Blacksmith Bayou Access Site

Area Status: Open

Manistee National Recreation River

One of many bayous along the lower portion of the river, Blacksmith is an oxbow lake left from an old river channel. The river channel moves during geologic time, creating new meanders in the mile-wide river valley. The North Country Trail follows the ridge along the bayou and crosses the entrance road. This is a good area for ice fishing.

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

Current Conditions: Annual services at the site will resume for spring on April 1.
Operational Hours: Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week unless otherwise posted. Forest quiet hours apply.
Rentals & Guides: Canoe Rentals -
  • Manistee
    • Manistee Paddlesport Adventures
  • Irons
    • Enchanted Acres
Area Amenities: Boat ramp,Parking
Fees: Recreation Enhancement Act Fee - Day Use -
  • Day: $5.00
  • Week: $15.00
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).
Visit the Passes and Permits section for more information on obtaining a special use permit.
Open Season: April 1 - November 30
Usage: Light
Busiest Season: May to October
Restrictions: As a visitor to the National Forest, you are asked to follow certain rules designed to protect the Forest, natural resources and to provide for public safety of visitors. These 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: Brethren
Water: None
Restroom: Vault
Operated By: Cadillac Manistee Ranger District - (231) 577-8902
Information Center: Cadillac/Manistee Ranger Station

General Information


From Manistee -

  • Travel east on M-55 for 15 miles.
  • Turn left and travel north on High Bridge Rd. for 2 miles.
  • Turn left and travel west on Chicago Ave. for 1 mile.
  • Turn right and travel north for .5 miles to the site entrance.

General Notes:

Location - Manistee National Recreation River

Nearby Recreation Areas -

  • North Country National Scenic Trail

County -  Manistee     

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Campground Camping

No. of Sites Single: 6
Reservation Info No reservation needed.  All sites are first come, first served.

River and Stream Fishing

Fish Species Salmon, Steelhead, Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Walleye, Sucker
Special Designations National Recreation River
Fishing Mode Boat, Shore, Wade
Fishing Platform No
Water Temperature Cold
Fishing Method Fly, Pole

Ice Fishing

Fish Species Salmon, steelhead, brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, walleye, sucker
Special Designations National Recreation River
Fishing Platform No
Fishing Method Pole, Tip-up, Spearing 

Day Hiking

The portion of the North Country National Scenic Trail between Blacksmith Bayou and High Bridge, along the Manistee River, is a signed interpretive trail and is maintained in partnership with trail volunteers.



No. of Sites 1
Reservation Info No reservation needed.  All sites are first come, first served.

Boating - Motorized

Type of Craft Fishing Boats, Bass Boats, Dinghies, Electric Boats, Flat Boats, Jon Boats
Size Restrictions 0 - 25 feet
Motor Type Electric, Gas
Class of Rapids 0 - 1

Boating - Non-Motorized

Type of Craft Canoe, Kayak
Size Restrictions None
Class of Rapids 0 - 1


Parking: 24 vehicle capacity
Boat ramp: Asphalt

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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