The Boardman River flows into the west arm of Grand Traverse Bay in Traverse City, Michigan. The Boardman's upper tributaries rise near Kalkaska, Michigan, and its watershed drains an area of 295 sq. miles through 130 miles of river and tributaries. The Boardman River is considered one of the top ten trout streams in Michigan. Before entering the Grand Traverse Bay, it becomes Boardman Lake which is a reservoir retained by the Union St. dam, it really just forms a wide, deep stretch of the river about 2 miles long and a half mile wide.
The picture here is the Boardman River between downtown Traverse City and Grand Traverse Bay. This section of the boardwalk runs from just west of the mouth of the Boardman at Grand Traverse Bay to Cass St. at the Chamber of Commerce.
After flowing through Boardman Lake, the river descends through downtown Traverse City, following a hairpin-shaped course to Grand Traverse Bay. This Traverse City section of the Boardman River is accessible by motorboat from Boardman lake up to a small decommissioned hydroelectric dam located between Cass and Union Streets. Here you see the section of boardwalk that runs from 8th St. at Boardman Ave. to Cass St. along Midtown.
Midtown Boardwalk >>>>
View from TC-RiverHouse of the Cass St. Bridge
Year Built: 1930
Boardman River American Legion Memorial Bridge:
The American Legion Memorial Bridge qualifies for the National Register as a significant memorial bridge and for its connection with Daniel Luten, a prominent bridge engineer.
In 1929, the Traverse City city commission ordered a public election to authorize the sale of bonds to build new bridges over the Boardman River at Union Street and Cass Street. At the same time, the commission hired Daniel B. Luten, a well-known Indianapolis bridge engineer who specialized in concrete-arch design, to prepare plans for the Cass Street Bridge. Voters approved the measure in May. In the meantime, the city learned that the state would erect a bridge at South Union Street, so the city's efforts focused on Cass Street.
On June 27 1929, the commission awarded a contract for the bridge's construction. A few weeks later, the commission agreed to issue $50,000 worth of bonds to pay for the project. In June 1930, the commission accepted the contractors' work and authorized final payment. At the same time, the commission decided to purchase dedication plaques at the request of the American Legion for $100. Plague is located on the north east corner of the American Legion Memorial Bridge.
While the removal of the original railings over the arch and the addition of the Jersey barricades detract from the original design, the bridge remains an important and rare example of the work of Daniel Luten in Michigan. The bridge is also locally significant as a memorial bridge commemorating the American Legion.
Canoeing, Kayaking, Tubing
Michigan whitewater - Boardman River, Grand Traverse County
CLASS I-II Easy > 0.5 miles >>
Grand Traverse county, 6 miles South of Traverse City starting at Keystone Rd. is a section of whitewater for kayaking, rafting, tubing and canoeing.