After buying their first canoe in 1942, Chester and Stella Heavner were hooked. So were their friends. After constantly loaning out their red-canvas Old Town canoe, the pair invested in two more and started charging a nominal rental fee. In 1953, they made it official with a patch of riverfront property, eight canoes, and a trailer.
Today, Heavner Canoe & Kayak Rental is run by Chester and Stella’s eldest son, Alan. He and his staff manage an inventory of more than 200 canoes and kayaks, which they rent at three locations along the Huron River.
To help better motivate clients, the coaches at Fitness Innovation Team, a sister club of CrossFit Bloomfield, knew they would have to design workout regimens that were engaging and accessible to all fitness levels, but would also reward hard work with great results. As so, they came up with group classes that are built around high-intensity interval training, which helps build strength, improve flexibility, and elevate metabolisms for maximum calorie-incineration. Incorporating everything from kettlebell swings to body weight exercises supported by TRX suspension equipment, these classes provide an ever-changing challenge that can help anyone from casual enthusiasts to competitive athletes. The studio's RowFIT workouts, for example, combine the spirit of a spinning class with muscle-building indoor rowing sessions. This type of rowing class not only helps to strengthen major muscle groups across the body, but also provides an intense cardio workout, all without placing undue strain on the joints or requiring attendees to wear a life jacket.
As a pair of kayaks rounds a bend in in the Chippewa River, the paddlers spy a blue kingfisher diving into the water to grab a fish before flying away with its catch. Nature continues its daily course as people gently float down the river's gentle currents on tubes or propel themselves along in kayaks or canoes. Chippewa River Outfitters helps renters make their own river-bound memories with trips that last from 1.5 hours to overnight. With a paddle or tube in hand, explorers get to take advantage of the river's cool waters and nature's free shows regardless of age or propensity for boat-tipping.
For four decades, Buckley’s Mountainside Canoes has sent visitors paddling through the calm currents of the Chippewa River, winding through miles of natural forestland in Sylvan Solace, Deerfield, and Meridian Park. The river’s clear, unpolluted waters stretch before paddlers during trips that range anywhere from one to seven hours. Maintaining its longstanding tradition of keeping the river clean, Buckley’s equips paddlers with debris bags so they can snag rubbish along the way, if they choose.
Ride the Wave fills its 6,750-square-foot water-sports wonderland with swimwear, boating accessories, towable gear, wakeboards, and all manner of accessories. Frolicking fashionistas can grace sun-soaked, wave-lapped shores attired in Billabong, Oakley, or Quiksilver brands. Slip on a pair of O’Neill Alameda boardshorts ($48) or Fox flip-flops ($16) before taking a sultry speedboat spin around the public pool’s deep end. Boating mavens can upgrade their flotation devices from sandwich bags filled with air to safe, stylish nylon foam core O’Brien life vests ($39.95) that withstands the intense wind resistance of being towed at top speed in an HO Sports Hornet 54-inch tube ($54.95). For more adrenaline-soaked activities, peruse Ride the Wave’s ski loft and wakeboard room, which boast buoyant conveyances from brands such as Connelly, Radar Skis, Hyperlite, Liquid Force, Ronix, and CWB.
Perched on the banks of Gun Lake amid several hiking trails and picnic sites, Gun Lake Rentals provides visitors with entertainment selections from its flotilla of boats and personal watercraft. The rental company carries a variety of aquatic options for satisfying thrill seekers and leisurely paddlers alike. The fleet includes jet skis and pontoon boats, as well as paddleboards and kayaks. After a full day of staying afloat on the oversized puddle, guests can seek out attractions in nearby Shelbyville, such as golf courses, miniature golf courses, horse ranches, and miniature horse ranches.