Manistee National Recreation River

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Manistee National Recreation River

The Manistee River between Tippy Dam and the M-55 Bridge was designated as a National Recreational River in 1996. The river is wide and characterized by steep banks and sharp bends, with a swift current and mostly slow, wide bends.

The river corridor supports a wide variety of recreational activities throughout the year, including hiking on the North Country National Scenic Trail and Manistee River Trail.

In the fall, hunters come from all over to take advantage of the abundant white-tailed deer, waterfowl and small game hunting available along the river.

Anglers are lured by the annual salmon and steelhead runs, as well as brown trout, smallmouth bass and walleye.  However, salmon season is particularly busy on the river.

Backwater bayous, extensive riparian areas and mature forest communities provide habitat for a diverse number of wildlife species.  The lower Manistee River is considered to be the most extensive and least disturbed remnant of true red-shouldered hawk habitat in the state.

Brochure with map:

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.


Flickr Photo Albums

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week unless otherwise posted.
Rentals & Guides: Canoe Rentals -
  • Manistee
    • Manistee Paddlesport Adventures
  • Irons
    • Enchanted Acres
Fees Recreation Enhancement Act Fee - Day Use -
  • Bear Creek
  • Blacksmith Bayou
  • High Bridge Access Site
  • Rainbow Bend Access Site
  • Sawdust Hole River Access
Permit Info: 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
Restrictions: Manistee River Corridor Camping -
  • No camping within a 1/4 mile of the river, except at designated campgrounds and sites.
The following rules are available to you on-line or at any office of the Huron-Manistee National Forests. Please take time to read and understand them. General Topic orders apply across the Forests. Applicable Orders -
  • Motorized Vehicle Use of Roads, Trails and Off-road Areas; R904-14-02
  • Occupancy and Use - Developed Recreation Areas, Dispersed Areas, Being Publicly Nude, Marine Prohibitions, Parking and Sanitation; R904-14-03
Closest Towns: Wellston, Manistee, Mesick, Brethren
Operated By: Cadillac Manistee Ranger District - (231) 577-8902
Information Center:

General Information

General Notes:

County - Manistee

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Camping & Cabins

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Other Activities

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Water Activities

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