Manistee River Canoe Trip, 2011

canoeing on the Manistee River
The Manistee River in northern Lower Michigan's Pere Marquette State Forest is an excellent river for canoe camping. We enjoy camping along the river since most of this land is undeveloped. Camping along the bluffs is very popular on a long holiday weekend. We find places to camp that are not accessible by motor vehicles. After our car shuttle early Saturday morning, we loaded up our canoes with all of our gear for two overnights along the river. This year we had a lot of rain, but most of it was during the night. Sunday was our best day with lots of sun. We finished canoeing about noon on Monday. The picture on the left shows one of the high sand bluffs that are common on the Manistee.

Manistee canoe trip links

Wilderness Canoe Trips
Our outfitter is conveniently located on the Manistee River by the M-37 Bridge. We drop our cars off Saturday morning at the outfitter which is also our takeout point, and ride back to our campground with the rental canoes. When we finish our canoe trip, we pack up our cars for the long drive home.
Wexford County
Link to Michigan DNR resources in Wexford County
North Country Hiking Trail
Link to information about the North Country Hiking Trail. Part of this 4,600 mile trail from North Dakota to New York, runs along the north bank of the Manistee in the section that we canoed.


  • Moving canoes down to the boat dock
  • Loading our canoes with everything we need for two nights of camping along the river
  • Yvonne with Gracie, the St Bernard, who watched us loading canoes
  • Two canoes on the river by one of the many sandy bluffs
  • Saturday we had an early supper at our camp because it looked like rain was coming our way.
  • Yvonne prepares to cut one of the cherry pies that we bought at the Cherry Hut in Beulah the day before.


  • Sunday we had blueberry pancakes for breakfast.
  • Loading canoes Sunday morning
  • Yvonne and George
  • Jan and Reina
  • Lunch break on Sunday
  • Shortly after we arrived for lunch, the turtle crawled down the steep bank and slipped into the river!
  • Floyd and Linda
  • Craig and Lori
  • Andy and Nadia
  • Canoe passing large sandy bluff
  • Kay and Alex
  • Unloading canoes and passing gear up the bluff
  • A few of us hiked upstream and floated downstream, but the water was pretty cold!
  • Andy found a good supply of firewood.
  • Craig sawing firewood
  • Sunday evening by the campfire. The slow shutter speed (half a second) was too slow for some of us.
  • Making s’mores: marshmellows, chocolate, and graham crackers
  • Making popcorn over the fire

Monday (Labor Day)

  • Making coffee Monday morning in the rain
  • Two canoes Monday when we had a light rain
  • On Monday, we paddled for about two hours, took a break at Harvey Bridge, and paddled another hour to the takeout.