Black River Harbor Recreation Area

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Black River Harbor

Known for its spectacular waterfalls, idyllic beaches, scenic hiking trails and tranquil campground, the Black River Harblor Recreation Area is a popular destination throughout the year. Originating in Wisconsin, the Black River flows through forested areas of large pine, hemlock and hardwood trees. The River has a series of scenic waterfalls as it drops in elevation to meet Lake Superior. Tannin (tanic acids)from hemlock trees is what gives it its unique color.

The Harbor offers one of the area's few access points to Lake Superior, with boating being a major summer time activity. The boat ramp can accommodate almost any craft trailered in. There is no launching fee. Boat fuel and snacks are available through the concessionaire. Parking for trucks and boat trailers is ample.

A historic pavillion built by the CCC is also located here.  For guidelines on use of the pavillion, see the attached document:  BRH Pavillion Guidelines.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Work will be continuing at the Black River Harbor this year to improve facilities and resources for the public’s enjoyment.  Please be aware of the following:
  • The Black River Harbor Campground will open on Friday, July 1, 2016.  No water will be available, please plan accordingly.  There are vault toilets available in the campground. 
  • The docks, concession stand, and day use area will be open for the 2016 recreation season. 
  • The water and wastewater renovation project is underway and expected to be completed mid-summer 2016.  Once the project is complete, potable water will be restored to the campground and day use area.
  • The pavilion is currently closed as renovations and improvements are underway on this historic structure.  The pavilion will be open once work has been completed.
Please check back frequently for project updates and status of facilities. We thank you for your patience and support as we complete this much needed work at the Black River Harbor area.
Reservations: None
Area Amenities: Accessible,Boat ramp,Tent camping,Camping trailer,Fee charged for some activities,Picnic tables,Toilets,Drinking water,Parking
Fees Docking fees are determined by size of boat. Contact Ottawa National Forest for more information regarding fees.
Open Season: May
Usage: Light-Medium
Best Season: June-September
Busiest Season: July-September
Restrictions: Camping in a developed recreation site is allowed for a period not longer than 14 days, except as otherwise posted. After this time, you must move to another campground or dispersed site for at least 24 hours. Campers must occupy the site the first night. Eight people and 2 motorized vehicles are allowed per campsite with a maximum of one RV or camper trailer and two tents per camping site or three tents per camping site.
Closest Towns: Bessemer, Mi. is 15 miles to the south
Water: Pressurized Water System. Not potable.
Restroom: 2 sets of vault toilets in campground; 1 set of flush toilets in pavilion; 1 vault toilet in day use
Passes: Golden Age/Interagency Senior Pass and Access Passes are accepted in the campground.
Operated By: Campground is operated by Clark Campground Concessions under special use permit, 218-310-1954.
Information Center: The day use area is managed by the Ottawa National Forest. For more information or questions please contact the Bessemer Ranger District at 906-932-1330. Campground, pavillion, and concession stand are operated by Clark Campground Concessions under special use permit, 218-310-1954.

General Information


From Ironwood Mi., travel east on US 2 to Powderhorn Road, turn left onto Powderhorn Road and travel approximately 3 miles to CR 513, turn left onto CR 513 and travel approximately 11 miles to the Black River Harbor Recreation Area.

From Wakefield, Mi., travel west on US 2 to Powderhorn Road, turn right onto Powderhorn Road and travel approximately 3 miles to CR 513, turn left onto CR 513 and travel approximately 11 miles to the Black River Harbor Recreation Area.


Large Parking lot.

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Camping & Cabins

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Scenic Driving

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Water Activities

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Boat ramp Located in Harbor
Camping trailer 39 sites
Toilets 2 sets of vault toilets in camping area; 1 set of flush toilets in the pavilion; and 1 vault toilet in the day use area.
Accessible Restrooms at day use area are accessible. 26 picnic tables in the day use area and 6 picnic tables in the pavilion are accessible.
Picnic tables Each campsite, two overlooking Lake Superior, and 26 in day use picnic area
Fee charged for some activities Camping, Pavilion, and Docking
Parking Large paved parking lot located adjacent to day use/picnic area
Tent camping 39 sites
Drinking water Pressurized Water System