Paddling opportunities abound on the Big Manistee River. Meandering across the northern portion of the Forest from Hodenpyl Dam to Lake Michigan, this river offers everything from a couple hours of relaxed floating to the possibility for a several day outing. Rustic camping opportunities abound along the river at Red Bridge, Sawdust Hole, and Blacksmith Bayou access sites, or at any number of the dispersed Tippy Dam backwater sites (several of which are paddle-in only). There are no permits necessary for use of the river, but some fees may apply for use of access sites along the river or for special uses. There is no camping within 200 feet of the water, except at designated sites or in areas posted as closed, and there is no camping within 450 feet of developed recreation areas. The Manistee River is known Nationally for it’s fishing and offers some spectacular scenery during the autumn when the leaves are changing color.
For a complete listing of sites and opportunities along the river, visit the following link: