The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is pleased to announce that the official installation of its new EZ Launch Accessible Transfer System for Canoes and Kayaks at Brighton State Recreation Area is now complete. Beginning in May, people of all abilities can enter their kayak or canoe unassisted, and enjoy the 119-acre Bishop Lake.

The accessible transfer system provides accessibility that exceeds the minimum requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Users simply place themselves onto the bench from their wheelchair, then slide over and drop down into their kayak or canoe while utilizing handrails to pull off and on. Having the vessel elevated and out of the water during this transition allows everyone to have a safe and stable way to access a canoe or kayak.

Funds for the purchase and installation of the launch were awarded through the Michigan State Waterways program. Additional site improvements were funded through the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s “Access 2 Recreation” initiative, focused on recreation projects that incorporate universal design principles resulting in greater accessibility in the outdoor environment. The launch is a product offered by EZ Dock of Missouri, and was installed by KBE Hoist, located in New Baltimore.

The Brighton State Recreation Area offers some of the most comprehensive recreational opportunities for people with or without disabilities. These include one mile of accessible trail, an accessible fishing pier, an elevated tent site and an eight-person rustic cabin. It also offers accommodations for horseback riding at the stables and accessible facilities at the Bishop Lake campground. An accessible disc golf course is expected to be completed later this year.

The general public is invited to join park staff and DNR officials as they provide a demonstration and debut of this exciting new launch. This grand introduction will take place on Thursday, May 23 at 4 p.m., at the boat launch at the Bishop Lake campground, 5210 Bishop Lake Road in Brighton. For further details, please contact Michael Donnelly, park supervisor, at 810-229-6566 or donnellym1@michigan.gov.

Logo courtesy Michigan Department of Natural Resources

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