Majestic peaks rise in all directions in Washington's Boulder River Wilderness -- elegant, jagged, draped in snow. However, the site is close to the main trail and offers no privacy. Then a suspension footbridge opened in 1996, connecting the newly completed Manistee River Trail across the river to the NCT. Burton's Landing Boat Launch. Blacksmith Bayou Boat Launch. 4A – Approaching campsite 4A the trail opens up and you get a good view of the river. I did that trail 2 years ago with some buddies it is a great trail. A 1.5 mile trail connects the campground to the North Country National Scenic Trail. Water Body: Lake Michigan. 8C – Although not right on the river this site is only a few hundred feet off of the main trail and has a great view of the river. Big River- Little River. You’d think I’d learn to slow the pace a bit but every time […] WALK SOFTLY: Rangers ask that you camp at least 200 feet from the river unless you're at a designated campsite. Big Manistee River River Description: The Big Manistee River is a 190 mile river running through 4 Michigan Counties. approximately 50 feet south of the bridge and walk approximately 100 feet westward to the creek for easy access. The trail is limited to foot traffic only. Tippy to High Bridge has the most fish with bright silver fish showing up daily. I would like to go on labor day weekend but I am wondering if the trail would be packed with people then. It's heralded with a confusing wooden sign reading "North Country Trail." Just as our exhausted heads hit the pillow someone from the Seaton Creek Campground cranked up their radio. 1B – This site is off the main trail in a wide open space, but there is little to no privacy. Very good fishing, canoeing & kayaking and hiking. Water Body: Lake Michigan. Little Manistee River. 7C & 7B – Sitting high above the river on a cliff, this site’s fire pit is close to the edge making for a great view of the river. Rushing to beat the storm and outrun the swarm of gnats trailing behind us, we noticed that the road was surprisingly quiet for a weekend. The only redeeming song in their disgusting repertoire was “Sweet Home Alabama.” Most people come out here for serenity so please be courteous if you bring a radio. 8. Water Courses: Bear Creek. The Manistee River Trail crosses Number One Road about 100 yards south of Hodenpyl Dam parking. After 5 miles, turn left on Coates Highway, … It has a large open area with trees, plenty of flat clear space for multiple tents, and offers a great view of the river. Both were gorgeous and would have been perfect places to watch the sun set over the Manistee river. When you find out you have an extra six miles to make up it’s a relief to know you don’t have an extra 10 lbs. Sunny beaches, cool forests, and a birder's paradise along the shores of Lake Michigan. You’ll discover several nice campsites and panaramic views of the river all along the way. Pine River. Let us know how it goes and please suggest any additions you think would be beneficial. There are no campgrounds or designated campsites along Bear Creek on National Forest Service system lands. © 2021 Pocket Outdoor Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. A few things to note: 1. Eat Well. The hike begins through trees and some rolling hills and you are soon rewarded with incredible views of the Manistee River. 7A – My favorite site of the 7 series by far, this site is so far off the main trail that you can’t even see the campsite from the trail. Detailed guides and maps are also available through the North Country Trail Association. Enjoys exploring the world through ultralight travel, outdoor adventures, and great vegetarian cuisine. North Country Trail. The North Country Trail system is no stranger to gushing praise. Two trails, same river, two different worlds. I laughed at his confidence while reflecting on how grateful I was to find this wild preserved place. The Route: We started the Manistee River Trail Loop from the southern end at Red Bridge River Access, then crossed the suspension bridge near the Seaton Creek Campground. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. Visitors also can request a printed guide through the website or by calling the visitors bureau at 877.626.4783. This is where the directions to hook onto the North Country Trail get confusing…. Bear Creek at 16 mm. https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/hmnf/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=18710&actid=51. You will see white paint head high on the tree trunks and plastic blue diamond trail markers. Burton's Landing Boat Launch. Although the water is cold and fresh the mosquitoes are thick and vicious! Casey Jones Park Boat Launch. Spring and fall midweek hikers will find absolute solitude. I backpacked the Manistee River Trail in May 2019 with my boyfriend. QUICK TAKE: Manistee River Loop, Michigan. Follow MI 55 west for 20 miles, then turn right on Warfield Road. I could also agree that we fell on good fortune to sight sandhill cranes, as due to shooting and habitat loss in the 1800’s, they were once reduced to near extinction. You can hike this trail from start-to-end if you have a group with multiple vehicles. 4C – Not visible from the main trail, this site is a great spot for privacy right on the beautiful Slagle Creek. You’re welcome Dan! Right on the river, this site is off the main trail in a grove of trees offering shade, privacy and lots of flat clear space for multiple tents. Archived. easy access on north end of bridge on the east side, West Michigan Creek at 17.2 mm and could not find a name for this Creek, but it flows out of Woodland lake at 17.9 mm. That being said, after hiking for nearly 11 miles with no rest or food breaks, I just wanted to find a place to camp for the night…no matter how light my pack. I made a mental note that the Manistee River would make a stunning fall kayak camping trip. QUICK TAKE: Manistee River Loop, Michigan. This is also a great place to stop and refill your water as the trail starts to climb away from the river and the next water source is Cedar Creek where the mosquitoes would love for you to stop and fill up. I was however congratulating myself on our ultralight gear and packs. It is in a nice grove of trees and there is plenty of flat clear space for multiple tents. The trail is part of the North Country Trail (NCT) so it is well marked with signs leading the way. The diamond blazes keep hikers on track and footbridges keep boots dry. Break the long Michigan winter with a lengthy hike on Michigan's Riding and Hiking Trail. It was my first time backpacking more than a few miles and overall was a fantastic experience. Shore To Shore Trail - South Spur. to haul! I hit the backpacking jackpot this summer when I discovered the Manistee River Trail Loop in the Huron-Manistee National Forest. Once we found the trail we were pleasantly surprised by the caliber of scenery, camp sites, and trail markers. Take the Manistee River Trail back to Seaton Creek Campground to complete the loop. Clean and full bellied, we fell into our bags, more than ready for a long night’s sleep. Good job. My eye caught movement in the water, and as I focused in I saw a fat beaver! Blacksmith Bayou Boat Launch. Little Manistee River. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Unfortunately, the crane and his family of five were not as happy to see us, and took off into the sunset while trumpeting their loud dissatisfaction at having their campsite usurped. When we get enough of the white stuff to start making smooth trails, the volunteer grooming community of over 250+ volunteers strong make their way out into the cold in Northern Michigan to keep this elaborate trail network in peak condition. Happy Hiking! After a time, we left the North Country Trail and took an auxiliary trail that would bring us down to Red Bridge and connect us with the Manistee River Trail on the other side of the river. Back on the Manistee River Loop! Water sources – The Manistee river is unlikely to freeze, providing you with an open water source along the MRT side of the trail. Come experience the world through humorous misadventures, travel tips & tricks, great vegetarian food, gear reviews and more! 7B is just down the trail from site 7C, and is very similar to 7C. Because it sits up so high on the cliff, there is no easy river access. Copyright © 2021 Bustling Abroad. Fishing is a popular activity for this area. Completely worn out and starving (maybe even a tad bit grumpy), we were relieved we hadn’t stopped because it started raining right as we got to the car! Get your sleds and come up to Manistee … Japanese also refer to them as “the bird of happiness,” and I had to agree that sighting these birds made me happy! I couldn’t get over how many colorful mushrooms, fungi and uniquely shaped ferns grew along the trail! 5. 2C – Set off the main trail along a beautiful cold creek, this campsite is pretty but is also heavily shaded and a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Bear Creek Boat Launch. Take the Manistee River Trail back to Seaton Creek Campground to complete the loop. Wow, thank you so much for the breakdown of each campsite!! The hike begins through trees and some rolling hills and you are soon rewarded with incredible views of the Manistee River. If you go left here, following the sign that says “North Country Trail,” it eventually puts you back on the road again. Be warned! Many of the most scenic and accessible stretches of river may be found in the Cadillac and Manistee Areas. Thanks! However, the road to Seaton Creek Campground trailhead may be impassable, especially in winter. Mid-Mchigan. The Manistee River in the U.S. state of Michigan, runs 190 miles (310 km) through the northwestern Lower Peninsula; it now passes through the contemporary villages of Sharon, Smithville, and Mesick, entering Lake Michigan at Manistee.It is considered, like the nearby Au Sable River, to be one of the best trout fisheries east of the Rockies.. Feel free to spread the words or share this with your friends or family and happy travels . Returning to camp I woke my groggy husband and made a gourmet backpacker’s breakfast before packing up and continuing our trek north along the eastern side of the Manistee River. Thanks for the info! It is the last campsite before coming to the suspension bridge. I think you’ll enjoy exploring such a great backpacking location that doesn’t require driving to the Upper Peninsula! ... Black bears are rare along this trail, but have been reported. All Rights Reserved. Just follow the road to the left until you come to where the North Country Trail crosses the road. Milkweed grows in abundance here, attracting Monarch butterflies and colorful chubby caterpillars. 8B – Approaching site 8B it was immediately one of my favorites. I would highly recommend the Manistee River Trail even if you are looking for is a 2-mile hike as opposed to 20-mile. For both addresses, see below. 1C – Set off the trail, this site is right on the river but is rather small. It is nicely shaded though, and is a good site if you don’t mind foot traffic. Visit Manistee County is offering a free, 42-page Winter Trails Guide online. Wildlife viewing may include encounters with a variety of species such as bald eagles, loons, trumpeter swans, black bears, white tailed deer, river otters, and turtles. DRIVE TIME: The Manistee River Trail is located in Michigan's Lower Peninsula, about 270 miles (5 hours) northwest of Detroit, and 300 miles (51/2 hours) northeast of Chicago. Overnight on the Sleeping Bear Dunes. The Manistee River Little Mac suspension bridge is a 245 foot long foot traffic bridge that is really something to see on the Manistee River Trail. THE WAY: From Grand Rapids, take US 131 north to Cadillac. Does anyone have any experience with this trail? However, next time we’ll take the trail. The result is a weekend-size, 20-mile loop that offers some of the best views and most varied hiking in the Lower Peninsula. This area is known for fall colors, and deer season is best avoided. The trail is part of the North Country Trail (NCT) so it is well marked with signs leading the way. 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