The Grand River
The Grand River and its valley were formed by the melting of the continental glacier that retreated from this area some 12,000 years ago. Known by Chippewa Indians as Washtanong (further country) and by the French as le Riviere Grand, the Grand is Michigan's longest river. From its headwaters in northern Hillsdale and southern Jackson counties, it flows 270 river miles and drops 460 feet in elevation before entering Lake Michigan at Grand Haven. Together with its tributaries, it drains a 5,570-square-mile water shed, including all or part of eighteen counties. Lansing is located in the upper portion of the river basin where the Grand changes direction from northward to westward. The Red Cedar River, one of seven major tributaries, enters one mile upstream from here.