Explore the most popular Camping trails in Manistee National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Nice easy trail, dog friendly

super crowded. lots of dogs OFF leash. There are lots of people trying to learn how to backpack on an easy trail but they haven't learned basic trail etiquette. absolute nightmare in summer and fall. nice for winter hiking.

Our experience wasn't much different than others here. Sometimes the trail markers are confusing, so we used All Trails map and our location marker to figure it out. This 3.3 mile trail actually cuts your hike short of the marked trail. Only saw two people on horseback. We followed the trail in a clockwise loop, so the last 1/4 mile was the horse trail and was very soft sand. Have to pay $5.00 day-use fee. Enjoyable hike for this time of year imagine there would be lots of bugs in warmer weather.

Nice 6 mile loop. Some 2 track and some trail

I started at the red bridge and went clockwise to the north country trail then to the manistee river trail. I stayed 2 nights on the trail. The north country trail I did not see anyone. The second night I stayed on the manistee river trail and had a problem with coyotes trying to get into my food. I left my food and smell bag outside my tent and hanging about 6 and a half feet off the ground. I heard them howling and trying to get into the food. They were not sucessful but did keep me up. Please do not feed the wildlife and make sure there is no food in your tent. I camped near 3b. Overall the manistee river trail was great. Nice views in the fall.

North Country Trail 5.0 mile 9-30-19. M-20 Trailhead. Manistee National Forest.

Great trail but some downed trees. It does not look like the map is correct; I did the loop.

great Trail for a Day hike I went past 3.7 miles just follow the blue markings on the trees

It was a beautiful hike and the conditions were great. Well marked trail. We only went from the Seaton Creek Campground to the suspension bridge which was only a 2mi rd trip. Lots of pine woods.

Very pretty, flat trail. A little bit of everything! Grass, sand, lots of caterpillars, some big pines. Only issue is that there's no good way to tell when to turn back. Have to pay attention to the map. Otherwise, wonderful trail!

Awesome trail! Took us about 1.5 hours for there and back! Don’t forget the bug spray. Only saw one other couple there.

Easy trail to do. We took our time and did it in 3 days, walking just a couple hours a day in order to enjoy camping and the outdoors. We walked 11h in total, including a back and forth because of some rain that was coming our way. We aren’t especially fit. On the NCT part you have to be careful with water (we had 4 liters and it was enough to drink and cook for day 1, the night and half of day 2 until you reach the river). MRT is nice but regarding camping spots, not so many are with direct access to water. Most of them are a couple meters above the water. We recommend 8A and 1C, where you are really at the river. Trail is well marked and easy to follow. We did it at the end of August, and there were a lot of bugs. A lot. Regarding wildlife, we saw deers, otters, raccoons, frogs, birds, and chipmunks. (From camping spot 8A for otters and deers drinking at the bank of the river). Overall an enjoyable time in the forest.

Great and very clean trails. Went around middle of August; bugs weren’t to bad. Good steep hills (up and down) with a lot of trees to look at. We made a stop at the “look out” and got a nice view of the area. Recommend to anyone that wants to hike and camp. Bring lots of water because this trail does not have any for miles!.

No cell service. Screenshot that Map. Also its a point, to back point trail. However, you know this if you screenshot the map. Always screenshot your map. There are a lot of beautiful trails in this area so make a day of it. do 5, take a break, do 6 take a break and then do 9. You will be so happy with your life.

First this is a bike trail most of all. When you get to the road, take the road! Also map it! I went 2 miles further than I should have and either could loop it or turn back. A 3.3 turned into a 10.11. There is not much beauty. The trails are overgrown and at times you can barley find them. The yellow arrows sometimes leave you wondering...ummmm. The leaves cover the roots so there are a lot of...oops. Overall it felt good. Last warning the deer run at you...like at you, at you. Yelling does not help to see that they change course.

Deep woods, scenic overlooks, streams, rivers, old train bridge.

tail were a little over grown but not terrible. kids and pup loved it. great place to go get lost in nature and teach my little ones to leave it better than we found it. only concern is we noticed alot of trash by some of the trails.

Awesome trail with great lookout views! Really cool campsites along the way but wish water would have been more available. The elevation gain was a a good challenge. Definitely recommend!

Our favorite place to ride our horses!

It is beautiful. It is easy to keep track of the trail and has lots of nature. I stayed at a beautiful spot in in a clearing which had a lot space hang our hammocks. I recommend this trail to anyone who loves nature.

I completed the NCT/Manistee trail for the first time and I am very pleased with my experience! When I hike a new trail for the first time I like to take my time to take it all in and enjoy every detail (then I do it a second time spending up things a bit) I started at the Red Bridge heading North on Thursday before dawn and finished the loop Saturday noon on Memorial weekend! I did it that way hoping to exit the trail while everyone else was coming in, and it worked perfectly since there where only a few hikers on the trail while I was there so I pretty much had the trail for myself. And yes! there was tons of people just starting while I was just finishing! The trail was well marked and it was easy to follow. It was well maintained and super clean. On the North trail there are only a few designated camp sites but there are plenty on the Manistee side. I was never in lack of water since there are several places where you can refill your supply (I used Sawyer Mini Filter for this trip) Trail is Moderated as described by others reviews but if you aren’t use to hike it could be challenging in a few places. The views on the NCT are not as breathtaking as the scenic view from the MRT, but yet if you know where to look you will find some espectacular views on the NCT. Overall I had a wonderful experience and I will definitely do it all over again! Highly recommend.

Let me put this into perspective. I’m 60 years old and I have put on more weight over the winter then I wanted. I started at the red access taking the NCT first, I’m glad I did crossing the mountains with fresh legs it what I would suggest. The only thing there was no place to refill your water bottles. The nearest water was about 10 miles into the hike. Once you cross the suspension bridge you’ll have plenty of water. On the riverside watch your step the roots make it a trip hazard, especially it your legs are dead. This trail has some nice views on both sides. I would do it again once this weight comes off

Did 100 miles Challenge 2018, Hike this all the time as we live right by a trailhead. Best trail in the area. well maintained, folks are friendly. Beautiful area. Well marked and easy to follow. EXCELLENT!

Last couple miles to highway 10 some of my favorite downhill section of the trail up here.

Easily done in two days by canoe. It’s nicer at a slower pace. It’s beautiful but is too busy for my liking at times.

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