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Mecosta County Parks and Mecosta Osceola Transit Authority partner to enhance river tubing adventures

The Mecosta County Park Commission has partnered with MOTA the Mecosta Osceola Transit Authority
to provide streamlined transportation services for group river tubing adventures through Paris 
Park on the Muskegon River.


River tubing adventures began at Paris Park in 2017 as a service to draw additional
camping guests to the park. Services include tube rentals and transportation from Paris Park
upriver to either the Green Township Launch (approximate 3.9 mile float) or the Hersey Launch
(approximate 10.25 mile float.) The Park offers additional transportation services for visitors
who have their own kayaks or canoes.


With the closure of the Sawmill Livery in Big Rapids, demand for river tubing through Paris Park
quickly changed from a small campground operation to the go to spot for visitors of the Big
Rapids area. From the beginning, the parks only transportation availability was an 8-passenger
van, which made large groups difficult to accommodate. Paris Park staff can deliver 24-30
tubes in a single run but could only transport 8 passengers.


In partnering with MOTA, transportation of additional passengers will be much more efficient
and provide a better experience in getting from the park quickly onto the river. Paris Park will
continue to handle all reservations and fee collection along with supplying and transporting
equipment. MOTA will now provide transportation of customers when groups have greater
than 8 people. The partnership allows large groups to arrive to the park and be transported
together and adds opportunities for the scheduling of additional reservations.


The Park Commission and MOTA have created an arrangement where pricing will remain the
same for the customer. Tube rental and transportation service to the Green Township launch
costing $10 per person and tube rental and transportation service to the Hersey launch at $15
per person.

 

Parks Superintendent Jeff Abel stated “We are really excited to partner with MOTA to provide
better river adventure services to the Big Rapids area. We have had a lot of local businesses
and organizations contact us asking for expanded opportunities to fill the current void of these
services and this is a step in that direction. Without an operation like the Sawmill Livery in Big
Rapids, business owners are not seeing some of the traffic that they previously gained from
that operation. We hope that this service will bring groups back to stay in local hotels and
campgrounds and visit local restaurants and shops while here.”


Abel also noted, “The Park Commission hopes to see a river services operation return to the
downtown Big Rapids area in the future whether private or public and if that occurs, we will
gladly scale our operation down to it’s original concept while promoting larger groups to return
to utilizing services in the downtown area.”


All river adventure trips from Paris Park begin with customers being transported upriver from
the park which allows for groups to experience the river at their own pace and eliminates
waiting for a return ride at the conclusion of the trip. Customers exit the river at the park and
can either return to their vehicles or campsite on their schedule.


Vehicle entrance fees of $7 per vehicle for a day pass or $30 per vehicle for an annual Mecosta
Parks pass are required in addition to river tubing fees. Visitors to the park can walk the White
Pine Trail or other trail loops within the park grounds, feed the trout in the fishponds, learn the
history of the facilities through displays in the hatchery building and throughout the park, and
even get a picture in front of the mini-Eiffel Tower.


Reservations are required for all River Adventure Trips through Paris Park and can be made by
calling the park offices at 231-796-3420. For additional information regarding river tubing
adventures visit: www.MecostaCountyParks.com

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