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Watersmeet Ranger District

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General Information

Ottawa National Forest
Copyright: - US Forest Service
Ottawa National Forest
Description - Watersmeet is located in Michigan's western Upper Peninsula, an area known for its woods and waters. Native Americans used to Pow Wow where the "waters meet" - hence the name of the town, and today the Native Americans are still active in community affairs. This Headwaters area boasts beautiful, deep, clear, glacially formed lakes that provide water to the Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and Mississippi Watersheds. Waterfalls are numerous and the major attractions to thousands of visitors annually.

Management of the District's timber base contributes an average of 10-15 million board feet (MMBF). Uneven-aged and even-aged harvesting methods are applied to a diversity of forest habitat types. These types range from northern hardwoods - aspen, aspen-conifer - to pine types consisting of white, red and jack. Across the road from the district office is the J. W. Toumey Nursery, which provides seedlings to six Great Lakes National Forests.

Attractions - The Watersmeet area is a perfect spot for fishing, picnicking, swimming, boating, canoeing, hiking, camping and hunting for grouse, black bear and white-tailed deer. Tourism and timber products are the major industries in this area of forested hills and interspersed lakes and rivers. A great way to acquaint oneself with the offerings of Watersmeet is by visiting the Watersmeet Visitor Center located at the intersection of US 2 and US 45. Here visitors can learn about the environment they are about to embark upon. Large fur-bearing animals reside in the area as well as endangered birds and plant life. Recreation attractions in the Watersmeet Ranger District are enjoyed primarily within the Sylvania Wilderness and Recreation Area. The 18,327-acre wilderness is part of the National Wilderness Preservation System; combined with the recreation area, Sylvania offers an outstanding experience for those who want to camp, fish, hike, canoe, ski or enjoy the solitude of a wilderness experience. Watersmeet is in Big Snow Country where the rolling hills provide some of the best cross-country skiing in the Midwest. Skiing usually begins in early December and sometimes doesn't end until after Easter. A half-dozen Alpine ski resorts are nearby - with Thanksgiving the declared opener for some. Major snowmobile trails cross the District and some trails even take the riders to view waterfalls in winter splendor.

Recreation - Watersmeet Ranger District offers a unique opportunity to its visitors. Modern campsites along with numerous backcountry campsites afford a variety of experiences. From fun-filled nature programs at the Visitor Center to solitary wilderness paddling, this District has a wide spectrum of outdoor opportunities. Thirty miles of trails are open to a variety of users including equestrians. Bicycles are allowed on National Forest trails except where posted. Bicycles are also prohibited in congressionally designated Wilderness Areas. Prohibited trails include portions of the North Country National Scenic Trail. In winter, those who enjoy snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling use these trails.

Climate - The Upper Peninsula normally experiences mild summers with average temperatures near 70 degrees F (21 degrees C). Winter temperatures average 14 degrees F (-10 degrees C). Rain and snowmelt in the region can reach up to 200 inches annually. Travelers should be aware that significant amounts of snow could fall within a relatively short period of time resulting in hazardous road conditions.

Location - Watersmeet Ranger District is located in the southern area of the Forest in Gogebic County encompassing lands around the town of Watersmeet, which is located along U.S. Highway 2.

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More Information

Contact Information:
Watersmeet Ranger District, Old U.S. 2, P.O. Box 276 , Watersmeet, MI, 49969, Phone: 906-358-4551, Fax: 906-358-4829, TTY: 906-358-4551

Additional Information:
Ottawa National Forest - The almost one million acres of the Ottawa National Forest are located in the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It extends from the south shore of Lake Superior down to Wisconsin and the Nicolet National Forest.

Ottawa National Forest - Official agency website.


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