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.

Found 5 listings

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.

Red, White & Blue Water

The piers at the mouth of the Manistee River are most often used for watching spectacular sunsets over Lake Michigan.  But on one weekend in May in Manistee, at dawn and again at noon, there are spectacular sights of a different variety to be witnessed. In...

Fun and Excitement on the Northern Michigan Dragway

Drag racing, off-roading, shooting and archery ranges, bicycle cruises, mountain and fat biking, hunting, snowmobiling, skiing and snowboarding: The opportunities for testing the abilities and endurance of humans and machines year-round are endless in...

Great Music, Great People and Free Summer Concerts

Great music, great people, open air and it’s all free. There are several summer-long concert series that feature a variety of musical genres in Manistee County on different days. Kick back and enjoy! Music on the Porch at Douglas Valley Winery (Sunday)...

Beaches of Manistee County

Escape from your hectic schedule, and let our endless miles of beaches, for as far as you can see, soothe and calm you.  Wiggle your toes in the warm golden sand, close your eyes, breathe deeply and listen to the waves.  Our Lake Michigan beaches are...

Hiking the Loop: Manistee River Trail & North Country Trail Loop

Nestled in the Manistee National Forest you will find hundreds of miles of marked trails for those who love to hike, bike, or in the winter, cross country ski and snowshoe. Which trail should you choose for your weekend adventure? We suggest the North...

Mortimer E. Cooley Bridge

I can’t count how many times I’ve traveled across M-55 to get to Manistee County from the east side of the state.  What I recently learned is that right before the village of Wellston, you will cross one of Michigan's rarest truss bridges. The Cooley...

Generations of Land: Farms in Manistee County

Farming in Manistee County is not just a job for the families who live and work here- it is part of their history and culture. Each individual farming family is unique in its own way, celebrating the traditions of ancestors through each crop they harvest...

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...

10 years of Tight Lines for Troops

Ten years ago Manistee charter boat captain Bob Guenthardt had an idea to Honor Veterans with a day of fishing,  “I thought it would be a one-time deal,” Guenthardt said. “We could never have imagined how it has grown.”Every year the Manistee Community...

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...