Elm Flats Canoe Landing

Area Status: Not Cleared

Elm Flats Entrance Sign

This location marks the start of the permitted portion of the River. The parking area for this landing is located on a hill above the landing, which requires a walk up from the area. This stretch of the river is narrow.

To download the Pine River, National Scenic River, brochure, with map, visit the Maps and Publications section of the website or select this link: http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5172185.pdf.  This brochure is set to print on 11 x 17 paper, landscape (wide) orientation.  To print on 8 1/2 x 11 paper set the print area to "shrink to printable area", this will make the text on the page smaller. 

At a Glance

Current Conditions: No fees/no service from Nov 1 to Dec 1. This site is gated when closed.
Operational Hours: Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week unless otherwise posted.
Rentals & Guides: Canoe Rentals -
  • Baldwin
    • Bosman's Canoe Rental
  • Irons
    • Shomler Canoe and Kayak
  • Wellston
    • Carl's Canoe Livery
    • Pine River Paddlesport Center
    • Horina's Canoe and Kayak
    • Sportsman's Port
Area Amenities: Boat ramp,Parking
Fees Recreation Enhancement Act Fee - Watercraft Permits -
  • Reservations are not required, but are recommended.  Visit the Passes and Permits section for more information.
Day Use -
  • Day: $5.00
  • Week: $15.00
Permit Info: Watercraft Permit -
  • Required Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend.
Special Use Permit -
  • No special use permit is required for individuals or small groups (74 people or less).
  • Permits are required for commercial, event or large groups (75 people or more).
Usage: Light
Best Season: January 1 to December 31
Restrictions: Pine River Corridor - Camping -
  • Camping within a ¼ mile of Pine National Scenic River, except at Peterson Bridge campground.
Watercraft -
  • Leaving a watercraft unattended more than 36 hours.
  • Launching a watercraft except at designated sites.
  • Entering, leaving or using National Forest lands in the Pine National Scenic River Corridor with the intent to launch or retrieve a watercraft before 9:00 am or after 6:00 pm. during the period of Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend, unless authorized by permit.
Sanitation -
  • Possessing, storing or transporting Styrofoam coolers, glass beverage and/or food containers on the Pine National Scenic River.
Closest Towns: Dublin
Water: None
Restroom: Vault
Operated By: Cadillac Manistee Ranger District - (231) 723-2211

General Information


From Cadillac-

  • Travel west on M-55 for 11 miles.
  • Turn left and travel south on 13 Rd. for 2 miles.
  • Turn right and travel west on 48 Rd. for .5 miles.
  • Turn left and travel south on 11 1/4 Rd. for 2.5 miles.
  • The entrance is on the right. GPS Coordinates - X: -85.709878 Y:44.152613

General Notes:

Location - Pine National Scenic River

Nearby Recreation Areas -

  • Dobson Bridge

County - Lake

Seasonal and Other Information -

  • This site is not gated during the off season.
  • This site is not maintained in winter:
    • Access road and/or parking lot are not plowed.
    • No toilet facilities are available.




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Water Activities

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Boating - Non-Motorized

Canoeing and kayaking are the primary activities on this river, with much of the appeal being the fast water and light rapids. The Pine River has a river gradient of 7% and offers the fastest average flow of any river in lower Michigan. 

Size RestrictionsNone
Class of Rapids1 - 2
Water/Flow LevelFast
Type of CraftCanoe, Kayak, Pontoon, Raft, Driftboat


Boat ramp Wood
Parking 20 vehicle capacity - with trailers