Manistee National Scenic River


A view of the Manistee National Scenic River
Manistee National Scenic River
A view of the Manistee National Scenic River
Manistee River

The Manistee River is famous for its fishery, its scenery, its swift current and slow, wide bends. That makes the river excellent for steelhead, trout and salmon fishing and for long canoe and kayak floats through beautiful countryside. The landscape is heavily treed as the river works its way across a countryside of low, rolling hills. The Manistee River itself is about 190 miles long, the National Scenic River section only 26 miles long, from below Tippy Dam to the Highway 55 bridge, within Huron-Manistee National Forest.

Between 1880 and about 1910 this part of Michigan was almost completely denuded by logging companies. That brought about massive erosion and habitat destruction. Since then, however, the forest has been reclaimed naturally and the Manistee is once again rated as one of the finest trout, salmon and steelhead fisheries east of the Rocky Mountains.

Depending on the how the previous winter was, spring often brings out hordes of fishermen to partake in the spring steelhead and salmon runs on the Manistee. In the summer it's about walleye and northern pike fishing. The Forest Service, the State of Michigan and various private enterprises have developed several services and facilities along the river corridor. Use of any of the Forest Service areas (Bear Creek, High Bridge, Blacksmith Bayou and Rainbow Bend) incurs paying the Recreation Enhancement Act fee while use of the river access site at Tippy Dam is free.

A view along the Manistee River
Another view along the Manistee