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Black River Pathway



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Black River Pathway

Cross country skiing Black River Pathway in Marquette County, Michigan.

Near Ishpeming on Country Road 581. Escanaba River State Forest. 2.5 miles of marked trails (slightly hilly). 906-475-4213

Black River Recreation Area

The scenic Black River corridor is part of the U.S. Forest Service’s National Scenic Byway system. Rolling forested hills, stands of old growth forest, wetlands, waterfalls, and dramatic relief along the river corridor grace this beautiful site. A campground, group shelter, boat ramp, beach, and other developments can be found in Black River Harbor, while much of the rest of this site is rustic and undeveloped. The Black River Harbor is the only harbor facility the Forest Service manages in the United States.

Wildlife Viewing

Five picturesque waterfalls along the Black River and large vertical bluffs along the Harbor are major scenic attractions of this site. All are accessible from Black River Road. The North Country National Scenic Trail is another excellent way to access the waterfalls and old growth pine/hemlock forest that line the Black River corridor. The North Country National Scenic Trail, when completed, will extend 3,200 miles from New York to North Dakota. For more information contact: North Country Trail Association, P.O. Box 311, White Cloud, MI 49349. Bald eagles have nested along the river near the North Country Trail.

In addition to being very scenic, the Black River corridor is home to many uncommon and interesting ferns and wildflowers, and songbird viewing is excellent during spring. Watch for red-eyed vireos, hermit thrushes, pine siskins, and least and great crested flycatchers. Gulls, mergansers, and other waterfowl are common at the campground and day-use area beaches along Lake Superior. Merlins have nested near the bluffs and are often observed from the harbor. During spring and fall migrations, the harbor area is an excellent site to observe migrating shorebirds, waterfowl and birds of prey. A songbird trail with interpretive signage that highlights resident breeding birds has been developed from the campground. A songbird interpretive tape that features the trail and resident breeding birds is available from the campground host during summer months.


Black River Pathway

From Bessemer, drive east on US-2 about 1 mile to County Road 513 (Black River Road). Turn left (north) and follow the signs for the Black River Scenic Byway.

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