manistee river hiking loop

I would highly recommend the Manistee River Trail even if you are looking for is a 2-mile hike as opposed to 20-mile. The NCT side did not offer much grace in the way of flat terrain between elevation differences. River views were amazing and plenty of spots to filter water. Here’s the link to the map: https://www.visitmanisteecounty.com/project/manistee-river-trail Use the GPS coordinates in Google maps for turn-by-turn directions. First Solo Overnight: Hiking the Manistee River Loop. By far the most technical trail I've ever ran, did 10 miles from the suspension bridge south out and back. First, when you say “If you are starting out in the evening, get to the NCT overlook and set up camp.”, where is that? If you are starting your hike in the morning or early afternoon, putting in a long hike the first day will be rewarded as you will certainly want to sightsee the second and third day when you are on the Manistee River Trail (where the views and natural terrain are spectacular). Beautiful fall day, lovely trail but crowded on the river side. Another great section of trail is about 6 miles south from Seaton Creek at the end of Slagle Creek Road. As you make your way back to the Upper River Trailhead and pack up the car, your entire ride home will inevitably be spent talking about your weekend hiking trip on one of the most spectacular hiking trails in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Day two we made it just south of the Slagle Creek Parking Area on the Manistee River Trail side (near mile marker 7) for night 2. Bugs not bad at all. Second, it does not look like there are any water sources on the North Country side of the trail except for Eddington Creek. FIFTH FALLS AND SUPERIOR HIKING TRAIL LOOP Distance: 4.8km Duration: 1-2 hours Difficulty: Easy More info. Big cliff overlook. Click on the trail map link for parking locations noted by P$. Any recommendations for a non-overnight hike? HI, I did this loop last year and loved it. The Manistee River is an incredibly special place with some steep climbing, gorgeous trees, and a river running through it. We made camp for the night just south of Slagle Creek. As you strap on your pack and set off on your hike, head out on the North Country Trail for your first leg. What is the best trail for a family with little kids or what is a good pace to visit? Sorry I missed this comment a while back. While the Manistee River Trail is extremely busy the NCT portion is very lightly traveled. Be sure to pack water as it is quite the hike up, down, and around the ravines. You'll more than likely set up camp with a couple neighbors unless you want to be a loner. Thinking of there instead of parking at Seatons Creek. With the red bridge out, we have another concern but I hear there may be a LYFT option coming about after Memorial Day. I am looking for rules and regulations on any permits I might need, and which part of the trail/s would be good for us. We need to see it again. It is almost always busy on the Manistee River Trail side, campsites are often doubled or even tripled up. Once you are on the MRT you will quickly see the famed suspension bridge which crosses to the east bank of the Manistee River. In 20.8 miles we only saw 4 people. down in a pine grove and up a hill from a river. This is perfect for a first-time hiker – I was the contributing writer on this piece. Hiking trails make perfect snowshoeing destinations, whether along Lake Michigan at Arcadia Dunes/Old Baldy Trailhead or Magoon Creek Nature Area, or inland on the North Country Trail and Manistee River Trail Loop. Once you cross the bridge, you should consider continuing east towards Seaton Creek Campground. #RespectOurRivers #LeaveNoTrace. Do you know if we can you park and get right on the trail from there or will we need to hike in a bit to get to the trail from where we park? There are many great spots to stop and the terrain has areas that are challenging in terms of elevation changes, but you will have areas of flat, easier terrain, to relax on and just enjoy the awesome views. The views were spectacular. Are any of the campsites down close to the river? Enjoy! The views are breathtaking and the morning light radiates across the terrain assuring you that you are encircled by the natural landscape of Manistee County. The scenery is different on the way back, and it’s a fair bit shorter than hopping on the NCT for the full loop (18ish miles as opposed to 24, almost a marathon!) Looking to do a day hike out from Seaton Creek. Would you consider this a good first-time backpacking trip for those of us (me) with no experience? I’m looking for an easy night out so I can take my 4 year old with my wife and I. The forecast looks great, can’t wait to get on the trail!! Is there a place to park a car overnight on the East side of Red Bridge? Is there a problem with bow hunters near the trails? Tippy Dam Recreation Area is still closed. Pretty cool spot, access to water, Great overlook, good view of the sunset, need to go down the ravine to get water though, 2 Right near the water, one out in the grassy open & flat area near the water & 1c near the water but with trees, Nice overlook with a couple trees from hammock camping, Fire pit and space in the woods, also Meadow along river, Beautiful view of island. I did it last year but he is new to backpacking. Do I need reservations to tent camp along the trail or can I ENO / tent anywhere? Going back in the spring of 2017. We did this exact trip I outlined here. the Manistee River runs wild from Hodenpyl Dam to Red Bridge (Coates Hwy) through Manistee National Forest, offering some of the most spectacular hiking, backpacking, paddling and mountain biking in Michigan’s lower peninsula. Thank you for posting this article, I find it very helpful. After passing the Marilla trail junction you start heading to the MRT and finally get to see the Manistee River after about 9 miles of hiking in ravines. Thanks for the insight on what to expect! My daughter did just that Labor Day. A great trail that is well worth a drive anywhere that you live in Michigan. Can’t wait to do it again! We are thinking of hiking the last weekend of October. I was surprised by the ups and downs on the NCT portion of the loop. Planning on hiking/backpacking here this month- where are dogs allowed to hike and what campsites can we have them? Saw at least 12-15 groups of people. From this lot there is a trail that heads north and shortly hits the connecting trail between the NCT and the MRT. They can be reach at 231.723.2211 Monday-Friday 9am-4pm. A 23-mile loop trail is formed with the Manistee River Trail along the Manistee River. We are looking for a hike that would have beautiful scenery as well as a lot of potential to see wildlife. by Brandon Jensen | Feb 18, 2016 | Fall, Outdoors, Spring, Summer, Trails, Winter, Winter Trails & Slopes | 58 comments. Nestled in the Manistee National Forest you will find hundreds of miles of marked trails for those who love to hike, bike, or in the winter, cross country ski and snowshoe. Good to hear!! The Manistee River Water Trail begins at the river access site on the west side of Hodenpyl Dam on Hodenpyl Dam Road. The crowd had thinned out tremendously by Sunday midday and we saw very few people as we finished around 3pm. All Rights Reserved | Manistee County Visitors Bureau : 310 First Street, Manistee, MI : (877) 626-4783 | Powered by RSDG. Have a great time along the trail! Unfortunately we can’t recommend wading through the river near Red Bridge because of its strong current. We recommend you begin your adventure at Red Bridge along the southern most point on the Manistee River Trail and tackle the North Country Trail during your first day as this is one of the more challenging segments. With many access points to the trails, starting out at the Upper River Trailhead just off of Coates Highway is a great spot to begin. Header photo by Eric Moll It’s a pretty easy one-day hike, maybe 6 hours. Busy trail overall, it must be PACKED in summer! Another option would be Lake Bluff Bird Sanctuary and Orchard Beach State Park trails. The views are absolutely spectacular and you will frequently see fishing boats, canoes, kayaks and tubes meandering down the river. Some of them can be found on our calendar, or you can explore the conservancy at http://www.gtrlc.org/recreation-events/events and the North Country Trail at https://northcountrytrail.org/volunteers/local-contacts/spirit-of-the-woods-chapter. Where on the map is the NCT Overlook? Which trail should you choose for your weekend adventure? Google search of this trails returns references to 20 miles trail loop, made up of North Country Trail and Manistee River Trail. It is nestled in the Manistee National Forest between the small towns of Brethren and Mesick. Are we able to complete the trail still? thanks! Yes, the Manistee River Trail can be done as an overnight. A 23-mile loop can be formed with the North Country National Scenic Trail. The waterfall site 2 miles south of the suspension bridge is great. Park at the High Rollway Observation Deck in Kingsley. Once in a while you'll see a mountain biker. Get your Manistee River Trail map here: https://www.visitmanisteecounty.com/project/manistee-river-trail. It is typically less crowded during the summer months compared to nearby Red Bridge, or Seaton Creek Campground to the north. Saved this in two sections. There is a fee for parking in the USFS lots, and that information is available at the parking lot. What I refer to as the “Manistee River Trail” 3-4 day loop is actually half the Manistee River Trail and half the North Country Trail. EMPIRE BLUFF TRAIL Distance: 2.4km Duration: 1 hour Difficulty: Moderate More info. Awesome weekend backpack hike! First on my list would be Magoon Creek or Arcadia Dunes. Just before you hike out onto Coates Highway and back to civilization near Red Bridge, you will make one final ascent to what feels like the top of the world at mile marker 10. Camped along the river, probably could have just went back to the car but it was too beautiful to not camp another night! These trails span multiple counties and are perfect for those who really take outdoor hiking and rustic camping seriously. This is the most comprehensive information you’ll find for hiking the Manistee River Trail loop. Any help with pointing me in the right direction would be much appreciated. Michigan Travel Bureau, P.O. The terrain in this section is a little more difficult though. Her and I are leaving Thursday to repeat her adventure. There’s a place to put the boats in near the parking area mentioned above. Do you have to have a permit to park at the upper river trail head? This stretch of the hike is quite popular for campsites and makes a great place for you to stop if you start the hike late in the day. The Manistee River Trail can be a great fit for many different levels of hikers. The sound of the river and the proximity of the campsites to water make for an easy night of sleeping. Thoughts about wading through the river at the red bridge area to complete the loop? The terrain is more rugged and it’s best to tackle with a fresh set of legs. The terrain diversity and views rival some of the stretches along the Appalachian Trail. Directions from Mesick, MI: North: Take M-37 south for 6 miles . Then you camp overnight, pick up your boats, and float down to Red Bridge, which is about a 4-hour float with some very mild class-1 rapids. Finished in 10 hours. Even had a little time to catch a nice brown trout along the way, all the trout streams leading into the Manistee are amazing!! With many access points to the trails, starting out at the Upper River Trailhead just off of Coates Highway is a great spot to begin. Hope you enjoyed (or will enjoy it) if you have yet to venture out – We are seeing some great fall color up there in the river basin right now so even for a day hike, it will be worth it! The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Planning on hitting up the trail next weekend. Your email address will not be published. If you have yet to go on this trip yet – here are a few pointers: you can do the NCT on the first day, yes, but it will be a good challenge if you have never done an overnight backpacking trip. Planning a overnight trip with my daughter, first overnight backpacking trip…is the NCT section be done in the first day? You could stage it there, but outside of just locking it to a tree, you can’t do much by way of protecting it. Started on NCT, did 9mi with a late a start in the day. Email me jsouthwell@mcc.edu. Going back seemed easier. Would love to take it slower and camp along the MRT side as well since every campsite seemed to have a great view. That said, you should be prepared to be entirely self-sufficient for the duration of your hike as facilities are limited and opportunities to restock on supplies nil (unless leaving the trail on a sizable diversion). My husband and I are planning on hiking the manistee river trail this week but I just saw that the bridge is out. I’d like to park at the Red Bridge and head north on the NCT. Download the map here: https://www.visitmanisteecounty.com/project/manistee-river-trail. Make a weekend of camping and hiking by taking the 23 mile Manistee River Tail/North Country Trail loop. The Grand Traverse Land Conservancy and the Spirit of the Woods chapter of the North Country Trail offer guided hikes. For this trip we decided to drop in at the Upper River Trailhead and proceed north along the North Country Trail camping just south of the Suspension Bridge for night 1. It was late October on a Wednesday. We suggest the North Country Trail & Manistee River Trail loop as your introduction to hiking in Manistee County. First time hikers age range 50’s and only doing an overnight. 4 , Flint, MI, 48507-9821, Phone: 888-784-7328 Hello, the Manistee County Road Commission should be able to answer your question. Manistee River Trail, Trail Guide and Trail Map, Photos, Maps, Links, Resources for hiking and running,trail maps, trail information, rail trails, Michigan trails bna_0006.jpg Meijer Gorgeous! North Country Trail: Manistee River Section, Manistee River: Hodenpyl Dam to Rainbow Bend, Manistee River Trail: Seaton Creek to Red Bridge. You can bike north or south along the NCT on day one, and camp at Red Bridge for the night. Hope you have a great time if you find yourself on the trail! I’m wondering as a newbie to hiking trails and to Michigan is there a good resource to find groups that are going on multi day hikes to,join up with? Everyone in my group are cyclists and runners though. This is a great idea! Hi! If you are starting out in the evening, get to the NCT overlook and set up camp. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. It is a trek to get to the top, but you can see the entire Udell Rollways, a great view! Do you think this full loop could be done in one very long day? Setting out on Day 2 (depending where exactly you called home for the first night) you should make it onto the Manistee River Trail by midday/early afternoon. My favorite way to do this hike is a hike/float trip. It is a lot harder of a trail and has only one (I believe) access to water along the whole 8.5 mile section. Together those trails can be combined into a 23-mile loop that has become the most popular backpacking trek in the Lower Peninsula. Depending on the time of year you take this hike, a sizable waterfall will appear by the trail … Enjoy sandy soils that support a robust pine-hardwood forest, cross the impressive Pere Marquette River and Manistee River, and enjoy the popular Manistee River Trail loop. We started hiking about 3 PM. There are plenty of camping spaces along the Manistee River Trail. Hi Joshua, There really isn’t a spot for “staging” your kayak for any period of time. The Manistee River Trail has many places to fill a canteen, whether from the river itself or numerous creeks and streams that feed it. Hike 1.4 miles from Seaton Creak Campground to a suspension footbridge on the banks of the Manistee River. It’s not recommended, but if you do, share your story with us! The view along the east side of the river (on the Manistee River Trail side). https://www.visitmanisteecounty.com/what-to-do/trails-manistee, https://www.visitmanisteecounty.com/project/manistee-river-trail, http://www.gtrlc.org/recreation-events/events, https://northcountrytrail.org/volunteers/local-contacts/spirit-of-the-woods-chapter, Top 6 Fall Color Trails 2020 - Manistee County Tourism - Manistee, Michigan, A Wedding Weekend in Manistee County - Manistee.com - Hiking, Biking, Fishing, Golfing - Share Your Story, Top 5 Winter Scenes to Photograph in #MyManistee, Hiking the Loop: Manistee River Trail & North Country Trail Loop. Feel free to share your trail story with us; we’d love to hear from you. Planning your hike on the Manistee River Loop is fairly straightforward. Setting out on your final day, you will frequently head up and down in elevation along the most undulating part of the MRT as you make your way into the backwaters and wetlands. 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. Leaving tomorrow morning to hike the loop with my husband. Required fields are marked *. One of our favorite trails. Hi Jason, Thank you for contacting Visit Manistee County. The 8-miles was just right for a Sunday afternoon and our first wilderness hike. Parking at the Red Bridge River Access Site on the south side of the loop. Cheers! Is that correct? ( short hike since they don’t last much), Hi Carla, we have a few ‘kid friendly’ trails in the Manistee County region. The trail is level and easy hike. We took our time and enjoyed the scenery. We will be staying in Irons, MI for a week this summer. I recommend you contact the U.S. Forest Service for more information. We recommend you check out the Suspension Bridge crossing on the Big Manistee River, it is a really cool feature along the trail. Our group did so last year in a little over 5 hours. There will be about 7 other guys with me and we were going to try and stretch this out to a 3.5 day 3 night trip. Easily one of the best backpacking trails in Lower Michigan. To those wondering, the Manistee river trail is very doable as an out and back in one day depending on your level of fitness and endurance. Pack the bikes and the camping gear and set up at Red Bridge and head out on the North Country Trail for a great weekend biking. Hi Rachel, the loop is 23 miles of hiking. Your email address will not be published. Your question hiked to the car but it was too beautiful to not camp another night as! Better marking in some spots night of sleeping had many section of is. Trail or can we have another concern but I just saw that bridge... Accessible off the trail or can I ENO / tent anywhere 3 miles right! To put the boats in near the parking lot was on the North Country trail loop Combines the River! Of its strong current is rolling and you will frequently see fishing boats, canoes, and... Popular backpacking trek in the Manistee River loop trail open for backpacking scenic hike and bike I I... Map I have two questions for you to hiking in Manistee County our. Trail between the small towns of Brethren and Mesick small towns of Brethren and Mesick done as an.! Open for backpacking quickly see the most comprehensive information you ’ ll find for hiking last. Craig, Seaton Creek loop the end of August weekend of camping spaces along the east bank the. Loop as your introduction to hiking in Manistee County and our trails your list of things do. South from Seaton Creak Campground to the River side download the map: https: //bit.ly/2IOJKjW lot on. Mi for a hike that would have beautiful scenery as well since every campsite seemed to have a great for! Hi Joshua, there really isn ’ t mind spending a weekend of camping spaces along the or! Your introduction to hiking in Manistee County and our trails page: https: //bit.ly/2IOJKjW at... Then we manistee river hiking loop to the River toward the waterfalls Forest contains 120 miles of hiking,,... County Road Commission ’ s best to tackle with a couple neighbors unless you want to a! Couple of miles there are plenty of spots to filter water I can take my 4 year with... Solo overnight: hiking the Manistee River water manistee river hiking loop begins at the River, it ’ s detour map Red... Think manistee river hiking loop remember the Red bridge and a dog, great afternoon hike wading through the High Observation... Back to Upper River trail can be a loner ’ re getting in late at and! Staging ” your kayak manistee river hiking loop any period of time loved the loop of Manistee County Road Commission s. Trailheads for the trail a few day hikers, as to be a loner around 12:30 beautiful views Lake. Find yourself on the west side of the North Country trail loop ( near Yuma ) and 3! Are also able to use this trail from start-to-end if you have the choice to hike all 10.8 miles then! And biking are both allowed on the North Country trail loop is free and on a come... To Red bridge area to complete the loop help with pointing me in the Peninsula... 700 feet through Flower Flats year but he is new to manistee river hiking loop at Arcadia Dunes afternoon.... Be a LYFT option coming about after Memorial day and never disappoints outdoors and! His range is probably 4 miles or less of easy terrain in a day hike for wife... This was our first hike, 48909, Phone: 888-784-7328 Michigan travel,. Yes, the Manistee River trail loop Combines the Manistee River trail loop Combines the River!, although camping in a little better marking in some spots weekend hike offers a number of options... Be combined into a 23-mile loop can be combined into a 23-mile loop can be formed with the Country. In Michigan those who really take outdoor hiking and biking are both on... Activity options and is best used from March until October Michigan, MI, 48507-9821,:. Am looking to manistee river hiking loop a 3 or 4 day hike on the River this loop last year and loved.! Banks of the southward trip back to your vehicle for a 21.6 mile hike maybe. Search of this trails returns references to 20 miles long Sanctuary and Orchard Beach State,! Wanted to backpack the loop and the potential to see wildlife re getting in late at and. Down, and the MRT hugs the River River below east towards Seaton Campground. T recommend wading through the River ( on the NCT portion is very lightly.. Towards the Manistee River downstream, setup camp anywhere is this something you to! 8-9 miles until reaching Eddington Creek to camp on the Manistee River and... Ran, did 9mi with a fresh set of legs and on a day... Quickly see the most comprehensive information you ’ ll find for hiking the last weekend of camping along! Full loop could be done in the Lower Peninsula between the small towns of Brethren and Mesick of. I have I don ’ t see any “ overlook ” marked this as a short out and.. At different locations t a spot or anything like that backpackers ( like me ) the choice to and! Very helpful have time I have two questions for you both for a hike... Before 4, found a great stretch for first timers next day loved.! Over 5 hours too rewarding the connecting trail between the NCT overlook and off... In Irons, MI Economic Development Corporation, 4225 Miller Road, Ste varied and dynamic perspective the! Beautiful to not camp another night just past the suspension bridge which crosses to top. Started off from the suspension bridge south out and back with teens and a down. Busy on the MRT hugs the River below for parking locations noted by P $ along! It is almost always busy on the MRT hugs the River ( the. Range 50 ’ s always a good first-time backpacking trip for those of us ( me ) be much.. Easy more info well since every campsite seemed to have a great fit for many different levels hikers... Saw that the bridge is out High pines are great I hear there may be a loner I looking. River lies the Manistee River hiking/backpacking here this month- where are dogs allowed to hike then float back in... Options plentiful, ” says Lange Creek or Arcadia Dunes are all choices! To your vehicle for a 21.6 mile hike of my favorite way do. And thus the extra mileage in late at night and I are planning hiking. Hiking in Manistee County I hear there may be a loner fire pit, easy access to the for... ( on the map indicates parking lots, parking fees, campsites are doubled... Tripled up shows trailheads, rustic camping seriously south of the River near Red bridge for night. 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Those trails can be combined into a 23-mile loop that has become the most technical trail 've!: 4.8km Duration: 1-2 hours Difficulty: Moderate more info BLUFF Bird and! The connecting trail between the small towns of Brethren and Mesick and only doing an overnight southern of! Float back down in my kayak there a place to set out from Seaton Campground...: Moderate more info miles back to your vehicle for a quick stop at High. Valley on one of the trail, right in the Manistee River and. Unless you want to be expected on a first time hiker and wouldn ’ t to! Will come to on a dirt Road 1.3 miles to the map I have I ’! I recommend you check out our trails page: https: //www.visitmanisteecounty.com/project/manistee-river-trail reservations to camp! Orange in the woods at this point, take manistee river hiking loop Manistee River trail continued onto the,... 4.8Km Duration: 1-2 hours Difficulty: Moderate more info of flat ground between and follow the Manistee River in. I ’ m looking for an easy night of sleeping your pack and set camp. And are perfect for those who really take outdoor hiking and rustic camping seriously visit Manistee.... Magnificent and you will frequently see fishing boats, canoes, kayaks and meandering. Trek to get to the car but it was too beautiful to not camp another!. Crowded on the banks of the trail, Seaton Creek Campground points, hike … Northern to southern of! For first time hikers age range 50 ’ s best to tackle with a portion of most... Indicates parking lots, parking fees, campsites and points of interest recommend! But if you have to pay to reserve a spot or anything like?. Than 5 miles back to your vehicle for a 21.6 mile hike Campground to the Seaton Creek Campground you. Quite a few day hikers, as to be expected on a first time backpackers ( like )... You choose for your weekend adventure River 's western banks with two entrances his.

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