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.

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.

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...

Time to Try Something New

Encumbered by responsibilities, we yearn to get away from it all. We find ourselves seeking the peaceful refuge of the wide-open spaces of the great outdoors. Winter is no exception. Good News! We have just the solution for your winter blues or cabin fever! This year...

XC Skiing Adventure on the Big M

Bike. Ski. Trek. With a rich history dating back to the 1950s, the Big M Recreation Area offers almost 40 miles of trails winding through the Manistee National Forest featuring terrain carved through the hardwoods to challenge all skill levels.  This popular groomed...

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...

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...

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...

Riding the Big Bear Butt Cruise

Multi-kilometer bicycle cruises, northern Lower Michigan scenery, campfires and camaraderie. It seemed like a success story just waiting to be written for Manistee County native Bob Schuelke. He turned a love of cycling and the community he grew up in into...

Manistee’s sugar sand beaches

In the City of Manistee, over 130 acres of Lake Michigan sandy beachfront parks straddle the banks of the Manistee River Channel. First Street Beach/Douglas Park to the south, and Fifth Avenue Beach and Park to the north, offer open, accessible concession...

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...

Top 5 Winter Scenes to Photograph in #MyManistee

Thinking about Trying Something New in 2021?   Check out our Top 5 #MyManistee Winter scenes to photograph this season in Manistee County!  ​#1 Old Baldy: Walk through a forested dune to a landscape of sugar-sand snow swirls beneath your feet at Arcadia Dunes. Your...