Winter Hours for Ottawa Visitor Center Announced

Release Date: Sep 14, 2017   Ironwood, MI

Contact(s): Lisa Klaus


WATERSMEET, Mich. (SEPTEMBER 14, 2017) – The Ottawa National Forest Visitor Center, located in Watersmeet, Michigan, will begin its winter operating schedule soon. Beginning October 2, 2017, the Ottawa Visitor Center is open to the public Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (CDT).  The Ottawa Visitor Center will not be open on Saturday, September 30th or Sunday, October 1st, 2017.

The Ottawa Visitor Center provides an excellent source of information about the local area and recreation opportunities (snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, maps and more). The facility is packed with interpretive exhibits and animal mounts explaining the Forest’s natural and cultural history.  We also offer over 125 nature related films that are very educational and geared toward all ages.  Visitors are able to view these films in a comfortable auditorium upon request.  Also available at this location are forest product permits (firewood, Christmas tree, bough, and more) and Interagency Passes.  Please call ahead for availability of passes and permits. 

Operated jointly by the USDA Forest Service and the Ottawa Interpretive Association, the “Bear’s Den” gift shop located in the Visitor Center, offers many environmental books, unique gifts and other nature-related items for purchase. Proceeds from these sales, after expenses, go back to the Ottawa National Forest in the form of grants for interpretive projects around the Ottawa.  Be sure to stop by the “Bear’s Den” on your next visit. 

The U.S. Forest Service is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a mission of sustaining the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The Forest Service’s Eastern Region includes 20 states in the Midwest and East, stretching from Maine, to Maryland, to Missouri, to Minnesota.  There are 17 national forests and one national tallgrass prairie in the Eastern Region. For more information, visit

The U.S. Forest Service manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live. For more information, visit