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Pine River



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Pine River

Pine River Trail

Kayak Pine River

Pine River Description:

Welcome to some of the finest paddling opportunities in the Midwest. The Pine River provides several challenging stretches for more experienced paddlers. The river drops around ten feet per mile and carves through narrow and steep sandy banks amidst remote forests. The Pine is cold year-round and has sharply curving banks. You'll need to be alert as you paddle down the river to avoid tipping. Items should be tied down in your canoe or kayak. The Forest Service provides four river access sites. These sites are managed by the Cadillac/Manistee Ranger Districts. The Pine River Wild and Scenic Corridor begins on National Forest just above (1)Elm Flats. Traveling down river the next access is (2) Dobson Bridge and then (3) Peterson Bridge. The last site is for take out only at (4) Low Bridge. Low Bridge is located just off Highway M-55, east of Wellston. Some regulations and courtesy suggestions that pertain to the Pine and Pere Marquette Rivers follow:

  • Watercraft permits are required from May 15 to Sept. 10. The permittee must display and carry the permit or tags with them on their trip.
  • Paddlers may reserve a watercraft permit for $2 per watercraft from a Manistee National Forest office. (No refunds are given).
  • A Recreation Fee Demonstration vehicle pass is required at river access sites. A pay station with self-service fee tube is available at all locations requiring a pass. Canoe liveries also provide passes to customers.
  • Camping within ¼ mile of the river is not allowed in the Wild and Scenic River Corridor, from Elm Flats to Low Bridge.
  • Styrofoam coolers, glass bottles and balloons are prohibited.
  • Watercraft shall be equipped with a container to hold personal items, and it should be tied down to prevent loss.
  • Please pack out all you pack in! Limit climbing of eroded banks.
  • The U.S. Forest Service supports a policy of a 4 beverage limit per person on the Pine.
  • Be aware that under the Marine Safety Act operating any watercraft while under the influence of alcohol is a violation.
  • Watercraft courtesy hours are from 9:00am to 6:00pm. If you are on the river early or late, please plan a quieter and wildlife friendly paddle.
  • Thank you for treating other river users and landowners with respect.
  • Please read and respect the signs at the access / landings concerning parking, loading and unloading.
  • If your plans change, please call (231) 745-4631 to cancel your private watercraft permit so it may be available to others. (Only 100 are issued on Saturdays.)

The Pere Marquette

The Pere Marquette River also provides for a rustic paddling experience. Several sections are less challenging than others. National Forest access sites on the Pere Marquette include: Bowman Bridge, Gleason’s Landing, Green Cottage, Indian Bridge, Rainbow Rapids and Upper Branch Bridge. Additional regulations that apply only to the Pere Marquette are:

  • No watercraft on the PM in the National Forest Wild and Scenic River portion either before 9:00am or after 6:00pm (enforced.)

Map of Pine River

Compliments of the USDA

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