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.

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...

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...

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...

Three Rivers

Is it the opportunity to catch 'the big one', or the wild beauty of the area that keeps anglers returning to Manistee County's rivers to fish? According to a few of the county’s river fishing guides, it turns out to be a combination of the two. Blessed...

Grebe Park

Arcadia Lake is a 100-acre, natural beauty gem and Grebe Park, both family- and pet-friendly, offers access to all. Through the park’s association with Manistee County’s Explore the Shores Program, construction of a special fishing platform and launch site...

Drop your paddle board in the water

East river floatsOur two Manistee Rivers - Ideal for big groups, kids and people who don’t have a ton of paddling experience that are looking for a true Northern Michigan adventure.The Big Manistee River is wide, and smooth flowing with no rapids or tight...

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...

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)...

Arcadia Overlook

As you are driving north through Manistee County on the beautiful Scenic Highway M-22, you will find yourself "on top of the county" when you reach the Arcadia Overlook (known by some as "Inspiration Point").  When you travel through the quaint town of...

A weekend snowmobiling trip…

Take a weekend and take to the trails.  Manistee County is a pretty great place to drop in with the sleds for a weekend.  Two great snowmobiling clubs manage and maintain the trails in the area.  The Wellston Snowmobiling club maintains the southern trail...