Explore the most popular kid friendly 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.

quiet primative hike in only. Love it.

My husband and Iare volunteer trail maintenance of this trail, from 18 -20 mile, it’s a nice easy trail with streams and swampy areas that give of wonderful earthy smells.
I have found that even in the ugliest part of the season ( between winter & Spring) nature is still amazing

took my son for a Day hike. We saw three Pileated woodpeckers, a kingfisher, a group of ducks, a handful of chickadees and nuthatches. We also saw a pair of red tailed hawks and heard some red-breasted woodpeckers. very nice Trail for down and back, like the previous comment we lost the trail in the mud at the turn around so we made our own.

Went on a snowy hike there in early March. Beautiful scenery and the lake is well worthy the trek.

When you get past the prairie the pines are a great site for overnight
Made one last night cheers

Great trail, well kept, and easy to hike, i am a big girl but love to be in the great outdoors and it’s nice to enjoy the trail without getting so winded

6 months ago

Trail is named something different at trailhead. Lost the trail in the mud somewhere around the turnaround. Otherwise great hike secluded from human activity.

Trail is well marked and maintained. Had a slight but working cell signal which allowed google maps to track me. Although I couldn’t get the All trails app to work while out there. Lots of areas that post private property signs which made picking a campsite a bit more tricky. Hiked five miles in and setup camp just east of Poplar ave. Was hoping to camp near Crofoot Lake but too many private property signs were littering the area so I doubled back.
Did this hike the second week of November and honestly I think it would have been a bit better to go a bit earlier in the season. Most of the leaves had already fallen from the trees. Still a beautiful hike though and will definitely be back.

8 months ago

September 22-24 this was a great hike with the scouts spent the weekend

8 months ago

This is a beautiful short hike with a bunch of trails nearby. Has first cone first serve camp sites surrounding the lake as well.

This is usually the first hike I do every spring, great hike to start the season

I've been hiking this trail for almost twenty years and still love it

9 months ago

We hiked this section out-and-back with a small group. The terrain was moderate with no obstructions. The entire section is off-road, including the straight section which looks like a road. This section is between two parcels of private property and is being graciously provided by the owners so please be respectful.

This is not a walking trail even though it says so in the description. And there are no hiking trails in Scottville per the locals. It looks like a gorgeous river for fishing and canoeing/kayaking though.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Great dog walk!

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Cool trail with lots of routes to add up the miles. Did 7 miles today and was well marked and not to busy.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Great short hike. Trail is well marked until the turn around.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Not too difficult, and a pleasure.

The trail was really beautiful. It was maintained very well and clearly marked. However, not near as peaceful as we were hoping. Firstly, there were quite a few people out there driving four wheelers on the two tracks that weave around near the southern side of the trail. Second, there were literally hundreds of gun shots. Thirdly, there was incessant dog barking coming from the same direction where the gun shots were going off. We were there on April 9th seeing if any early mushroom activity could be found. We were there over 4 hours. Unfortunately as we went on the trail we got closer to the gun shooting. Eventually we could hear men yelling and laughing in the woods while firing their guns. Honestly we got scared that there was possibly some intoxicated people with unleashed dogs out there playing with guns. So my wife and I decided to leave. It was the first 70 degree day of the year. We will probably go back but not to the southern section of the trail. Many trees were riddled with splintered bullet holes off the trail, definitely not woodpeckers. We just wish there was more respect for nature and for the people enjoying it.

lovely walk with my children.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Well maintained and marked trail.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Very beautiful pines trail was cleared all but

Monday, May 02, 2016

Great hike! The trail is well marked and the river is beautiful.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

It was well marked until the 2 mile mark and then it was hard to see the trail.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Just did what I think was this out and back section of the North Country Trail on Sunday. Not sure what direction this particular track wants you to go, but I ended up with an 11 mile total out and back by heading past the Newaygo Visitor Center spur toward Twinwood Lake, then 2 miles south on the sandy trail joiner road (Basswood Drive), crossing the railroad tracks, and veering north onto the well marked North Country Trail again to get to Coolbough. Some nice vignettes along the way, Bigelow Creek and what I think was the Cathedral Pines area at Coolbough with varied terrain and little in the way of hard elevation changes it was not too far from Chicago. However, on this section the interesting parts were few and far between, so it ended up a bit of a slog in 85 degree heat. I might recommend it later in the year though due to the prevalence of mosquitoes, gnats, and horseflies. Will try it again though, time permitting, in the Fall and maybe head north this time.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

My home river. My family river. Being born in Scottville and having a family cabin on the upper river in Baldwin, MI, I have fished this river top to bottom Baldwin to Scottville and every single spot in-between since I was a very young man. I have worked for the original owners of the Pere Marquette Lodge (Johnson's) as well as directing fishing shows for them.

I have helped guide fishing trips and fished this gem of a stream with dedication year 'round for decades. I have waled its banks and floated every portion. I can honestly wade the Flies Only stretch from M37 to Gleason's Landing with my eyes closed. I have caught trope trout, steelhead, and salmon repeatedly and shoulder to shoulder with some of its legendary guides.

I love this river more than most things on Earth. It is my home. My ashes will one day be a part of your Hex silt.

Be kind to this river. She's delicate.

paddle sports
Sunday, September 11, 2011

Just got back from Baldwin, MI, and a great canoe/camping trip on the Pere Marquette river. I have been on many canoe and kayak trips around Michigan, and all have been great experiences. This time, though, was the first time I have done a multi-day canoe/camping trip! We had a blast! This river is cold and clear, and moves relatively slowly, but at times is a bit quicker. The river runs mostly throught the Maistee national forest, so there are very few houses and cabins. If you have done any canoeing or kayaking at all, then this river should be no problem. Alot of fishermen to share the river with, but overall the all are nice enough, and stay out of your way if you work with them. We put in at Bowman's Bridge, and paddled about 4 hours down stream to the USFS campground at Elk. Very rustic campground, accessible by river only, (though one group there parked out by the road and walked in to camp) No water, and just a small wooden vault toilet. (BRING SUPPLIES) There is only 4 sites, and it's first come, first served. Then this morning it was about a 3 hour paddle to Walhalla Bridge, where the great folks at Baldwin Canoe Rental had spotted our car. If you fish and go this time of year, make sure you bring your gear, we had two giant salmon almost jump in the boat with us! A great river, a great trip, this is a highly recommended river. I can't say enough about the service at Baldwin Canoe Rental.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

This makes for a great quick hike with the kids, with just enough geography to keep it interesting. There are some beautiful little glens on the far west end of the loop.

paddle sports
Sunday, March 27, 2011

Very rough riding in some spots, but overall, quite a thrill. Highly recommend for beginners and veterans alike, the river is long enough to support both, just make sure you have your entrance and exit spots selected beforehand. Awesome river! A+

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