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Kayak - While you are quietly kayaking through the smooth as glass water, deer will greet you at the lake as they sneak in to get a drink. Life slows down for a short time in Michigan’s Backyard.

Canoe - The Loons will pop up unexpectedly as you glide across the lakes. It is a quiet place to live and its peacefulness will overcome paddlers. We guarantee you will not want to leave Michigan’s Backyard.

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The clear, fresh waters of the Cedar River begin in Northern Gladwin County. It first flows north into Roscommon County, then returns south running through the cities of Gladwin and Beaverton along the way picking up additional flows from a series of lakes including Trout Lake, Streaked Lake, and Blue Lake. The West Branch of the Cedar River converges with Cranberry Creek which brings water from Arnold Lake and Cranberry Lake. It then joins the faster moving waters of the Middle Branch for the Cedar River and merges with the North Branch. The now fastmoving river combines with five other streams including Howland Creek. The river has several dams forming lakes along its way to converge with three branches of the Tobacco River and ultimately forms Ross Lake on the southern end in Beaverton where a new trailhead is under construction, and the Rotary Splash Park is located lakeside.

Today the Cedar River, its lakes and tributaries, is home to great fishing and recreational activities. Northern Pike, Largemouth Bass, and Yellow Perch have been caught in the waters along the river. South of Wiggins Lake there are canoe launches at the Gladwin County Recreation Area and at Chappel Dam. In Gladwin, Riverwalk Place Resort and & Spa sits on the riverbank. A pathway connects the Cedar River to the Gladwin Campground, beach, and picnic area, only a short walk to the restaurants and shops of downtown Gladwin.

The Trail of Two Cities parallels the Cedar River and will eventually connect with the Iron Belle Trail to the North and Pere Marquette Trail to the South.

Since the Native Americans navigated the Cedar River hundreds of years ago, and European settlers came for the forests, a journey along the Cedar River Corridor through Western Gladwin County has provided access wildlife habitats, and natural resources for hunting, trapping, fishing, foraging, and photography. Today it is a great place to visit the outdoors to canoe, kayak, hike, and for homes and cottages.

The Cedar River is one of many navigable rivers to canoe and kayak in Michigan’s Backyard.