The Manistee River Loop Trail

MODERATE 128 reviews
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The Manistee River Loop Trail is a 29.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Brethren, Michigan that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
29.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2887 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

canoeing

fly fishing

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

Easily one of the best backpacking trails in Lower Michigan. It is almost always busy on the Manistee River Trail side, campsites are often doubled or even tripled up. The waterfall site 2 miles south of the suspension bridge is great. Be sure to pack water as it is quite the hike up, down, and around the ravines. Once in a while you'll see a mountain biker. In the first couple of miles there are some decent sights in the higher hills especially near reds hill. The nice part of the NCT is you can camp anywhere really, although camping in a ravine isn't too rewarding. You'll cross a couple of roads and reach Eldridge Creek which offers water for the first time along with a decent campsite in some pines on the west side of the creek. After passing the Marilla trail junction you start heading to the MRT and finally get to see the Manistee River after about 9 miles of hiking in ravines. You cross over the Suspension Bridge and reach the MRT, at the campground (north trail) you might want to stop for water as they offer a well. The MRT hugs the river for the duration of the southward trip back to red bridge. You'll more than likely set up camp with a couple neighbors unless you want to be a loner. The sound of the river and the proximity of the campsites to water make for an easy night of sleeping. A great trail that is well worth a drive anywhere that you live in Michigan. Keep the great outdoors great and pack out your trash.

sea kayaking
9 days ago

backpacking
13 days ago

walking
14 days 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
18 days ago

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

backpacking
19 days ago

24 days ago

backpacking
25 days ago

Spent one night

hiking
29 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Great place to hike and camp

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

backpacking
1 month ago

Wife and I did the loop this weekend. Parked at nct trail head close to red bridge access, Camped NCT side 1st night, was great trail, good condition, marked well. No water water source from red bridge until you get to edington creek, so fill up before. 2nd day, followed to the Manistee river trail. Trail scenery was beautiful along the river, close to the water and high above over looks, saw several nice camp site along the trail. Moderate- easy on MRT side. We did 14.5 miles that day to finish.
Trail had a few bad spots in it where was out but over all good. Will plan to go back again

backpacking
1 month ago

I had the best time with 3 of my friends, beautiful sights to see, would most definitely go back and hike again!

hiking
1 month ago

backpacking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago