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...

Beautiful trail

Well marked, plenty of gorgeous camp spots...

backpacking
30 days 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.

sea kayaking
1 month ago

We live near here and walk here frequently. The overlooks are spectacular. Lots of wildflowers and fungi. Perfect for photography. Some campsites along the trail. Maps available for download or purchase.

backpacking
1 month ago

Very nice trail, plenty of areas to pitch a tent/hammock and fall asleep to the sounds of the river