Manistee River

Area Status: Open
This area is Open
 

Manistee National Recreation RiverThe Manistee River, from Tippy Dam to the M-55 Bridge, is a designated National Recreation River.  There are several river access sites, day use areas and campgrounds located along this section of river.  During the summer the river is popular with canoers and kayakers, while during the fall salmon season, sites such as Suicide Bend and Sawdust Hole are popular with anglers.

The section north of Tippy Dam, up to Hodenpyl Dam Pond, is bordered on either side by the Manistee River Trail and the North Country National Scenic Trail.  This area is also within the Manistee River Semi-Primitive Nonmotorized Area, a 7,900 acre area of the Forest.

 

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

Reservations: No reservations are needed for this river.
Rentals & Guides: Manistee:
  • Manistee Paddlesport Adventures
Irons
  • Enchanted Acres
Wellston
  • Pine Creek Livery
Area Amenities: Accessible,Boat ramp,Tent camping,Camping trailer,Fee charged for some activities,Picnic tables,Toilets,Drinking water,Parking
Fees Recreation Enhancement Act Fee - Day Use -
  • Sawdust Hole
  • High Bridge
  • Blacksmith Bayou
  • Udell Rollways
  • Bear Creek
  • Rainbow Bend
  • Seaton Creek Campground
Camping -
  • Seaton Creek Campground
Permit Info: No watercraft permit is required on this river.
Restrictions: 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: Manistee, Irons, Wellston, Brethren, Mesick
Water: Yes
Restroom: Yes
Operated By: Cadillac/Manistee Ranger Station (231) 577-8902
Information Center:

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities


Camping & Cabins

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Fishing

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Hiking

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Day Hiking

The 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.
 

North Country National Scenic 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 Branch Trailheads for the North Country National Scenic Trail and the Red Bridge and Seaton Creek accesses for the Manistee River Trail.  This hike can also be done as a one-day hike by only walking one side of the river. 

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

The North Country National Scenic Trail also passes below and west of Sawdust Hole. 

Bear Creek -

A short, 1/4 mile walk is located along Bear Creek at the Bear Creek River Access Site for those wanting a quick stretch of the legs. 

Manistee River Special Area-

For those wishing to hike without trails, the 7,900 acre area will provide that opportunity. 

Areas for Day Hiking at Manistee River

Backpacking

The 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.
 

North Country National Scenic 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 Branch Trailheads for the North Country National Scenic Trail and the Red Bridge and Seaton Creek accesses for the Manistee River Trail.

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

The North Country National Scenic Trail also passes below and west of Sawdust Hole. 

Bear Creek -

A short, 1/4 mile walk is located along Bear Creek at the Bear Creek River Access Site for those wanting a quick stretch of the legs. 

Manistee River Special Area-

For those wishing to hike without trails, the 7,900 acre area will provide that opportunity. 

Areas for Backpacking at Manistee River


Other Activities

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Picnicking

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Water Activities

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Winter Sports

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Amenities

Picnic tables All
Drinking water Red Bridge, Seaton Creek
Toilets All
Parking All
Boat ramp Blacksmith Bayou, Red Bridge, High Bridge, Bear Creek
Fee charged for some activities See Fee Description
Tent camping Government Landing, Red Bridge, Sawdust Hole, Seaton Creek, Manistee River Primitive Campsites
Accessible Rainbow Bend, High Bridge
Camping trailer Seation Creek Campground


https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/hmnf/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=25812&actid=50