Make a weekend of camping and hiking by taking the Manistee River Tail/North Country Trail loop. The North County Trail (which flanks the west side of the Manistee River on our featured loop), was created in 1980 thanks to a revision of existing legislation in the National Trails System Act. Camping Rules: No permits are required along the Manistee River Trail Loop. Previously I had been inspired by the fall colors during October 2012 on a weekend hike here with my dad. There’s a map and tips for that . The hike begins through trees and some rolling hills and you are soon rewarded with incredible views of the Manistee River. Day Hiking If you are looking for a quick morning jaunt or a short hike to stretch your legs, we have several trails that will fit the bill. Whether you choose a day hike on the Manistee River Trail, or a short walk between Loon Lake and Island Lake, we've got a trail to suit you. From Hodenpyl Dam Pond the Manistee River winds south uninhibited and free in the Manistee National Forest for 13 miles before a road crosses it. Unmolested by bridges, cottages and dams, this wild stretch of Michigan's third-longest river appeals not only to paddlers and anglers looking for trophy trout but also to hikers. Difficulty/Hiking Tips. I completed this hike as a day-hike while training for my Colorado Trail adventure. Many parts are flat along the bluffs overlooking the Manistee River. You are either right next to the river or along the bluffs throughout the majority of the hike. I would highly recommend the Manistee River Trail even if you are looking for is a 2-mile hike as opposed to 20-mile. The Manistee River Trail: Tips for the First Time Backpacker April 2, 2017 by CaitlynWithoutACompass 5 Comments What I refer to as the “Manistee River Trail” 3-4 day loop is actually half the Manistee River Trail and half the North Country Trail. There are lots of great designated and non-designated camping spots all along the Manistee River Trail. The Manistee River Loop Trail near Marilla, Michigan follows the east shore of the Manistee River for 8.8 miles through rolling hills and connects with the North Country Trail along the western shore to make an 18+ mile loop hike. Camp or make a fire at least 200 feet from the water and 100 feet off the trail. You have the choice to hike all 10.8 miles and then retrace your steps back to your vehicle for a 21.6 mile hike. Just drive to one of the access points, hike … The beauty of the Manistee River Trail is that it really is a trail for all skill levels. Manistee River Trail/NCT Loop Day Hike June 28, 2013 ~20 Miles This loop hike is a classic backpacking trip in Michigan's Lower Peninsula. You can hike this trail from start-to-end if you have a group with multiple vehicles. The trail is part of the North Country Trail (NCT) so it is well marked with signs leading the way. 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