The Cascades feature a series of pools, connected by short whitewater passages, that make the watercourse suitable for kayaking, inner tubing, or canoeing. Watercraft can make a passage all the way to the Huron River below the dam without portaging.
The Argo Cascades are built in the channel that was the headrace of Detroit Edison's hydroelectric plant (a headrace is an open channel that carries water into a mill or turbine). The company decommissioned the plant in 1959, and the channel no longer served a useful function.
Parking for the cascades can be found in neighborhoods near Argo Park, though it's congested and the neighbors aren't especially thrilled. An agreement with the University of Michigan allows Cascades visitors to use parking at the nearby Kellogg Eye Center.
Timeline: Argo Cascades
June 28, 2016. Ann Arbor trying to curb alcohol, parking problems at popular tubing spot. Ann Arbor News. "On recent weekends, Ann Arbor police officers have stepped up their presence in the area, where neighbors have lodged complaints with the city about the behavior of some people visiting the park to go tubing and kayaking down the Cascades."