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.

The Piper Inspires Arcadia Bluffs & Manistee County

Picture this. You’re relaxing with friends on the patio at Arcadia Bluffs Lodge, enjoying the warm sunlight softened by the pastel hues that signal the sunset to come. As you gaze westward toward Lake Michigan, you spot the Scottish bagpiper in full...

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...

Great Music, Great People and 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! FREE Summer Concerts  Concerts in the Park, Onekama Village...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Best of the Beaches

Every beach offers a different experience when visiting this summer in #MyManistee From the Fifth Avenue Beach with it's iconic lighthouse and action packed fun in the sand, to the more quite beach locations found in the northern reaches of our county, Manistee is...

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...