Manistee National Forest
The Manistee National Forest encompasses over 480,000 acres, and together with the Huron National Forest, occupies almost a million acres of national land in Michigan's lower peninsula. This is where thousands of people enjoy a myriad of activities--such as hiking, fishing, camping, canoeing, hunting, snowmobiling, and ORV use.
Due to heavy logging in the late 1800s, these forests were almost completely cleared, so the Huron National Forest was established in 1909, followed in 1938 by the Manistee National Forest as a way to preserve this area for generations to come. In the late 1930s and early 1940s, the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) helped reforest the land, planting pine trees in straight, even rows, which can still be seen today.
The Manistee National Forest is not one continuous piece of land, but is spread out over nine counties and is broken up by towns and private property. Three major rivers meander through the Forest--Pine, Pere Marquette, and Manistee. The Pine River is a bit rough and only recommended for experienced canoeists. The Manistee River is a bit more calm and perfect for families, and great for fishing! Check out the latest Manistee fishing reports, grab your pole and enjoy the scenery while you fish the Big Manistee or Little Manistee Rivers. We also provide fishing reports for the Pere Marquette River if you're looking for trout, steelhead, and salmon.
The popular North Country Trail stretches 4,600 miles from New York to North Dakota and through five other states, with 100 miles of the Trail found within the Manistee National Forest. It is the longest hiking path in the United States, and passes through ten National Forests. Every year, thousands choose a section of the Trail to discover--from snowshoeing in the winter to camping in the summer.
Located in the Manistee portion of the forest is the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness. It sets just north of the Ludington State Park and along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. Many of the dunes found here are up to 4,000 years old and 140 feet high with an expansive beach area. In a section just north of the dunes is the Lake Michigan Recreation Area. Here you can picnic, bike, hike, and swim--and there are 99 campsites with tables and fire rings.
Ranger District Stations for the Manistee National Forest
412 Red Apple Rd, Manistee, MI 49660
650 N. Michigan Ave., Baldwin, MI 49304