Description - The Huron-Manistee National Forest (964,974 acres) is actually two forests combined for administration purposes. The Baldwin / White Cloud Ranger Station is part of the 536,062-acre Manistee National Forest. Hundreds of lakes including notables such as Bowman Lake and Hungerford Lake provide visitors a restful outdoor destination. Miles of sparkling streams and excellent fishing rivers can be enjoyed on the Baldwin / White Cloud Ranger Station. The Pere Marquette, a National Scenic River, is considered one of the nation's prime steelhead streams. Another prime waterway is the Michigan designated Country-Scenic River, White River. It too, offers great steelhead fishing while supporting wild populations of brook and brown trout. Captured by unique vegetation and glacial depressions, the terrain is a combination of flat lands and gently rolling hills reaching elevations of 1,400 feet. Living amid the beautiful hardwoods, conifers and crystal clean waterways is an abundance of wildlife that include endangered species such as the Kirtland's Warbler, a small songbird dependent on the disappearing young jackpine forests. The area has an abundance of white-tailed deer, otter, muskrat, coyote and some black bear.
Copyright: USDA Forest Service
- There is an abundance of enjoyable outdoor activities found on the Baldwin / White Cloud Ranger Station. Four-season sports are enthusiastically pursued. There are miles of canoeable waters including well knowns such as Pere Marquette River, with its superb steelhead fishing and countless put-ins and take-outs. The White River is a favorite for all ages and abilities with its notable feature of wadeable waters throughout. Talk about summer tubing fun with a group of friends! It only gets better when the hungry angler snags a wild trout. However, many rules and regulations apply and it is advisable to check with the Ranger Station (or MDNR) before casting a line; call 231-745-4631 for specifics. Dispersed camping is permitted throughout the Forest, typically 200 feet from any water source, roadway or trail. There are over seven developed campgrounds where guests will find drinking water, picnic tables, fire rings, restrooms, boat launches, and nearby multi-use trails. Picnicking, sightseeing, wildlife viewing, and several winter sports expand the list of activities pursued. For those who enjoy long-distance hiking, the National Country Trail is a National Scenic Trail which when completed will extend across seven states from New York to North Dakota. Today, 1,700 of the 4,000-mile route are completed. The Baldwin / White Cloud Ranger Station hosts three segments of this scenic and oftentimes rugged route.
Snowmobilers find 161 miles of route available over a course of 4 trails within the Baldwin / White Cloud Ranger Station. Call 231-745-4631 for maps.
Recreation - Visitors to the Baldwin / White Cloud Ranger Station can enjoy paddling, coldwater fishing, warmwater fishing, camping, backpacking, trail use, sightseeing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and much more. Field guides and binoculars enhance wildlife viewing.
Climate - West Coast Michigan experiences pleasant summers with temperatures averaging 70 degrees F (21 degrees C). In winter, temperatures plunge to 22 degrees F (-6 degrees C). Lake winds have dramatic affect on wind chill factors. Yearly precipitation averages 40 inches and above.
Baldwin / White Cloud Ranger Station administers the southern portion of Manistee National Forest in the lower northern peninsula of Michigan. Major routes include U.S. Highway 10 and Michigan 37 and 20.