Manistee River Trail
The Manistee River Trail follows the east shore of the Manistee River for 8.8 miles through rolling hills. The trail traverses past several wetlands and there are bridges crossing two creeks. A waterfall near the northern end of the trail is very popular with many hikers. The Manistee River Trail/North Country National Scenic Trail connector is also the site of the largest wooden suspension bridge in Lower Michigan. Several observation sites along the trail provide hikers with vista views of the Manistee River and surrounding area. There are several dispersed campsites along the trail.
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 River Road Trailheads for the North Country National Scenic Trail and the Red Bridge and Seaton Creek accesses for the Manistee River Trail.
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.|
|Fees:||Recreation Enhancement Act Fee - Day Use -
|Permit Info:||Special Use Permit -
|Best Season:||January 1 to December 31|
|Busiest Season:||May to October|
|Closest Towns:||Brethren, Mesick|
|Operated By:||Cadillac/Manistee Ranger District - 231-577-8902|
|Information Center:||Cadillac/Manistee Ranger Station|
General InformationGeneral Notes:
Location - Manistee River, Manistee River Trail
Nearby Recreation Areas -
- North Country National Scenic Trail
- Upper Branch Trailhead
- Marilla Trailhead
Trailheads - Seaton Creek, Red Bridge
Campgrounds - Seaton Creek, Manistee River Primitive Camping - 43 sites - Red Bridge
County - Manistee
Trail to what was once the Waterfalls -
From Mesick -
- Travel south on M-37 for 4.5 miles.
- Turn right and travel west on 26 Mile Rd. for 3 miles.
- At the fork veer right.
- Turn right and travel north on FR 5993 until you pass Seaton Creek Campground.
- At the dam turn left onto the seasonal road for .6 miles.
- Turn right and drive to the gate.
There is limited parking at the gate. From the gate visitors will need to walk until they reach the Manistee River. Follow the trail to the left, past camping spot #4. Go over the 3 walking bridges. At the third walking bridge you will find what used to be the waterfalls.
Map showing recreational areas. Map Information
Campground CampingRecreation areas with activity Campground Camping:
Seaton Creek Campground: Seaton Creek Campground is adjacent to Seaton Creek at the upper end of the backwater of Hodenpyl Dam Pond on the Manistee River.
There are 43 primitive campsites along the trail. They are designated by numbered carsonite posts.
Group CampingRecreation areas with activity Group Camping:
River and Stream FishingRecreation areas with activity River and Stream Fishing:
|Fishing Mode||Shore, Wade|
|Fish Species||Salmon, Steelhead, Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Walleye, Sucker|
|Fishing Method||Fly, Pole|
Day HikingRecreation areas with activity Day Hiking:
BackpackingRecreation areas with activity Backpacking:
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.
XC Skiing/SnowshoeingRecreation areas with activity XC Skiing/Snowshoeing:
The trail is not groomed in winter. Seaton Creek is closed and gated, however the trailhead at Red Bridge is open in winter.
|Base Conditions||Not Groomed|