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Grand River Experience

MGROW, in partnership with the Upper Grand River Watershed Alliance and the Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds, presents Grand River Experience 2021

Introducing the Grand River Experience - GREx

June 28 through September 15, 2021

After the COVID-19 pandemic turned life upside down last year, the Grand River Expedition 2020 committee had to regroup and do something completely different. We have developed the Grand River Experience (GREx) as a new approach to a traditional event that will allow us to stay nimble and adapt as regulations change.

GREx is a self-guided event. We will provide information and resources for you to plan your own activities on, alongside, or near the river, and share your experiences online. GREx will follow the latest recommendations at Safe Start/Public Guidance and the GREx Safety Guidelines. Municipalities and nonprofit organizations may organize events and activities that fit these guidelines.

Be sure to bookmark our GREx Calendar of Events - more activities will be added throughout the summer. Please fill out our GREx contact form (if you haven't already). Watch for updates via email.. GREx will wrap up on September 15.
You can:

  • Paddle! We'll post maps and access info for the best day trips the Grand River has to offer

  • Walk

  • Run

  • Ride your bike

  • Go birdwatching

  • Go fishing

  • Organize or participate in a river cleanup - or simply bring a trash bag next time you visit the river

  • Take photos or video

  • Write and reflect

  • Anything on, alongside, or near the river that counts as experiencing the Grand


The traditional Expedition with camping and large gatherings requires about two years of advance planning. With health regulations in Michigan changing constantly, the usual Expedition was impossible to plan, even if things opened up enough by summer to allow it.


We hope you'll participate in GREx and help us introduce the river to more people, some of whom don't paddle or even get outdoors as much as they would like. We want to communicate to a broader audience how much we love the river and show them that it's easy and fun to experience it in smaller bites.

Stay safe and healthy! We hope to see you on the Grand River.


-- The Grand River Experience organizers


The legendary paddler Verlen Kruger first launched the Grand River Expedition in 1990.  Verlen held several World Records for the most miles paddled by canoe, including the 3.5 year, 28,040 mile "Ultimate Canoe Challenge" that ended in Lansing in 1983. Verlen was the Rivermaster for the second Expedition in 2000. The 2010 event carried on his legacy.

Past expeditions have included educational presentations and water quality monitoring. Participants have included scientists, historians, educators, students, environmental professionals, civic and business leaders, government representatives, writers, and paddlers ranging in age from 12 to 85.

Read the Grand River Expedition 2010 final report HERE.

MLIVE had extensive coverage of GRE 2010.

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