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Upcoming Events  

Village of Holly Parks 5 year plan Workshop

The Village of Holly Parks Department will be having a workshop on Wednesday July 30, 2014 to work on their 5 year plan.  Please attend this if you would want to have input into that plan, especially if you are interested in trails of any sort.  The meeting will start at 7:00 pm in the Holly Village Chambers, behind the Holly Village Police Station.

River Cleanup August 3, 2014

 There will be a cleanup of the Shiawassee River on Sunday August 3, 2014.  We will meet at Cole Road and the Shiawassee River in Argentine Township at 9:00.  We are planning to be off the river by around 1:00.  We plan to get at least as far as McCaslin Lake Road and maybe as far as Bird road if we get a large enough crew and we don't run into a lot of trees to be cut.  We will spot cars at both roads.

If you can make it, please contact me,  Chuck Julian at 248-634-3513 in the evenings or 248-335-8785 in the day.  You can also email him at HeadwatersTrailsInc@gmail.com.  If you can bring a rowboat or canoe, that is best because we can carry the most stuff that way.  We not only need to bring equipment with us, but often have to take tires and other debris out.  Please let me know if you need to ride with someone or if you have the ability to take a passenger.  If you bring a rowboat, we find it easiest to use kayak paddles on the river.  I also recommend bringing an electric trolling motor for the long stretches where we don't need to do any work.

I am bringing  a rowboat, two chainsaws, lifting tongs, cables for tying logs to the bank, a cooler full of drinks and a plan to have fun.  If you are able to host us for a meal afterward, that would be greatly appreciated, otherwise, we will probably eat somewhere in Linden after the cleanup.  Please let me know if you are willing to host us.

You can learn more about what to expect by clicking on the Best Practices link on our website.

Holly Township Recreation Plan Hearing

Holly Township held it's public hearing on the Master Recreation Plan on July 16, 2014 and approved that plan.  There will be a meeting where the Township must approve sending that plan on to the State.  Before that happens, it is important for public comment on the plan to be submitted to the Township Board.  All comments will be submitted with the plan and the State reviews those comments before deciding upon grant applications.  A lack of favorable comments can prevent the state from issuing a grant, so please send in positive comments on the plan to Holly Township.  We are particularly interested in positive comments about water and land trails.

Written comments may be submitted by writing to: Clerk at 102 Civic Dr., Holly, Michigan 48442, or via email to Clerk@hollytownship.org

A copy of the Master Recreation Plan may be reviewed at the Clerk’s office at the above-mentioned address during regular business hours Monday through Friday 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. except holidays or online at www.hollytownship.org/publicnotices

You can download a printable schedule in, doc format, of Shiawassee River Events and  the Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail Map here.

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.

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
  • 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. 

Contact Info

Headwaters Trails Inc.                                 

P.O. Box 33

Holly, MI 48442-0033

President: Sue Julian                   248-634-3513

Vice President: Rex Mathewson  

Treasurer: This position is open.  Let us know if you think you might want to be Treasurer.

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


2003-2013, Headwaters Trails, Inc.