Canoeing, Camping, and Fishing on the Manistique River


Take a Canoe trip on the Manistique River as it passes through the Seney National Wildlife Refuge. Enjoy wildlife and a wide variety of birds and waterfowl . . . fish for Northern Pike and Walleye . . . A paddle down the Manistique River can take from 4 hours up to 6 days.

The Manistique River starts at Manistique Lake and flows southwesterly more than 60 miles emptying into Lake Michigan at the city of Manistique. This is one of the longest, undeveloped stretches of river still left in Michigan and is suitable for paddlers of all skill levels. (Map of the Manistique River is at the bottom of this page.)

The Mead Creek and Merwin Creek State Forest Campgrounds are located
on the Manistique River south of the Seney Wildlife Refuge.

There are several takeouts along the way and rustic campgrounds at Mead Creek State Forest Campground just past the Seney Wildlife Refuge or at Merwin Creek State Forest Campground further downriver. Each of these Forest Campgounds has 10 large sites with tent pads, well water from the hand pump, picnic tables, and vault toilets.

Merwin Creek Rustic State Forest Campground
on the shores of the Manistique River.
Located between the Seney Wildlife Refuge
and the town of Manistique.

Backcountry camping and picnics are permitted along the riverbank, but be sure to "leave no trace" and keep our rivers beautiful for all to enjoy.

The paddle through the Seney Refuge takes about 4 hours, depending on how long you stop to watch the wildlife and maybe have a picnic lunch along the riverbank. There is a rustic campground and takeout spot at Mead Creek Forest Campground.

For a longer canoe trip you can continue paddling to Cookson Bridge, about 5-6 hour paddle from Mead Creek Campground. Backcountry camping is permitted by the bridge or along the riverbank.

Merwin Creek State Forest Campground is about 4 hours paddling from Crookson Bridge. This is the last pickup spot before going all the way to Manistique.

Lower Manistique River: Beyond Merwin Creek Campground the river widens and slows down and it will take you about eight hours of paddling the reach the take out at the city boat ramp just before the dam in Manistique.

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Lodging on the Manistique River at the Seney Wilderness Lodge, a 2-bedroom vacation home loc ated by the south entrance to the Seney National Wildlife Refuge in Germfask, Michigan. This outstanding log lodge is situated on 6 acres of land with 1,400 feet of waterfront on the Manistique River. The lodge has a fireplace, central AC, modern kitchen with a dishwasher. Washer and dryer.  Relax on the deck overlooking the river. Rental includes a 16’ boat on South Manistique Lake. Phone: 906-586-6601



Seney National Wildlife Refuge
Seney Michigan
Manistique MI Recreation and Attractions