Natural Conditions


The Soil Conservation Service (SCS) of Lenawee County indicates that the primary soils in Clinton are Fox and Fox Sandy Loams. These soils are well-drained and capable of supporting urban development. Soils with some development limitations within the Village consist of Griffin and Sloan loams. They can be found parallel to the River Raisin through the western portion of Clinton. The eastern portion of Clinton contains clay and may cause problems for some development.

Source: Clinton 1986 Land Use Plan, Region 2 Planning Commission


The topography of Clinton is gently rolling and varies slightly in elevation. The highest elevation recorded by the United States Geologic Survey (USGS) is 872 feet and the lowest, 800 feet. Slopes range from 0-6%.

Source: Clinton 1986 Land Use Plan, Region 2 Planning Commission

Surface Geology

The characteristics of the surface geology were formed during the Great Ice Age, about one million years ago, when a succession of four ice caps or continental glaciers moved southward from the Canadian Highlands to the Ohio River shaping the surface of the land. These surface formations include outwash plains and glacial channels. The outwash plains and glacial channels were formed when the glacier melted very rapidly and great streams of water cut across the till plains and moraines. The formation consist of sorted glacial drift deposits including boulders which were left near the moraines and gravel, sand, and clay which were deposited further down stream by the flow of water.

Source: Village of Clinton’s Community Recreation Plan, March 1989


Clinton is located in the River Raisin watershed, the largest watershed is Lenawee County. The River Raisin runs along the western side of the Village.

The River Raisin was the life-sustaining artery of a wild and uncharted watershed area of the southeastern Michigan Territory until early 1800. Most of the very early explorers and settlers used the River Raisin to gain access to this Michigan Territory, coming by way of the St. Lawrence and Lake Erie waterways.

Settlements were established at convenient points upstream for business and trade that enhanced land development. The old River Raisin provided opportunities for Clinton to became a prominent settlement of this River system. The flour mill and Woolen Mill were made possible by utilizing the natural water power of the River.

During the later 1900’s numerous man-made earthern dams were constructed at the River Raisin settlements. Clinton’s dam was used to power the community. It became obsolete and no longer served its original purpose.