Description - The Hiawatha National Forest is geographically tucked between three of the Great Lakes, within the central and eastern portion of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Portions of the Hiawatha border the shores of Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Rolling hills forested with northern hardwoods, white pine and hemlock, flatland covered by red pine, jack pine and aspen, and large open and tree-covered wetlands form the 879,000 acres of the Hiawatha National Forest.
Copyright: USDA Forest Service
Hiawatha National Forest sunset
- The Hiawatha's main attractions include the Grand Island National Recreation Area, several National Wild and Scenic Rivers, winter recreation, multi-use trails, numerous lighthouses and other historic sites, a scenic byway, wilderness areas and many camping, hunting, and fishing destinations.
Grand Island is a National Recreation Area located in Lake Superior, about one half mile from the mainland community of Munising and 43 miles from Marquette. The site makes for an interesting trip where visitors can enjoy scenic natural beauty and interesting history. Recreations at the site include hiking, biking, fishing, hunting and limited camping. Travel to and from the island is by private watercraft or by ferry service.
The Carp River and the Indian River are both designated Wild and Scenic Rivers that flow through the Hiawatha.
More than 20 inland lakes nestled in rolling woodlands make up the Big Island Lake Wilderness, which offers secluded canoeing, fishing, hiking, and camping opportunities as well as backcountry Nordic skiing in winter. The scenic area covers 6,606 acres and is primarily roadless with limited access to three of the lakes. It is located about 22 miles northwest of Manistique and about 15 miles southeast of Munising.
Recreation - Recreation on the Forest spans all seasons. Every spring and fall, anglers come to enjoy fishing. The summer season attracts hikers, anglers, mountain bikers, campers, and sightseers. During the fall, hunters flock to the forest seeking white-tailed deer, bear, and other wildlife. Canoeing is popular on the Carp, Indian, Whitefish, and AuTrain Rivers, as well as the Big Island Lake Wilderness. Color touring is spectacular and also draws many visitors annually. During the winter months, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing is extremely popular.
Most of the campsites throughout the Hiawatha National Forest are located adjacent to water either on inland lakes or along rivers and streams within the scenic North Woods of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Climate - This area experiences four distinct seasons. Winters are very cold, with snow for winter recreation activities. Spring and autumn are transitional periods, with normally mild temperatures but occasional seasonal fluctuations. The area is renowned for its spectacular autumn colors. Summers bring warm temperatures. Expect plenty of mosquitoes during the summer months.
The Hiawatha National Forest is located in the central and eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is split into two sections, with its headquarters in Escanaba. There are district offices in Rapid River, Manistique, Munising, Sault St. Marie and St. Ignace.