The Little Manistee is a diverse river depending where you put in. The farther up river you go the more challenging; for a gentle float with little obstacles, stick to the lower half of the river after the Manistee Weir. If you are on the river in early spring, be sure to pack the bug spray, the river flies can get a little bit hungry.
River Difficulty/Paddling Tips
The higher up the river you go, the swifter the current and tighter the turns. Because this section of river is deep in the Manistee National Forest, there are many down obstacles that you may need to portage around. During certain times of year when the fish are being captured by the weir, you may need to portage this access point to continue your journey.
Those looking for a lazy float down the river, tube the Wier > Old Stronach Bridge. There are many places you can stop and the current will take you without much difficulty. If you venture down to Old Stronach Park, you may be paddling part of the way. This section of river is the widest and slowest.
River Access Points - Download US Forest Service Map
- Nine Mile Bridge - Map (On Skochelas Road just south of Nine Mile Road)
- Six Mile Bridge - Map (Take Old Stronach Rd, turn North on Six Mile)
- Little Manistee Weir - Map (Off Old Stronach Road)
- Old Stronach Bridge - Map (Take Stronach Road east to Old Stronach Road)
- Stronach Township Park - Map (Bridge at Huer Hill Road. Park at Stronach Park)
- Nine Mile > Six Mile : 2.5 hrs
- Six Mile > Weir : 1.0 hrs
- Weir > Old Stronach Bridge : 2.5 hrs
- Old Stronach Bridge > Stronach Park: 1.0 hrs