Kenton Ranger District

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Office of the Kenton Ranger District

The Kenton Ranger District is the largest and oldest district on the Ottawa, dating back to 1931, when the forest had only one district. The recreation program includes a wide variety of dispersed activities including hunting, fishing, remote camping and hiking including two wildernesses, snowmobiling on numerous maintained trails, recreational driving with a variety of potential destinations including lakes, waterfalls and other scenic attractions. Developed recreation includes 7 campgrounds (3 on rivers, 4 on lakes), 2 waysides on M-28 and a CCC era organizational camp, which is used seasonally by a wide variety of organizations for outdoor education and other purposes.

The McCormick Wilderness and The Sturgeon Gorge Wilderness are located on the District.
The district is a premium spot for the outdoorsman. Whitetail deer are numerous. Black bear are common and getting more numerous. Upland game birds include ruffed grouse and woodcock. There is some local Canada geese and ducks in addition to migrants, which concentrate on local farm fields and Michigan DNR wildlife projects. Wild turkey hunting is also available with a two-hour drive. Fishing includes brook, rainbow and German brown trout, Chinook and Coho salmon, walleye, large and small mouth bass, northern pike, musky and numerous species of pan fish. The area is also home to a wide variety of other wildlife including moose, gray (timber) wolves, fisher, pine marten, bald eagles, osprey, loons, river otter, bobcat, mink, beaver and many more. Sightings of bald eagle are common occurrences with local population being among the highest in the Midwest along with numerous nesting sites. In general, it is a good place if you enjoy clean air, water, outdoor experiences and nature.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Office is open Monday-Friday(Except Federal Holidays) 8am - 4pm
Rentals & Guides:
Permit Info: Firewood, Boughs, and Christmas Tree permits can be obtained at this location
Open Season: January - December
Usage: Light-Medium
Closest Towns: Kenton, Michigan
Passes: Interagency Recrection Passes are available at this location
Operated By: Ottawa National Forest
Information Center:

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Camping & Cabins

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Day Hiking

We have some great short hiking trails that provide everyone with enjoyment and challenge.  Most of our trails lead to a waterfalls or overlook. 

Areas for Day Hiking at Kenton Ranger District


The Kenton Ranger District offers a wide range of Backpacking opportunities.  From walking the North Country Trail from the districts eastern to western boundries or exploring the Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness there is something for everyone. 

Status: Open

Areas for Backpacking at Kenton Ranger District

Nature Viewing

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Outdoor Learning

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Water Activities

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