Paddle to the Symphony 2022

Paddle to the Music of the Michigan Philharmonic

For 30 years, Kensington Metropark in Milford has been the home to Paddle to the Symphony. Once again, the event returns to the park and to Kent Lake for an evening of music and paddling. The Michigan Philharmonic performs a free concert at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 9, at Maple Beach. Adding to the experience, Paddle to the Symphony goers will meet on the other side of the lake at the shoreline of North Martindale Beach and “paddle to the symphony” beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Started by the Michigan Council of Hostelling International (HI-USA), Paddle to the Symphony grew to be a celebration of Southeast Michigan outdoor enthusiasts, including the School for Outdoor Leadership, Adventure, and Recreation (SOLAR). The event is now run as a SOLAR Outdoors activity. Both non-profits have had a long history of collaborating with this event. Open to members and non-member to enjoy, Paddle to the Symphony celebrates outdoor recreation with a cultural musical experience.

Making the Event

HI and SOLAR, along with Heavner Canoe, and several online groups join forces for the evening on the water, while enjoying the sounds of the Michigan Philharmonic. This year’s theme is “Michigan Philharmonic at the Movies” will feature music from old to new movies – including new music from Encanto.

Rates (All Pricing is Per Boat)

$40 Single Kayaks (Adults) Seats 1 Adult
$60 Tandem Kayaks Seats 2 Adults
$60 Canoes Seats 2 Adults & 1 Child
$20 Personal Boat Livery Service

$5 discount per boat for HI or SOLAR members

Heavner Canoe, a long-time partner with the annual tradition, will be providing the canoes and kayaks. They have special permission to launch from the shoreline. The fee goes toward the transportation and launching of the boats at the special launch area, assistance in/out of the area, and refreshments.

Details and registration are available at Deadline to sign-up is July 8.

Michigan Council of Hostelling International

To help people of all ages gain a greater understanding of the world, locally and internationally, through educational programs, cultural connections, recreational activities and positive hostelling experiences.


Introducing Southeast Michigan to the outdoors since 1976. SOLAR is a Southeast Michigan based social club with more than 400 members dedicated to the enjoyment of nature and outdoor activities. Whether a beginner or experienced wilderness enthusiast, SOLAR members offer classes and trips for all skill levels and interests.

The Michigan Philharmonic

Nan Washburn, Music Director & Conductor since 1999, has won 19 ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music from the League of American Orchestras. The orchestra performs in an ever-expanding roster of Michigan communities; including Plymouth, Canton, Northville, Livonia, Brighton, Downtown Detroit, and others. The “Michigan Phil” is committed to reaching out to a broad and diverse array of audiences and providing enjoyable cultural and social experiences.

Kensington Metropark

Offers a multitude of recreational activities throughout the year, from biking and boating to cross-country skiing and tobogganing. It has 4,486 sprawling acres of wooded, hilly terrain that surrounds beautiful Kent Lake and is home to an abundance of wildlife and waterfowl. In addition to striking sunrises and sunsets, 1,200-acre Kent Lake offers plenty of fun activities, including swimming, paddling, and fishing.

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