The dam creates Sabin Pond, which is in the process of being drained because the dam is scheduled to be removed in the next few years. At the southern end of the pond is Boardman Dam; once both dams are removed the river will return to its natural path, as it has above the former Brown Bridge Dam.
The launch at Sabin Dam will change over the next few years as the dams are removed. Currently (2016), the easiest launch is a sandy walk-in site on a small peninsula between the old powerhouse building and the spillway.
|On the path to the Sabin Dam launch|
|Picnic pavilion & restrooms |
between Sabin Dam & the Nature Center
The parking area is shared with the Nature Center and is both dirt and paved. There are modern restrooms located in the picnic pavilion.
To reach the launch, walk down the big, paved hill and continue straight ahead; you'll see this sign:
Just past the red brick building (the old power house), but before the main spillway, there is a well-worn path to the left, going downhill. Follow that short path to an easy walk-in launch.
|Sabin Dam kayak launch on the Boardman River|
The beautiful riverside trails are part of the Grand Traverse Natural Education Reserve; nearby trails include the Fox Den Trail which criss-crosses Jax Creek and connects to the trail leading to the YMCA. This makes it fairly easy to go tubing, even if you only have 1 vehicle; simply park at the Y, bring tubes & life jackets and walk south on the trail along the river (1+ mile) until you reach the dam, then put in and float back to the YMCA.
|Jax Creek on the Fox Den Trail|
All original photographs & text Copyright © 2017 @TheBoardman