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For many years, organizations and individuals have worked diligently on improving all aspects of the Cass River. This includes development of canoe and kayak launches, cleaning up the river, and overall visual appearance, just to name a few. These efforts will be celebrated with the 10th annual Cass River Paddle and Relay Swim – Vassar/Tuscola/Frankenmuth to take place on Saturday morning, June 25, 2022. This event includes all swimmers, paddlers, volunteers, pontoon boat owners, and other outdoor enthusiasts.

The swimming portion of the event will begin with a swim launch from the riverbank by 9396 Ormes Road, Vassar. Swimmers will depart at 9:00 a.m. on an enjoyable journey downstream to Frankenmuth. The escorting pontoon will gather any remaining swimmers at 11:45 a.m. Wetsuits are recommended in case of chilly waters.

Canoes, kayaks and other paddlers need to bring their own life jackets and are to meet at the new Tuscola Township Park, behind the ball diamonds at 8561 Van Cleve Road, and launch by 9:30 a.m. Paddlers may also have a new, second, earlier choice to meet at the new Vassar canoe & kayak launch at 122 S. Water Street, and put in at 7:00 a.m. to paddle the distance of 11 miles – NOTE that starting at Vassar depends on whether the river level is deep enough that week. Overall duration is estimated to end at approximately 12:00-12:30 p.m. at Frankenmuth’s Heritage Park. Find rental information at & call 989-652-3400 and also check or phone 989-284-8894 in Vassar.

This informal outdoor event produces not only camaraderie amongst paddlers and swimmers, but brings awareness to the Cass River at the same time, overseen by Bill Zehnder. Participants will appreciate the recent improvements in the Cass River including quality of water and the wildlife that enjoys this clean natural resource. Improvements are being credited to many factors including the general public making better discharge decisions into the river and drainage ditches, as well as the annual cleanups. More Cass River Greenway info and a map can be found at

This event has the motto “The more the merrier” so feel free to tell and share this information with other swimmers, paddlers or volunteers via Facebook or other. Please contact Lori Payne at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (989) 652-9941 if you plan to participate or simply want more information. Organizers need a count in advance to ensure there is an adequate number of needed materials available.