Explore Must Dangs - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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backpacking
14 days ago

Great for a 2 day trip.

hiking
19 days ago

This is a great trail, lots of beautiful scenery. We didn't let the April Fools weather stop us.

Hiked the loop on 3/28 - 3/29/18.

Started at Cedar Creak Campgrounds and went counterclockwise hitting up the NCT side first then making my way back up the MRT.

Spent the first night at campground 10a on the MRT side just past Red Bridge Access. Great view overlooking the river....not sure if I was supposed to pitch a tent where I did, but no signs were there saying I couldn't.

The MRT side was much more scenic and had plenty of opportunities to gather water, whereas the NCT was pretty dry throughout and I didn't see another hiker while on that side.

I did this loop in two days without any problems and wouldn't mind making it a 2 night trip next time around.

I should also mention that roughly 10 percent of the loop was covered in ice/snow/slush at this time of the year making it pretty hazardous at times so be careful! Ohhh and be prepared for the cold....temps in the 30's during the day with wind on top makes it brrrrrisk!

Great scenery. Perfect Challenge. Great times.

hiking
2 months ago

So pretty! I hiked this short trail during the week of Thanksgiving 2017. There was quite a bit of snow and the falls were beautiful! I can’t believe of all the times I have been to this area I have never made this quick hike. Very flat, easy, great photo ops. Only saw one other person there, I am guessing it is pretty deserted once snow starts falling.

One of the best hikes in Lower Michigan and awesome views!

backpacking
3 months ago

Awesome trail for beginners and intermediate backpackers. Great fun all along the trail.

Took the kids on their first back packing trip here and it was an easy to moderate hike for them. ages 7, 9, 11.

My corgi and I did the loop the first weekend in December. We took out to nature for some alone time and that is what we got! The North Trail side had something creepy about it and was pretty tiring. We did 14 miles the first day and camped on the Manistee River Trail side and loved it. Very beautiful views and didn’t see a single person.

backpacking
4 months ago

The manistee river side of the loop is beautiful and an easy backpacking trip. Lots of great spots along the river to pitch a tent and enjoy the river in the morning with coffee. Not a tough hike at all and even saw boy scouts with small packs. We found a spot on the rivers edge and pitched a tent. it was beautiful. the next day we found some guys in hammock on top of a ledge with picturesque views. Something for everyone. The North Country Trail portion is more challenging with a 1200' elevation within 1 mile but still not difficult. Not as beautiful ore as many opputunities to get water on this portion of the loop. we didnt need it however I do not consume as much water as most backpackers.

Great Michigan hike. More hills than I expected but very well marked. Even after sunset. Enjoyed the views on the MRT side better. And never saw a single person on the trail. That probably had something with doing the hike at the end of November on a Tuesday.

This trail has been a favorite of mine for most of my life. The colors in the fall are spectacular and the variation in the terrain gives amazing variety.

backpacking
5 months ago

Great trail but a lot of foot traffic.

Started around 2:PM Saturday and started on the MRT to avoid the rain that was forecasted for Sunday., Camped near the 3B campsite. The weather was great (low 70s) so the trail was pretty busy so I was all out of "Hellos" by the end of the trip. For the most part, the whole trail was really clean, save for the people who feel the need to leave cans and bottles in the campfire -- don't be those people. Trail is really well marked, and even covered in fallen leaves it would be hard to get lost. Although the NCT lacks the views of the river the MRT offers, the 3 hours of rain hiking out gave me all the water I needed. :)

backpacking
5 months ago

Had a great time with a few unplanned detours. You could not of asked for better weather in October. Did the entire loop in 26 hours.

It gets five stars because of the variety of terrain and vegetation. Also, it’s right in our backyard (Grand Rapids). Fall is the best time. Colors are awesome, and bugs are gone. Also not crowded in late October. We just hiked the entire loop in 7.5 hours. Very ready for a burrito!

backpacking
6 months ago

Took off Friday 10-13-17 at 6:30 A.M. with a headlight and backpack. Spent the night at 2B. Resume hiking at 6 A.M. and returned to Red Bridge at 10:47 A.M. Night hiking made it possible for me to get 2B and avoid the incoming rain Saturday. 4 vs. 5 is due to the lack of trail markings on the Manistee Trail Side. Look forward to Easter Weekend.

Great trail and I don’t see much use for the section from M115 north to M37 north

backpacking
6 months ago

Hiked the whole thing in 25 hours. Spent the night in our hammocks on the north country trail side. Great hike. Typical Michigan landscapes; woods, hills, fields, rivers.

trail running
6 months ago

nice trail, perfect for a light trail run.

backpacking
7 months ago

This is a great trail with awesome views... The only reason I took it down a star is because it is very busy on the MRT side.. I hiked it on a Monday/Tuesday in the middle of September and I probably saw at least 20 people on the MRT side..As I hiked out Tueday morning probably at least 3/4s of the campsites were full..If your into the social side of hiking this won't be an issue..I really enjoyed both sides of the loop and would rate them about equal as far as difficulty...
I saw a few reviews complaining about trash...I did see a few small items in the campsites but to be honest it is remarkably trash free for the amount of use this trail gets..
The trail needs a few more markers..Maybe the diamonds nailed to the trees are getting stolen or falling off..May be better to go with the rectangle flashes...
I had my dog with me on a leash...Saw a few dogs off leash...We ran into a porcupine about halfway down the Manistee river trail.. I was glad my dog was on leash so it wasn't an issue because they are slow and a dog could be on it before the owner could react...Also people need to remember the leash law is there for a reason...not every dog is friendly with other dogs...
Strange...but there were almost no bugs...I think I saw one mosquito over the two days....I thought it was the wind but that died down at night and still no bugs, so that was awesome...

I like to hike the loop, very enjoyable. I've done this hike in every season except winter

Beautiful trail

Well marked, plenty of gorgeous camp spots...

trail running
7 months ago

Beautiful section of the NCT. Blue blazes switch to white once you cross the road 2.6 miles in. The trail leads right down to the bottom of the falls.

backpacking
7 months ago

This trail is not 29 miles, but likely closer to 23 (according to my gps). The NCT portion was difficult as you hike in and out of ravines. I would absolutely suggest doing this portion first since there is zero water and you can easily carry lots of water on fresh legs. On the Manistee River trail has lots of creeks where you can filter and resupply with water. The Manistee River trail isn't as well groomed or marked as the NCT, so there were a few times when I got turned around and had to backtrack. Also, the trail markers switch between white rectangles and metal blue diamonds. I hiked the NCT side on day one and made it a little south of the suspension bridge to camp. I finished the rest of the hike on day 2. It took me 24 hours to hike both sides including sleep. I definitely suggest this trail, especially since it is a loop. It is physically demanding, but worth it.

8 months ago

1st time biking a trail in the woods.
awesome trail.
not for the faint of heart or will.
recommend for more experienced bikers but I enjoyed it.

This was my first visit to Manistee National Forest. A buddy and I made a spur of the moment decision to go. We hiked for about two hours before making camp. From what we saw, the trail was well marked and clean. We had no problems with mosquitos, ticks, or any other bugs. We noticed at night, there was complete silence. No tree frogs croaking or crickets chirping A very peaceful and pleasant overnight trip. Will be visiting again.

Used to camp there often. The road up to the lake was usually washed out bad so a mere 5-6 mi took an hour. When u reach the parking area you have to hike the last 1/4 mi to the lake which only has 3 rustic campsites. But if you like solitude.. this is perfect! Then you can spend your time hiking to Claire & teddy lakes and others. Watch eagles and moose as u sip your coffee and let the loons sing you to sleep at nite. ❤️

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