manistee river hiking loop

The trail is level and easy hike. 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). Camped along the river, probably could have just went back to the car but it was too beautiful to not camp another night! I was surprised by the ups and downs on the NCT portion of the loop. It’s a pretty easy one-day hike, maybe 6 hours. It’s not recommended, but if you do, share your story with us! Are we able to complete the trail still? Planning on hiking/backpacking here this month- where are dogs allowed to hike and what campsites can we have them? Planned to do the loop in one day but was so distracted with all the numerous photo op and relaxing sites, ran out of time! For those planning to skip the established campg… Hope you have a great time if you find yourself on the trail! It is typically less crowded during the summer months compared to nearby Red Bridge, or Seaton Creek Campground to the north. I’d say his range is probably 4 miles or less of easy terrain in a day without me having to carry him. Another great section of trail is about 6 miles south from Seaton Creek at the end of Slagle Creek Road. Planning on hitting up the trail next weekend. Parking at the Red Bridge River Access Site on the south side of the loop. Hike 200 feet above the picturesque Manistee River valley on one of the most scenic trails in Lower Michigan. Nice fire pit, easy access to the river, good trees for hammocks, Pretty good overlook, no view of the sunset. Easily made it up to Eddington Creek just before 4, found a great site for the night. Thank you for posting this article, I find it very helpful. Please let me know! I think I remember the Red Bridge parking lot was on the West side of the bridge. Awesome spot! FIFTH FALLS AND SUPERIOR HIKING TRAIL LOOP Distance: 4.8km Duration: 1-2 hours Difficulty: Easy More info. The Manistee River Water Trail begins at the river access site on the west side of Hodenpyl Dam on Hodenpyl Dam Road. Loved the woods and the nice elevation change. MANISTEE RIVER TRAI L – The Manistee River Trail is a 8.8 mile trail that goes the length of the Manistee River from Hodenpyl to Tippy Dam. The NCT overlook is marked by a sign on the trail as the “Red Hill Lookout” it is about a mile and a half from the Upper River Trailhead. Cheers! Large Campsite on crest slightly off trail. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. A 23-mile loop trail is formed with the Manistee River Trail along the Manistee River. As you strap on your pack and set off on your hike, head out on the North Country Trail for your first leg. The official way back is the North Country Trail, but we took the Upper River Road back instead to avoid the densely wooded forest full of mosquitoes. Although you would need to drive about 30 miles west of Cadillac, numerous backpackers and keen hikers undoubtedly reckon it to be the best backpacking route in Michigan.The Manistee River Trail is 11 miles of hardwood forests and rolling hills, connecting to the 8.5 miles of the North Country Trail Loop, via a superb 245-foot suspension bridge over the two sites. It is almost always busy on the Manistee River Trail side, campsites are often doubled or even tripled up. You will be able to check out the Hodenpyl Dam, which is a great sight tucked away in the heart of the Manistee National Forest. I’m planning on hiking the loop the end of August weekend of the 24th -26th. So glad you found this helpful! The view along the east side of the river (on the Manistee River Trail side). I’m trying to stage a kayak at the north end of the MRT, park down by Red Bridge, hike North on the MRT, hop in my kayak and float back to my car. TRAILS: Huron-Manistee National Forest contains 120 miles of the North Country Trail. My Keen Targahee hiking shoes. We took our time and enjoyed the scenery. Walked the MRT first, then back on the NCT. It is a trek to get to the top, but you can see the entire Udell Rollways, a great view! The Manistee River Trail, together with a portion of the NCT, forms a 20-mile loop of varied hiking. When you wake up set out on a day hike on the MRT. This is a great spot to grab a quick bite to eat as you push on a few more miles before setting up camp for the night. Hi Amy, For information about hunting along the Manistee River Trail, please contact the US Forest Service at 231.723.2211 or the MDNR at Outstanding hike, definitely could be done in 1 night or even in a day but making a weekend of it was well worth it!! Header photo by Eric Moll We are thinking of hiking the last weekend of October. Do I need reservations to tent camp along the trail or can I ENO / tent anywhere? I would highly recommend the Manistee River Trail even if you are looking for is a 2-mile hike as opposed to 20-mile. This perfect weekend hike offers a varied and dynamic perspective of the natural beauty of Manistee County. Download the map here: Would you consider this a good first-time backpacking trip for those of us (me) with no experience? Just drive to one of the access points, hike … Thanks for the insight on what to expect! There’s a place to put the boats in near the parking area mentioned above. Started near the suspension bridge. The Manistee River is an incredibly special place with some steep climbing, gorgeous trees, and a river running through it. Is there anywhere I can find out more about this trail. There are two trailheads for the Manistee River Trail, Seaton Creek Campground and Red Bridge, both offer camping. Loved everything about it. You start by dropping a canoe or kayaks at the north end of the trail, on the west side of the river. If you can only get away for a single night, you should certainly set out on the Manistee River Trail right from the beginning. The terrain along the entire route is rolling and you will only encounter a few areas that have some elevation change. Total mileage is about 22 miles. Hello! thanks! Second, it does not look like there are any water sources on the North Country side of the trail except for Eddington Creek. The views are absolutely spectacular and you will frequently see fishing boats, canoes, kayaks and tubes meandering down the river. We need to see it again. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Beautiful fall day, lovely trail but crowded on the river side. EMPIRE BLUFF TRAIL Distance: 2.4km Duration: 1 hour Difficulty: Moderate More info. Big cliff overlook. Not looking to complete a lot of mileage, just craft a little adventure for my little guy. Hi Rachel, the loop is 23 miles of hiking. — There is no pump water sources on the NCT side no. I’m looking to do the loop the middle of October. Hi Joshua, There really isn’t a spot for “staging” your kayak for any period of time. I have hiked (day-trip and overnight) many times on this trail, but this was actually the first trail I ever really backpacked on. Tippy Dam Recreation Area is still closed. A great trail that is well worth a drive anywhere that you live in Michigan. Started off from the Upper River Trailhead Friday around 12:30. Then drive down Upper River road (a dusty affair which is really just a maintenance access for the power lines from the dam, with a few soft, sandy spots – so be prepared) to the NCT Upper River Trailhead. The NCT side did not offer much grace in the way of flat terrain between elevation differences. North Country Trail: Manistee River Section, Manistee River: Hodenpyl Dam to Rainbow Bend, Manistee River Trail: Seaton Creek to Red Bridge. On the east side of the river lies the Manistee River Trail, on the west side a portion of the North Country Trail. Our group did so last year in a little over 5 hours. You have the choice to hike all 10.8 miles and then retrace your steps back to your vehicle for a 21.6 mile hike. From there, you hike down along the road to the MRT terminus at Red Bridge, pick up the trail just beyond, and hike north to the Suspension Bridge. You'll more than likely set up camp with a couple neighbors unless you want to be a loner. Olivia. Going back seemed easier. The North Country Trail and Manistee River Trail loop is approximately 20 miles and is ideal for a relaxing hike with a group of friends or family who want to “rough it” for a weekend getaway. Hi Craig, Seaton Creek is a great place to set out from. Together those trails can be combined into a 23-mile loop that has become the most popular backpacking trek in the Lower Peninsula. Click on the trail map link for parking locations noted by P$. Get off the couch and put Manistee County and our trails your list of things to do this year. MANISTEE RIVER TRAIL & NORTH COUNTRY TRAIL LOOP This weekend-size, 22-mile loop takes you on some of the best terrain in the Lower Peninsula. River views were amazing and plenty of spots to filter water. We will be staying in Irons, MI for a week this summer. The North Country Trail and Manistee River Trail loop is approximately 20 miles and is ideal for a relaxing hike with a group of friends or family who want to “rough it” for a weekend getaway. It made for a quick hike out the next day. Some of them can be found on our calendar, or you can explore the conservancy at and the North Country Trail at An 18+ mile loop trail is formed with the North Country Trail along the Manistee River's western banks with two entrances. I did it last year but he is new to backpacking. All Rights Reserved | Manistee County Visitors Bureau : 310 First Street, Manistee, MI : (877) 626-4783 | Powered by RSDG. The East side trail much harder then the west. You cross over the Suspension Bridge and reach the MRT, at the campground (north trail) you might want to stop for water as they offer a well. On the map I have I don’t see any “overlook” marked. First, when you say “If you are starting out in the evening, get to the NCT overlook and set up camp.”, where is that? 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. Saturday we headed towards the Manistee River Trail around 10ish. Saw at least 12-15 groups of people. We made camp for the night just south of Slagle Creek. 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. Dogs are also able to use this trail … Everyone in my group are cyclists and runners though. 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. It was late October on a Wednesday. One of our favorite trails. First time hiking this trail. 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. perfect spot! Turn west on 26 Road (near Yuma) and drive 3 miles turning right on O'Rourke Drive. First time hikers age range 50’s and only doing an overnight. 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. ( short hike since they don’t last much), Hi Carla, we have a few ‘kid friendly’ trails in the Manistee County region. Her and I are leaving Thursday to repeat her adventure. Pack in to a campsite, setup camp and enjoy a day, then head back the next morning? Planning a overnight trip with my daughter, first overnight backpacking trip…is the NCT section be done in the first day? Google search of this trails returns references to 20 miles trail loop, made up of North Country Trail and Manistee River Trail. The experience level ranges from Beginner to Expert. 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. 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? This is the most comprehensive information you’ll find for hiking the Manistee River Trail loop. At 11+ miles along the Manistee River Trail and North Country Trail segment, this is one of the most famous loop trails in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Are you able to tent up here and camp out at different locations? Both of these trails are day hikes, have beautiful views of Lake Michigan, and the potential to see wildlife. The loop trail can be accessed from the Marilla and Upper River Road Trailheads for the North Country National Scenic Trail and the Red Bridge … First Solo Overnight: Hiking the Manistee River Loop. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. When you get to Red Bridge, you take out, hike the mile or so up to the car at Upper River, and load up for a short and fun day 2. This is always one of my favorite routes to hike and never disappoints. 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. The views are spectacular from this location and the hike north through the high pines are great. There are plenty of camping spaces along the Manistee River Trail. It is nestled in the Manistee National Forest between the small towns of Brethren and Mesick. sunnychintan 1 year, 8 months ago My wife and I hiked the loop in 1 day. 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. by Brandon Jensen | Feb 18, 2016 | Fall, Outdoors, Spring, Summer, Trails, Winter, Winter Trails & Slopes | 58 comments. 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 Be sure to pack water as it is quite the hike up, down, and around the ravines. 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. Missed the trail a few times and thus the extra mileage. Headed north on the NCT for about 8-9 miles until reaching Eddington creek to camp for the night. 3. Easily one of the best backpacking trails in Lower Michigan. The Manistee River Trail has many places to fill a canteen, whether from the river itself or numerous creeks and streams that feed it. Feel free to share your trail story with us; we’d love to hear from you. We are looking for a hike that would have beautiful scenery as well as a lot of potential to see wildlife. From this lot there is a trail that heads north and shortly hits the connecting trail between the NCT and the MRT. Explore the North Country Trail Upper Manistee River Trailhead near the Manistee River Trail where you will hike your way through the dense hardwoods high atop the Manistee River bluffs. Remember, it’s always a good plan to wear hunter orange in the woods at this time of year. Keep the great outdoors great and pack out your trash. And also can you bring your dog? The terrain diversity and views rival some of the stretches along the Appalachian Trail. If you are starting out in the evening, get to the NCT overlook and set up camp. 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!) Did a 6 mile out and back with teens and a dog, great afternoon hike. The waterfall site 2 miles south of the suspension bridge is great. 25 miles for us total this was our first hike. The Manistee River Loop Trail is a 19.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Mesick, Michigan that features a lake and is rated as moderate. Then we hiked to the suspension bridge and a mile down the MRT. The Manistee River Loop Trail is a 19.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Mesick, Michigan that features a lake and is rated as moderate. 1. Do you have to have a permit to park at the upper river trail head? Good hills, beautiful scenes of fall in full effect! First on my list would be Magoon Creek or Arcadia Dunes. By Kim Skeltis. The Manistee River Trail can be a great fit for many different levels of hikers. Rather than doing this as a loop would it work as a short out and back? For more information and downloadable maps of our hiking trails: If you have more questions, call us at the Visitors Center: 877.626.4783. 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. At this junction we turned east, hiked to the road bridge over the Manistee River (the Red Bridge Access site we first pulled into) and after crossing the bridge found the beginning of the MRT. Hey Beth, glad to hear you loved the loop! 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. Second day, did 10 more mi. Another great weekend trip is a hike and bike. 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. 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. Thoughts about wading through the river at the red bridge area to complete the loop? There is a primitive parking area near the suspension bridge on the north side of the river. Bugs not bad at all. Here you will be able to look out for miles across the marshes and rolling terrain you crossed on your first day on the North Country Trail.

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