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Cadillac / Manistee Ranger Station

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General Information

Huron-Manistee Anglers
Copyright: - US Forest Service
Huron-Manistee Anglers
Description - The Huron-Manistee National Forest (964,974 acres) is actually two forests combined for administration purposes. The Cadillac / Manistee Ranger Station encompasses 127,000 acres on the Manistee National Forest. Hundreds of lakes, miles of sparkling waterways, ancient dunes, and abundant wildlife characterize the Cadillac / Manistee Ranger Station. Sprawling from Lake Michigan's beautiful sandy shoreline to areas east of Cadillac, the 536,062-acre Manistee National Forest boasts well-known rivers that include the Manistee, Little Manistee, Pine River, and Big Sable. These rivers and their feeder streams are all notable fisheries. Wild species inhabiting the cold waters include steelhead, salmon, rainbow trout, brown trout and brook trout. Warmwater species are present as well. Where the steep banks, sharp bends and wide channels of the dissecting waterways end, the open space unfolds into a mixture of habitats ranging from lakeside wetlands and windswept dunes to the rich hardwood and conifer hillsides. Forested regions of the area, with dense stands of maple, oak, aspen, hemlock, and pine, leave the visitor in awe each season. The cool greens of spring, the lush richness of summer, the kaleidoscope of brilliant fall foliage, and the hush of winter white, all leave a unique remembrance of nature's splendor.

Attractions - Encompassing the countryside of central Northern Michigan stretching west bound to the windswept shores of Lake Michigan, the Cadillac / Manistee Ranger Station area provides a unique outdoor experience. Diversity is synonymous with Cadillac / Manistee.

Sightseeing is at its best when viewing the series of rolling dunes, some reaching 140 feet in height, on a golden summer night. Nature study becomes habit when wandering the trails of Nordhouse Dunes where ancient habitats date back 4,000 years. Woody patches of juniper, stunted jack pine, and hemlock are home to a variety of bird life and wildlife that reward the quiet visitor. Fishing is superb throughout Michigan's National Forests and in particular on this Ranger Station. Wild trout reign in the Pine River, Manistee, and Little Manistee making this a rewarding long weekend destination for those living in Chicago, Detroit, and Cleveland. These rivers and their feeder streams provide another source of recreation, which includes miles of canoeing and tubing opportunities. Anglers are treated to remote campsites along crystal-clear lakes and secluded streams. Driftwood Valley Campground, located on the majestic Little Manistee River, is one of northern Michigan's most picturesque fishing streams that happens to be wadeable throughout its length. Harvests along this wide channel river include steelhead, brown trout, rainbow trout, and salmon. Over nine developed campground are managed by the Cadillac / Manistee Ranger Station. These developed campgrounds provide drinking water, picnic tables, fire rings, and restrooms. A small user fee is being implemented as well as a voluntary "carry-in, carry-out" policy. 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 Cadillac / Manistee Ranger Station hosts two segments of this scenic and oftentimes rugged route. Other routes for the trailblazer include The Big M Cross-country Ski and Mountain Bike Trail, which is located deep in the heart of the hardwood and pine forest of the Udell Hills. Choices continue with the The MacKenzie National Recreation Trail, an outstanding trail set in a beautiful northern hardwood forest adjacent to Caberfae Ski Resort near Cadillac, and the Arboretum Trail, a short, easy walk that provides an educational experience for visitors. The trail passes through a variety of trees planted in the 1940s coming from Europe, Asia and from all over the United States.

Snowmobilers find 128.5 miles of route available over a course of 6 trails within the Cadillac / Manistee Ranger Station. Call 231-723-2211 for maps.

Recreation - Visitors to the Cadillac / Manistee Ranger Station can enjoy paddling, coldwater fishing, warmwater fishing, camping, backpacking, trail use, sightseeing, nature study, plant identification, picnicking, boating, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and much more. Field guides and binoculars enhance wildlife viewing.

Climate - Northern Michigan normally experiences mild summers with average temperatures around 70 degrees F (21 degrees C). Winter temperatures average 14 - 22 degrees F (-10 to -6 degrees C). Yearly rain and snowmelt in the region averages 28 - 36 inches but can be dramatically altered by the "lake effect," thus depositing significant amounts of snow within a short period of time causing hazardous road conditions.

Location - Cadillac / Manistee Ranger Station administers the northern portion of Manistee National Forest in the lower northern peninsula of Michigan. Major routes include U.S. Highway 31 and Michigan 55, 37 and 115.

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More Information

Contact Information:
Cadillac / Manistee Ranger Station, 412 Red Apple Road , Manistee, MI, 49660, Phone: 231-723-2211, TTY: 231-723-0124

Additional Information:
Huron-Manistee National Forests - The Huron-Manistee National Forest is spread across the northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Sandy, rolling and forested hills make up the Huron- Manistee, the only National Forest in Michigan's Lower Peninsula.
Northern Michigan - Flat agricultural and industrial lands of southern Michigan evolve into scenic rolling glacial hillsides covered with hardwoods and conifers and bisected by some of the state's largest waterways including the famed Au Sable and Thunder Bay rivers.

Huron-Manistee National Forests - Official agency website.

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