Ann Arbor, Michigan, isn’t exactly a metropolis, but it does have a lot of concrete and hustle-bustle. The Argo Canoe Livery provides a wonderful way to unwind, get your nature fix, and work out your core and upper body all in one 90-minute trip ($22 per boat for a two-person kayak or canoe). There’s a big reason to opt for the kayaks—the Argo Cascade, a course of gates through rapids geared for these flat-bottomed boats.
Depending on the time of year, the rapids run somewhere between mild to medium; they’re exciting, but this isn’t the Colorado River. You will get wet and you may even take a spill. Relax, the water near the rapids isn’t deep, and once you’re through the gates, the river is calm, wide and peaceful. It’s not unusual to spot cranes and heron. A waterproof camera is a great addition to the trip.
The complete paddle is just under 4 miles. Guests park upriver and a van delivers you back to your car when you finish. Although the helpful Argo staff can fill you in on some kayaking basics, it’s best to come with some experience, particularly if you’re soloing. All doubles should have at least one experienced kayaker on board.