Due to a lapse in federal funding, this USDA website will not be actively updated. Once funding has been reestablished, online operations will continue. On-going operational updates will be posted here (https://www.fs.fed.us/shutdown) as we are able to provide them.


Summer Hours for Ottawa Visitor Center Announced

Contact(s): Lisa Klaus


IRONWOOD, Mich. (MAY 10, 2018) – The Ottawa National Forest Visitor Center, located in Watersmeet, Michigan, will begin its summer operating schedule soon.  Beginning May 21, 2018, the Visitor Center is open to the public daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (CDT).

The Ottawa Visitor Center provides an excellent source of information about the local area and recreation opportunities (camping, hiking, canoeing, maps and more). Once again the Ottawa Visitor Center is hosting its Thursday Evening Summer Program series each Thursday evening May through August.  Our first Thursday evening program is May 31, at 7:00 p.m. (CDT).  “Special Plants and Special Places on the Ottawa” will be the topic of discussion, hosted by Sue Trull, Ottawa National Forest Botanist.

Also located in the Visitor Center is the “Bear’s Den” gift shop.  Operated jointly by the USDA-Forest Service and the Ottawa Interpretive Association, the “Bear’s Den” gift shop 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.  Be sure to stop by the “Bear’s Den” on your next visit.

For additional information, you may contact the Visitor Center at 906-358-4724, or visit www.fs.usda.gov/ottawa to learn more about the Ottawa National Forest and the many activities that await you on the Ottawa!

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 www.fs.usda.gov/R9.

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 www.fs.fed.us.