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

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...

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)...

Let’s go for a ride!

Grab your bike and let’s go riding... Sometimes, the best areas to ride, are not the formal trail systems in the region. Summer beach rides are a blissful way to go for a ride. Generally winds are lower in the summer so it is easy to cruise along the water...

Nature & Pet Friendly Parks in Manistee County

Traveling with your four legged companions is becoming more and more of a norm in the travel world, so rest assured that we have places that welcome your pets. A top beach in the Manistee Area would be the North Beach Access.  Perfect, out of the way, and...

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...

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...

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...

The Twisted Trails of Manistee County

If spending weekends on ATVs climbing vertical rock walls, barreling through boulder gardens and mud bogs, joining in beat downs, truck pulls, dog parties and winter snow wheeling is your kind of fun, Twisted Trails Off Road Park is the place for you. “We...

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...

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...