Starting at the south end of the trail and heading north up the Manistee River trail you will encounter some rolling terrain with trails made of dirt with some sand. Along your hike north you will encounter a variety of premium established camping sites, some right on top of the river. Please use these sites to minimize damage to the surrounding environment. By the time you get to the north end of the trail you will encounter a scenic waterfall and a suspension bridge. There are plenty of spots were you can get down to the river to filter water. If you really want to create a journey out of it you can mix a canoe trip in with your backpacking adventure.

"A new suspension footbridge across the Manistee River below Hodenpyl Dam links the Manistee River Trail on the east side of the river with a section of the national North Country Trail on the west side. This creates a 20-mile loop hiking experience where numerous wildlife and bird species are common sites. The bridge itself also allows for great viewing of brown trout and other fish species in the river, plus songbirds that live along this section of the river. To reach the bridge, go west from Mesick on M-115 two miles to Hodenpyl Dam Road, then five miles west to the Hodenpyl Dam entrance sign, then one half mile to Upper River Road, and then one-quarter mile south to the bridge site. Just beyond the Upper River Road turnoff is Hodenpyl Dam with access to a popular brown trout fishing spot below the dam." Manistee Rivier hiking description by MI DNR


Backpacking the Manistee River Trail

When most people think hiking and backpacking in Northern Michigan most time they assuming you're talking the Upper Peninsula, not the case with the Manistee River Trail. The trail can be coupled with a segment of the North Country trail to form a 20+ miles backpacking loop. Much of the trail borders the Manistee River providing picturesque views from a top of the bluffs. There are also several trailheads and a unique suspension bridge.

"Located in a section of the Manistee National Forest with-in Manistee County; the Manistee River Trail is approx. twelve miles of pure hiking and camping enjoyment. Running along the east bank of the Upper Manistee River many exctitng and breath taking views will have you in awe and wonder the entire trip. While you hike you will experience many different and distinct forest types such as cedar swamps, hardwood stands, lush backwaters, wide fields and just about every Pine known in Michigan. Make sure to keep an eye out for the old White Pines that are over a hundred of years old." Manistee River Trail info by Manistee River Trail Association

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