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 6 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.

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 Passenger Ship Through the Past – Touring the S.S. City of Milwaukee

Written by: Andrew Allen Growing up in Manistee County somehow the S.S. City of Milwaukee always seemed to hide right in plain sight. I’d drive past the massive (347 foot passenger/railroad car) ferry without really giving it much thought. Finally, sometime in high...

Hodenpyl & Tippy Dams

Completed in 1918, Tippy Dam (known as Junction Hydro when it was built) was named after Charles W. Tippy, a board of directors chair for Consumers Power.  Tippy is Consumer Energy’s second largest hydro dam producing up to 20,000 kilowatts and providing...

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...

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)...

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...

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...

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...

Top 6 Fall Color Trails 2020

If getting out into the fresh air and wide open spaces sounds appealing to you, you are not alone. With all that is going on in the world right now, it is a perfect opportunity to get out, stretch you legs, and enjoy some scenic fall color from our trails.  Here we...

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...