Black River Harbor Recreation Area

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Black River Harbor

Known for its spectacular waterfalls, idyllic beaches, scenic hiking trails and tranquil campground, the Black River Harbor Recreation Area is a popular destination throughout the year. Originating in Wisconsin, the Black River flows through forested areas of large pine, hemlock and hardwood trees. The River has a series of scenic waterfalls as it drops in elevation to meet Lake Superior. Tannin (tanic acids)from hemlock trees is what gives it its unique color.

The Harbor offers one of the area's few access points to Lake Superior, with boating being a major summer time activity. The boat ramp can accommodate almost any craft trailered in. There is no launching fee. Boat fuel and snacks are available through the concessionaire. Parking for trucks and boat trailers is ample.

A historic pavillion built by the CCC is also located here.  For guidelines on use of the pavillion, see the attached document:  BRH Pavillion Guidelines.



  • Black River Harbor Map (Updated 4/25/2011) - pdf
  • Black River Harbor Waterfall Map (Updated 1/18/2017) - pdf

At a Glance

Current Conditions: May 15, 2021 - There is currently no drinking water at the campground or harbor due to problems with the water system. We hope to have them working again by next weekend (May 21) and will provide an update once the water is working again. 2021 Recreation Season:
  • The boat ramp and dock will not be open initially this season.
  • The picnic area and toilet buildings will be available to use.
  • To ensure the health and safety of employees, visitors, and partners, the Black River Harbor pavilion will be closed for the 2021 season. No reservations will be accepted.
  • The daily use fee is required or the Annual Ottawa National Forest User Pass.
Reservations: Reservations are accepted for 23 sites. Seventeen (17) first come, first served sites are also available. Reservation -
  • Reservations can be made up to 6 months in advance of visit.
  • Reservations must be made at least 3 days in advance of visit.
  • Go to: or call 1-877-444-6777 to make a reservation.
Area Amenities: Accessible,Boat ramp,Tent camping,Camping trailer,Fee charged for some activities,Picnic tables,Toilets,Drinking water,Parking
Fees Docking fees are determined by size of boat. Contact Ottawa National Forest for more information regarding fees. Day fee of $5.00, Annual Pass for $30.00
Open Season: May 14 - September 30
Usage: Light-Medium
Best Season: June-September
Busiest Season: July-September
Restrictions: Camping in a developed recreation site is allowed for a period not longer than 14 days, except as otherwise posted. After this time, you must move to another campground or dispersed site for at least 24 hours. Campers must occupy the site the first night. Eight people and 2 motorized vehicles are allowed per campsite with a maximum of one RV or camper trailer and two tents per camping site or three tents per camping site.
Closest Towns: Bessemer, Mi. is 15 miles to the south
Water: Pressurized Water System. Not potable.
Restroom: 2 sets of vault toilets in campground; 1 set of flush toilets in pavilion; 1 vault toilet in day use
Passes: Golden Age/Interagency Senior Pass and Access Passes are accepted in the campground.
Operated By: U.S. Forest Service
Information Center:
  • All day use areas, docking fee area, campground and pavilion are managed by the Ottawa National Forest. For more information or questions please contact the Bessemer Ranger District at 906-932-1330.
  • Under special use permit, the Black River Harbor Boating Club offers boat fuel for sale.  Their hours will be clearly posted on site. They also operate the boat waste water pump out system.

General Information


From Ironwood Mi., travel east on US 2 to Powderhorn Road, turn left onto Powderhorn Road and travel approximately 3 miles to CR 513, turn left onto CR 513 and travel approximately 11 miles to the Black River Harbor Recreation Area.

From Wakefield, Mi., travel west on US 2 to Powderhorn Road, turn right onto Powderhorn Road and travel approximately 3 miles to CR 513, turn left onto CR 513 and travel approximately 11 miles to the Black River Harbor Recreation Area.


Large Parking lot.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Camping & Cabins

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Scenic Driving

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Water Activities

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Picnic tables Each campsite, two overlooking Lake Superior, and 26 in day use picnic area
Drinking water Pressurized Water System
Toilets 2 sets of vault toilets in camping area; 1 set of flush toilets in the pavilion; and 1 vault toilet in the day use area.
Parking Large paved parking lot located adjacent to day use/picnic area
Boat ramp Located in Harbor
Fee charged for some activities Camping, Pavilion, and Docking
Tent camping 39 sites
Accessible Restrooms at day use area are accessible. 26 picnic tables in the day use area and 6 picnic tables in the pavilion are accessible.
Camping trailer 39 sites