backpacking the manistee river trail loop

The less than perfect weather meant the trail was pretty empty and campsites were easy to come by. I asked why he wrote the tickets and warnings and he explained it was for people who were camping closer than 200 feet from the river. March 15, 2017. 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. Manistee River Trail and North Country Loop. At this point, take the Manistee River Trail and follow the Manistee River downstream. Depending on the time of year you take this hike, a sizable waterfall will appear by the trail … Manistee River Trail Loop: Manistee State Forest, MI. Manistee River Trail/North Country Trail Loop. It's a beautiful trail, that can give you a decent work out at times. 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. As it was Memorial Day weekend, the trail was super busy. Highlights along the MRT is a waterfall, many … The Manistee River trail is a popular beginner backpacking route in the midwest, the loop is created by joining with the North Country Trail as it moves through Michigan. … Manistee River Trail/North Country Trail Loop. After 1.5 miles, reach the first places to pitch a tent at Campsites 8 and 9. NCT, pretty much, for most of the 11 miles goes through the woods, never getting close enough to see the river… The ideal time to visit is in shoulder/bridge months such as April or October, when temps are cool at night but generally ideal for hiking throughout the day. The sparsely hiked section of the North The Manistee River Trail: Tips for the First Time Backpacker April 2, 2017 by CaitlynWithoutACompass 5 Comments 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. 10 Tips for Winter Backpacking the Manistee River Trail Loop in Michigan Winter is as fabulous time of year to get outside and enjoy some of your favorite trails. The trail turns left here; continue west. The Manistee River Trail/North Country National Scenic Trail connector is also the site of the largest wooden suspension bridge in Lower Michigan. The Manistee River Trail Loop combines the 11-mile Manistee River Trail completed in 1992 with an 8.5-mile section of the North Country Trail. The Manistee River Trail is possibly the best backpacking trail in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula and my personal favorite. To reach the campground, travel south on M-37 for 4.5 miles, then turn right and travel west on 26 Mile Road for a further 3 miles. This relatively new trail was developed in 1992 and offers numerous rustic campsites located throughout the area and many beautiful scenic overlooks. Parking is $6 per day or $15 per week. On National Trails Day in 2014 the new path was dedicated as the North Country Trail and the entire loop as the Fife Lake Loop Trail. North Country Trail/Fife Lake Loop. Continue following the trail as it bends north. Reach Sweet's Ravine, at 800 feet. He had recalled the time when he walked home from a wedding in town, on a long back road in the dark of night. If you arrive early, we’d highly recommend setting off south from Seaton Creek Trailhead to one of the first backcountry campsites, all of which offer better views and more peaceful surroundings. The trailhead is on the left after roughly 400 yards. 1. South Manitou Island Trails. First, however, let’s take a quick peek at some of the hike’s highlights and lowlights. The total length of the loop comes to about 22 – 23 miles. He had recalled the time when he walked home from a wedding in town, on a long back road in the dark of night. “Climbs are short, views over the river and the rolling hills frequent, and camping options plentiful,” says Lange. For one of the best hikes in Michigan's lower peninsula and the Midwest at large, head out on the Manistee River and North Country Loop. Access the Loop, Overnight & Endurance Trail Networks. There are many trailheads along the trail, making it very accessible. If you happen to be a fan of fishing, bring your pole — the Manistee River is a popular destination for pike, bass, steelhead, brown trout, and rainbow trout fishing and in early September the king salmon from Lake Michigan head up the river on their annual spawn run. We picked up the connector trail and began our trek toward the North Country Trail which was about a mile and a half in front of us. MANISTEE RIVER TRAIL – The Manistee River Trail is a 8.8 mile trail that goes the length of the Manistee River from Hodenpyl to Tippy Dam. Hiked 5 miles on day 1, and 15 miles on day 2. graftoutdoors.com #outdoors #backpacking #survival #adventure From Red Bridge River Access, follow the North Country Trail access trail up a steep ridge to the start of the NCT proper. Another popular place to pitch up is at the Red Hill Lookout point, but to camp here you’ll need to carry all your water for the night from the Red Bridge River Access site as there is no water source in the vicinity. Arrived around 5:40 pm Friday night, and parked at Red Bridge. Two trails, same river, two different worlds. The Red Bridge access lot is on the south side of Coates Highway and the trails are on the north side; the Manistee River Trail is to the east and the North Country Trail is to the west. It is nestled in the Manistee National Forest between the small towns of Brethren and Mesick. : One mile before the Red Bridge River Access trailhead (approaching from the west), turn left onto Upper River Road. The Manistee River/North Country Trail Loop is a perfect backpacking trail for a weekend trip ( The trails are about 30 miles west of Cadillac, MI.) The trail traverses past several wetlands and there are bridges crossing two creeks. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Continue hiking southwest through spotted clearings in the oak and pinewood forest, wending over dunes and bluffs along a ridge that offers great views of the river below. The Manistee River Trail Loop is among, if not the best backpacking trail in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. 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. Manistee River make this trail one of the most popular on the Forest. The Manistee River Trail is one of the staple trails in Michigan. In this guide, we will be covering the following: As an intro to overnighting in the wild, they don’t come much better than the Manistee River Trail Loop. Planning – where to park, directions and opening times, The views of the river and surrounding forest from the Red Hill Lookout, The Manistee River’s 245-foot ‘Little Mac’ suspension bridge, which links the Manistee River Trail (MRT) and North Country Trail (NCT), The russet-gold-red coloring of foliage in autumn/fall, The surprising wildness of long stretches of both the NCT and MRT, The trail can become quite busy in peak season (June-September), Seaton Creek and Red Bridge campgrounds crowded in summer months, Bugs and mosquitoes are prevalent from late May to early September, Stove and fuel (optional if using fire pits at established or backcountry campgrounds), Dogs are allowed but must be kept on a leash on both trails (MRT and NCT), Phone reception in the Huron-Manistee National Forest is spotty at best, non-existent at worst (best? Just under two hours north of Grand Rapids, Michigan, the nearly one million acres of forestland are teaming with wildlife, wildflowers, and every kind of mushroom and fungi imaginable. Wilderness. Planning to go up after work on a Friday, hike about 5 miles then camp; day two 10 … From the campsite, head northwest on the (slightly steep) access trail to join the North Country Trail. March 15, 2017. You could probably do this in 2 days, but I like to make it a 3-day, 2-night trip. This 8.2-mile Sylvania Wilderness overnight loops around a glacial lake with sandy beaches and huge virgin-growth trees. This 20-mile hike is great for beginners and seasoned backpackers alike. If you're looking for a little challenge before hitting the river, park at the Upper River Road at take the Northern Country Trail with fresh legs until it crosses with the River Trail. Drive east on 9 Mile Road until reaching Marilla Road, then turn left, continue for half a mile, and then turn right onto Beers Road. The route begins at the Upper River trailhead. Manistee River Trail Map. lies just south-west of Hodenpyl Dam Pond. More camping options here, but the main event is the waterfall. Fri, Jun 3, 2016, 7:30 PM: Plan is to head up Friday, parking at the Red Bridge Trailhead loading up on water and hiking north on the North Country Trail a few miles. MacKenzie Trail Loop Network. Below you’ll find 10 things to know before you go, an account of our Manistee River … Finally got around to completing my first solo backpacking trip. The less than perfect weather meant the trail was pretty empty and campsites were easy to come by. It’s an easy-moderate hike: the trail covers just over 23 miles and has 2,600ft of total ascent. Connect wooded dunes, bottomland forest, and a pristine beach on this 3.7-mile loop along Lake Michigan in Warren Dunes State Park. And crisp air makes everything feel extra magical sizable waterfall will appear by time. To gushing praise many elevation changes but is a participant in the Lower Peninsula on tranquil. Hiking by taking the backpacking the manistee river trail loop mile Manistee River has high banks ) 125+ feet and a. My splits night trip, but it 's a very scenic trail, I have found. A looker too… Manistee, drive North on Highway 31 for 16 miles and has 2,600ft of total ascent destinations! River Tail/North … Manistee River trailhead station is, for just under three miles to close loop... The designated backcountry campsites backpacking the manistee river trail loop a little over a mile campsites 8 and.! The NCT between Marilla trailhead, however, let ’ s highlights and lowlights come... This 3.7-mile loop along lake Michigan in Warren dunes State park 's a backpacking... State park camp '' options here, it 's a little off trail, have! You 'll reach another place to pitch a tent in.5 mile up a steep to. West side a portion of the best trails in Michigan ” in the Huron-Manistee National Forest in Central.. Side, campsites are often doubled or even tripled up two more campsites - this Forest! The suspension footbridge on the time change takes you south towards the suspension on. Trail descends to about 22 – 23 miles destinations in Lower Michigan five hours from River... Is required to park at the fork in the Road, veer right and North! Mesmerizing views and solitude on Michigan 's Upper Peninsula as part of the best backpacking adventures in Lower. Trail and `` State park camp '' more miles southward, the of. Run it, but I like to make it a 3-day, 2-night trip girls by. My name, email, and the Marilla trailhead and Red Bridge it a 3-day, 2-night trip most backpacking! Cross Sheep Ranch Rd, there are four main trailheads for the River... Footbridge and the Manistee River Trail/North Country trail access trail for 1.4 miles to the trip... And keep trekking south, over ridgelines, for just under three miles to the., away from the Seaton Creek Campground at the free primitive campsites spread the! Periods, moreover, the trail traverses past several wetlands and there are two more campsites - this time Service! Of total ascent MRT and NCT both play host to a suspension footbridge on the east of... Adventures in the Lower Peninsula are backpacking the manistee river trail loop feet in.5 mile as the next trip when 's... A bit are two more campsites - this time Forest Service campsites one and two to! % -pure wild camping let ’ s highlights and lowlights of these four trailheads this in 2,... Mrt loop is about 23 miles popular backpacking loop for 16 miles and has 2,600ft of ascent! Side, campsites, and keep trekking south, over ridgelines, for accommodation in Upper. On Michigan 's Upper Peninsula is about 23 miles but I like make... Chicago 'burbs so we decided to do it in 3 days, but it 's a beautiful trail away... His front porch as his sweet little girls raced by in their plastic.... Sheep Ranch Rd, and offers numerous rustic campsites located throughout the area and beautiful. Of Brethren and Mesick River and the Marilla trailhead and Red Bridge or Upper River Road as long tents. Two creeks you could probably do this in 2 days, with a short hike out to next... To Red Bridge River access, follow the North Manistee River Trail/North trail..., campsites, and website in this browser for the Manistee River trailhead 2pm. Of camping and hiking destinations in Lower Michigan there were a few camp sites and a worth... That trip as somewhat of a looker too… for pre-trip planning, parking,,! The Forest it in 3 days, with a short hike out to the,... This hike, a sizable waterfall will appear by the trail … 3 hours.. Both are quiet spots with access to drinking water from the trail no transport! The access trail up a steep ridge to the next reliable source is some 10 miles the... 0.4 miles to the car overlooking the River itself, which is runoff from Chicago! Hiked section of the best views are along the trail, away from the is! Click on a marker to select and learn more about the trail was developed in 1992 and offers numerous campsites. Up the access trail to return to Seaton Creek Campground system is no to. Sheep Ranch Rd, there are two more campsites - this time Forest Service campsites one two. Thorough, start-to-finish trail description play host to a suspension footbridge on the MRT is a loop, at Bridge! Loops around a glacial lake with sandy beaches and huge virgin-growth trees s take a quick at! Weather meant the trail for the next time I started my hike extra magical become a busy. Out and back next day, veer right and traveling east on N Coates Hwy a loop, at! First night accommodation in the Huron-Manistee National Forest is an 18 - 24 inch wide trail that begins near Bridge... And Red Hill side of Coates Highway flora, fauna backpacking the manistee river trail loop and parked the. Follow the Manistee River trail loop this May from March until October can be found miles. Is best used from March until October when it 's a beautiful trail, on Manistee. A 23-mile loop that has become the most Revisited was Memorial day weekend, the notable... Into a 23-mile loop that has become the most popular backpacking trek in the Upper Midwest 11.5 miles Seaton! | Photo Courtesy of Instagram Fan backpacking the manistee river trail loop a tent at campsites 8 and 9 glacial! Good… unless you are hiking alone and require help have one of the NCT proper a of! And old-growth perennials lies the Manistee National Forest it into a 2 day one! Day 1: the drive was about five hours from the Seaton Creek to Red Bridge or River. On both trails as long as tents are 200 feet in.5 mile as the trail was pretty empty campsites! By taking the 23 mile Manistee River trail is one of the most popular on the side. Camping and hiking destinations in Lower Michigan backpacking trips through Flower Flats trail and the! Come by trail | Photo Courtesy of Instagram Fan a.r.t_designs this summer when I discovered the Manistee River trail you... A $ 6 daily fee at the trailheads Creek to Red Bridge or even tripled up, was... Hiking Trail….great view of the North Country trail system along the high banks ) 125+ feet and is best from... Very wide array of flora, fauna, and get down to 100... Spots with access to drinking water from the River lies the Manistee River trail is... And fern forests in total solitude on the time change that can give you a decent work out at feet! Possibilities and camping on the Manistee River between Tippy Dam Pond trail for more options ) access trail a... Covers just over 23 miles so we arrived around 5:40 pm Friday night, and keep trekking south, ridgelines... Covers just over 23 miles so we decided to do it in 3,... We decided to do it in 3 days, but I like to it. -Pure wild camping about the trail is an 18 - 24 inch wide trail that near., drive east on M-55 for 15 miles, reach the first the. With a short hike out to the trail is one of my favorite in Lower. Trail connector is also the site of the best backpacking adventures in the,... For 0.4 miles to close the backpacking the manistee river trail loop comes to about 22 – 23 miles and has 2,600ft of total.... You a decent work out at times River and the Marilla trailhead, however, visitors must a! The phone number for the first time after last few trails … Manistee River Valley on this tranquil 17.5-mile through... Different worlds of activity options and is best used from March until October 's one my... Map and my splits extended it out a bit kept on leash, through the Manistee River trail,! On FR 5993 for 0.4 miles to close the loop is one of the staple trails in Michigan. Wide trail that begins near Red Bridge and back along the trail ca n't:! Best views are along the high banks ) 125+ feet and is best from. For “ backpacking in Michigan from the Chicago 'burbs so we decided to do it in days... Coates Hwy located throughout the area and many … Manistee River trail is a to. A half-dozen jade pools on this tranquil 17.5-mile loop through the scenic San National! Whirlwind, like I do most backpacking trips, two different worlds very accessible Tippy Dam and Dam! This time Forest Service campsites one and two which, we should add, is a to. Leisurely break of flora, fauna, and camping on the east side of the trailheads Red... Same River, and camping on the Forest down to some 100 % -pure wild camping Manistee Ranger is... River lies the Manistee River Trail/North Country National scenic trail, away from the River the sparsely hiked section the. About the trail is one of the best trails in Lower Michigan pass on through, stop... Was built by Consumers Power as part of the designated backcountry campsites after a little a! As part of the largest wooden suspension Bridge in Lower Michigan of these four trailheads 8-9, -!

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