Red Bridge River Access Site

Area Status: Open

Manistee National Recreation River

The name comes from an old wooden and steel bridge, painted red, that was located at the site. Now there is a modern cement structure. This site provides access to the Manistee River Trail. There is designated parking for vehicles with boat trailers at Red Bridge. There is also parking available at Upper River Road Trailhead for hikers.

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. Forest quiet hours apply.
Reservations: Reservations can be made by visiting or call 1-877-6777. Search for "Upper Manistee River Backwater Sites"
Rentals & Guides: Canoe Rentals -
  • Manistee
    • Manistee Paddlesport Adventures
  • Irons
    • Enchanted Acres
Area Amenities: Boat ramp,Parking
Fees: No Fee
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: Heavy
Best Season: January 1 to December 31
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: Drinking Water
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 6 miles.
  • Turn right and travel east on Coates Hwy. for 8 miles.

General Notes:

Location - Manistee National Recreation River, Manistee River Trail

Nearby Recreation Areas -

  • North Country National Scenic Trail
    • Marilla Trailhead

County - Manistee

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Campground Camping

No. of Sites Single: 4
Reservation Info Reservations can be made by visiting or call 1-877-6777. Search for "Upper Manistee River Backwater Sites"
  • One time reservation fee.
  • Reservations can be made up to 6 months in advance of visit.
  • Reservations must be made at least 3 days in advance of visit.
Reservation required?: Y

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

Day Hiking


A 23-mile loop trail is formed with the Manistee River Trail along the Manistee River.  The loop trail can be accessed from the Marilla and Upper Branch Trailheads for the North Country National Scenic Trail and the Red Bridge and Seaton Creek accesses for the Manistee River Trail.


No. of Sites 4
Reservation Info No reservation needed.  All sites are first come, first served.
Sleeping Shelter No

Boating - Motorized

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

Boating - Non-Motorized

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


Parking: 25 vehicle capacity - with trailers
Boat ramp: Concrete

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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