Paddling our Rivers in Manistee County

Looking to find that perfect river to float?  Well you are in luck, we have many fantastic paddling or floating rivers.  The Little Manistee River, Big Manistee River, Pine River are great paddling rivers for all experience levels.  If you are looking for a lazy day float, try the lower half of Bear Creek in the late summer/early fall for great fall color!   Browse any of these great rivers below!

Number of Rivers in Manistee County

White Water Rivers

Number of Access Sites

Your River Adventures. #MyManistee

Explore the Rivers in the Manistee County Area

With 250+ river miles to explore… there is no shortage of paddling and fishing opportunities on the rivers of Manistee. Here you will find a complete list of rivers in our region and recommended routes, trips and float times.

River Tips and Recommendations


 

Best River for Families:  Big Manistee River – This top Michigan river is ideal for families traveling to the region, as it is wide and there are plenty of rental liveries servicing the various segments.

 


 

Best River for Experienced Paddlers: Pine River – This river contains some of the only white water in the Lower Peninsula.  This river is frequented by expert paddlers throughout the season, however, the early spring thaw attracts many from around the Midwest as this is the time of year when the river is at its swiftest current.

 


 

Best River for a Tube/Float: Little Manistee River – This great river, is shallow and is great for those looking for a quick 2-3 hour afternoon float.

 

EXPLORE OUR WATERWAYS

Download a complete guide to all of the rivers in Manistee County. Included you will find float times/charts and GPS locations for each access site.
Download a Map of all the Manistee County Rivers

Watercraft Rentals

No Watercraft? No Problem… search our great rental liveries and companies serving the waterways around Manistee County.

Sorry, no listings were found.

Follow the travelers that love Manistee County, enjoy these stories about our incredible outdoor recreation, things-to-do, dining, shopping and unique experiences you will ONLY find here.

Browse our latest #MyManistee perspectives here, or scroll through these top stories in your category.

Check out all of our latest stories on our #MyManistee Blog.

A day with you on M-22 in Manistee County

Leave it all behind and begin to discover Manistee County – a place that will take you back in time. No neon. No billboards. No stop and go lights. It’s morning on M-22 and the sun begins to peek through the sky as it rises in the east, just tinting the...

Water and Lake Life in Manistee County

There’s fresh water, water, everywhere and even some to drink in Manistee County’s North Coast Region (with a wink and apologies to Samuel Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”). We invite you to immerse yourself in the laid-back lake life in our...

Northern Natural Cider House & Winery

As is true of so many businesses in Manistee County, the Northern Natural Cider House and Winery in Kaleva is a family operation. When I visited, the Dad, Dennis Mackey, is still living in his great grandfather’s home built in 1905, with wife Diane, and...

A Wedding Weekend in Manistee County

It’s a place you never thought of and the wedding you’ve always dreamed of. It’s the shoreline wedding with soft, sandy beaches and a deep blue water horizon that stretches as far as you can see, or the woodland wedding with rolling hills of green and an...

3 Harbors of Manistee County

In fair weather in spring, summer and fall, water lovers on kayaks, canoes, paddleboards and PWCs share the Lake Michigan shoreline, harbors and rivers with power boats and sailboats. When the weather gets rough, surfers and kiteboarders navigate swirling...

Manistee’s sugar sand beaches

In the City of Manistee, over 130 acres of Lake Michigan sandy beachfront parks straddle the banks of the Manistee River Channel. First Street Beach/Douglas Park to the south, and Fifth Avenue Beach and Park to the north, offer open, accessible concession...

Through the Glass – A Photographer’s Eye on Manistee County

Written By: Andrew Allen  Manistee is easily one of the most scenic counties in Michigan, so (although thrilled) we weren’t surprised when Pure Michigan decided to begin its Fall and Seek campaign here. Over the next 3 days we were blessed to have photographer Dan...

Our Lakeshore in Manistee County

Lake Michigan at the Portage Lake outlet, Onekama, MI : Photo Credit: Al Taylor Boaters who travel the Great Lake Michigan to visit Manistee County know to keep their charts and GPS handy. There are no skyscrapers or tall bridges to eyeball on this section...

Riding the Big Bear Butt Cruise

Multi-kilometer bicycle cruises, northern Lower Michigan scenery, campfires and camaraderie. It seemed like a success story just waiting to be written for Manistee County native Bob Schuelke. He turned a love of cycling and the community he grew up in into...

Go North for a Day-Trip

One of Manistee County’s best-kept secrets is its easy, pretty drives to access other communities. Couple that with our wide variety of lodging and you have the perfect combination of staying here and creating interesting day trips to many of the places...