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!

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 3 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.

10 years of Tight Lines for Troops

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XC Skiing Adventure on the Big M

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Fat Biking the Swedish Fiddle Loop

Where we gonna ride today, Dyl? Big M is nestled between Wellston and Manistee in the mighty Huron-Manistee National Forest. A trail head for cross county skiing, snowshoeing, and of course, FATBIKING! Today we are riding the Swedish Fiddle Loop! AKA The Beginner’s...

Hooked on Salmon

Salmon fever erupted in Lake Michigan in the late 1960’s. Actually, erupted is an understatement: How about EXPLODED! For many years prior, Lake Michigan fishing was mostly fishing… not so much catching. The lamprey had devastated the lake trout. There...

Wonders of Winter Along M22

The scenic M22 route following the Lake Michigan shoreline from Manistee north through the Leelanau Peninsula is one of the most beautiful drives in any season of the year, winter is no exception. Your route begins at US31 & M22 at the Little River Casino Resort....

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...

Big Manistee Winter Paddling

With open water year-round on the 4 rivers of Manistee County, winter paddling adventure abounds from the same access points paddlers enjoy in the summer months.  Don’t let colder temperatures keep you away from paddling when the snow flies.  You will find the scenic...

Explore the Bridges & Dams of Manistee County

Follow our Bridges & Dams Self-Guided Tour as it leads you to 10 spectacular structures. Manistee is home to 3 vehicular, 3 railroad, and 1 massive pedestrian bridge along with 2 hydroelectric dams, 1 egg take/salmon harvest weir, and 1 historic bridge site. This...

Outdoor Adventure in Manistee’s North Woods

If you’re an adventurous explorer, you’ve come to the right place. Our North Woods are in the heart of four-season natural beauty with thrill-a-minute activities. A passionate group of entrepreneurs have developed their own visions to share, creating...