My suggestion would be to save yourself the trouble of going through the overgrown trail and just turn right after crossing the bridge. After hiking for a mile or so we came to the first two designated camp sites. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Very good fishing, canoeing & kayaking and hiking. Follow MI 55 west for 20 miles, then turn right on Warfield Road. I smiled as we drove away, happy at our good fortune and excited to come back and hike it all over again. THE WAY: From Grand Rapids, take US 131 north to Cadillac. What's good for elk is good for backpackers on Michigan's High Country Pathway. Let me stop here and put a plug in for being a courteous camper. It is the last campsite before coming to the suspension bridge. The best trailhead to use is the Upper Manistee … Good job. 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. Water sources – The Manistee river is unlikely to freeze, providing you with an open water source along the MRT side of the trail. I would like to go on labor day weekend but I am wondering if the trail would be packed with people then. 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! The Manistee River Trail intersects with the North Follow MI 55 west for 20 miles, then turn right on Warfield Road. Clean and full bellied, we fell into our bags, more than ready for a long night’s sleep. We decided to take the road back to escape the dense forest full of mosquitoes. Japanese also refer to them as “the bird of happiness,” and I had to agree that sighting these birds made me happy! CAN'T MISS: The best views are along the NCT between Marilla trailhead and Red Hill. Travel Light. Explore the cedar groves and 100-year-old white pines in the Manistee River Valley on this 22-mile overnight. We stopped to rest and wave back at all the happy kayakers who were laughing, waving and singing their way down the river. THE WAY: From Grand Rapids, take US 131 north to Cadillac. 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. At a Glance Bear Creek River Access Site Boat Launch, River Road, Brethren, MI, United States, USA Description: Bear Creek, the largest tributary of the Manistee River below Tippy Dam, boasts a bountiful fishery in its own right, so the U.S. Forest Service site where Bear Creek flows in the Manistee River provides access to the best of both worlds. Every part of me wanted to sit and relax here by a fire while watching the sun go down over the river. If you decide to start from this point just note that you will have to walk back up the main road to get to the trail. 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. Snowmobiling in and around Manistee County. In this post, I share some tips about the Manistee River Trail loop that may be helpful for anyone planning to hike the MRT. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. Mid-Mchigan. This is where the directions to hook onto the North Country Trail get confusing…. If you park at the Marilla trailhead instead, you'll have a long, steep uphill climb to finish your hike. 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. 7B is just down the trail from site 7C, and is very similar to 7C. The tent area is set back off the trail in a grove of trees where there is also another fire area and logs to sit on. The Manistee River Trail segment begins at the “Little Mac” foot bridge that connects the Manistee River Trail to the North Country Trail. Long views and rugged hiking typify the NCT as it climbs hill after hill through tall pines and hardwoods that tower over the Manistee River, culminating in the view of nothing but trees, hills, and river from atop Red Hill-a rare lower peninsula high spot that doesn't come with a ski resort. The result is a weekend-size, 20-mile loop that offers some of the best views and most varied hiking in the Lower Peninsula. 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