Observation: Today I ticked something special off my Detroit Bucket List by kayaking all the canals on Detroit’s Eastside. It has been labeled the Venice of Detroit, and while it’s nowhere close to the size of Venice or has that European charm, it definitely has some similar characteristics and really is amazing in its own Motor City way. We spent about four hours exploring at a leisurely pace. Tours of the canals have become a hot thing, but we enjoyed going where we wanted and at the speed we wanted. In the end, we saw amazing homes perched on the edge of the water, an actual bar tucked at the farthest end of the canal, a fence made of dozens of front doors, muskrats all over, two communities abandoned or burned down long ago, an old Fisher mansion (now a Hare Krishna Temple), an aerial swing just sitting in someone’s backyard, the top of some great graffiti I found on another ELM adventure, an awesome hammock-boat, lots of other boats sitting like cars behind people’s homes, and then, of course, everyday people just fishing and hanging out in their very special part of the city that they call home.
Distance: 6.95 miles
D-Fact: In 1880, the Wayne County Drain Commission authorizes the conversion of Fox Creek to a canal, but it wasn’t completed until 1925. The Fox Creek canal runs from the Detroit River to a point north of Jefferson Avenue where the canal flows into underground pipes that run under Jefferson Avenue.