About the Forest

Christmas Range Lights overlooking the waterInspiring Unforgettable Experiences and Sustaining Ecosystems and Livelihoods

With one hundred miles of shoreline on three Great Lakes, the Hiawatha in Michigan's Upper Peninsula is uniquely positioned to provide visitors with a range of nationally distinct recreation opportunities. We know what makes us special and we're ready to share it with you!

Welcome to the Hiawatha National Forest! We're glad you're interested in learning more about your "Great Lakes National Forest".  Check out the Features on this page to learn more!

How We're Organized

Our Ranger Districts: Unique Parts of a Unique Whole

In addition to the Supervisor's Office located in Gladstone, the Hiawatha National Forest operates five Ranger District Offices in the central and eastern Upper Peninsula.  While the individual Districts have many things in common (such as influence from one or more of the nearby Great Lakes), they are also uniquely different.

Manistique and Rapid River Ranger Districts 

Operated as one unit, the Rapid River/Manistique Ranger District is situated in the south central part of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The District's proximity to Lake Michigan is an important influence particularly noticable in places like Peninsula Point Lighthouse and Little Bay de Noc Campground.  Other key water features on the District include three Wild & Scenic Rivers near Rapid River and the numerous inland lakes concentrated north of Manistique.  Also notable is the extensive jackpine habitat found on the district, including the Stonington Peninsula, providing habitat for the Kirtland's Warbler.

Munising Ranger District Office

Located in the north central area of the Upper Peninsula, the Munising Ranger District covers the area north of the east-west "mid-rib" of the peninsula, pausing at the Lake Superior shoreline, and jumping the water to Grand Island National Recreation Area, located just offshore of Munising.  Lake Superior's beauty and lake effect snow both influence the District's character and attract many visitors.  The District also includes two Congressionally designated Wildernesses.

St Ignace and Sault Ste Marie Ranger Districts  

Operated as one unit in the eastern Upper Peninsula, the Forest lies adjacent to three of the Great Lakes. Visitors exploring the Lake Superior shoreline will especially enjoy the Whitefish Bay Scenic Byway, including Point Iroquois Lighthouse. Lake Michigan's beaches and dunes provide habitats for unique plants and animals, while visitors enjoy the beauty of Lake Michigan Campground. Along Lake Huron, Forest visitors find the pristine Horseshoe Bay Wilderness, one of four Wildernesses on the east side of the Forest. Every year, thousands of visitors to Mackinaw Island pass by the scenic Round Island which lies between Lakes Huron and Michigan and upon which sits the Round Island Lighthouse. 

About the Surrounding Area

Local Tourism Promotion Agencies

The following are links to local tourism organizations outside of the Forest Service, but serving communities in and around the Hiawatha National Forest.  Their web pages may offer community information helpful to planning your trip.

Michigan Travel Information


Your Great Lakes National Forest

Forest Service Shield

As one of 155 Forest Service units charged with carrying out the agency's mission, Hiawatha National Forest manages a wide portfolio of uses that provide far-reaching benefits for the American public and the Nation's natural resources.  This series of feature stories highlights the various contributions of the Forest to local communities, the economy and the environment.  Click here for more...

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Points of Pride and Forest Facts

Lying adjacent to three Great Lakes makes the Hiawatha special -- abundantly unique habitats for wildlife, plant species, recreation opportunities, and outstanding visuals, wildlife viewing, and scenic vegetation.  Click on above title for full article.

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