equestrians with trails opened for horses in Rose Oaks County Parks.  They are also working with Oakland County on a connection from Highland Oaks up to Rose Oaks, including working to open, the unmaintained, Water Road as a trail.

Horse Trails in Oakland County Horse back riding in Oakland County Michigan


  • Meetings are held the first Wednesday of each month, 7 pm, at the Holly Village Council Chambers.  Anyone interested in trails or trail maintenance is welcome.
  • River cleanups are held from May to September with others added if the weather is good.  Volunteers are always welcome.  You need to provide us with a phone number or an email address if you wish to be contacted for these events.  It is not necessary to own a chain saw or a boat to participate.  We generally try to eat at someone's house afterward and enjoy each other's company in a non-work setting.  

    Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail cleanup Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail

    • The Adventure Paddle is held the second Sunday in June.  You may attend the event as a participant or volunteer to help with the organization of the event.    
    • Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail - Adventure Paddle Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail - Adventure Paddle Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail - Adventure Paddle
  • Canoeing in Color is a fall adventure paddling the Shiawassee to see the color changes.  It is held the first Saturday in October and is a last paddle of the warmer weather for most people. 
  • Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail - Canoeing in Color Canoeing In Color Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail
  •  Owl Walks are typically held in late January or early February.  We move the location from place to place each year so as to experience the wonders of different trails while looking for owls.  These events are usually pot luck and intended as social events to get to know other people interested in trails better. 

We are not: 

We are not a canoe or kayak rental company.  When we sponsor events on the river, usually Heavner's Canoe Rental in Milford will provide rentals on site for that event only.  The rest of the year, there is no livery in Holly to rent boats to you.  If you need to rent a boat, we suggest that you rent one at Proud Lake Recreation Area, in Milford, Michigan from Heavner's Canoe Rental or from Cheff's Canoe Rental in the Walnut Hills Campground in Byron, Michigan.  It is our hope that some day a livery will open in the area that will service the Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail in Holly and Fenton but until that time, you need your own boats except for the Fall, Canoeing in Color event and the Spring, Adventure Paddle.

Contact Info

Headwaters Trails Inc.                                 

P.O. Box 33

Holly, MI 48442-0033

President: Sue Julian                   248-634-3513

Vice President & Treasurer: Rex Mathewson  

Secretary: Chuck Julian              248-634-3513         HeadwatersTrailsInc@gmail.com


                                                                                                        2003-2015, Headwaters Trails, Inc.

2003-2013, Headwaters Trails, Inc.