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Michigan > Hiawatha National Forest
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Hiawatha National Forest

Manistique Ranger District- Manistique Ranger District affords campers and anglers an extensive number of remote lakeside choices, many of which are great family spots.
Munising Ranger District- The Munising Ranger District includes much of eastern Alger County with highlights including Grand Island National Recreation Area and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
Rapid River Ranger District- This beautiful region in the Hiawatha National Forest offers its visitors a unique outdoor opportunity all year boasting several long-distance trails.
Sault Ste Marie Ranger District- The Sault Ste. Marie Ranger District begins along the sandy and rocky shores of Lake Superior, described by Longfellow as the "Shining Big-Sea-Water."
St. Ignace Ranger District- Located in the historic region of St. Ignace, the ranger district bearing the same name, affords a variety of experiences to the Upper Peninsula traveler.

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General Information

Hiawatha National Forest sunset
Copyright: - US Forest Service
Hiawatha National Forest sunset
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.

Attractions - 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.

Location - 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.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Hiawatha Forest is a kept secret! What a gem. We stayed at Hiawatha's Heaven; a 4 bedroom home tucked away on a secluded lake near several hiking trails. Their website is www.hiawathasheaven. We saw and fed many wild swans and geese flying south during the fall, and crept up on a buck while on a 10 mile hike on the marked trail north of the lake. A great place for lunch or dinner is Camel Riders and Buckhorn restaurants. Both overlook beautiful lakes. Thunder Lake store and Nahma's general store are great stops for the largest ice cream cones in the U.P. The park offers canoeing, swimming, off road vehicle trails, snowmobiling, skiing, hiking, wildlife viewing or nature walks. Be sure to visit Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Munising, MI on Lake Superior and the many waterfalls that are in or near the park.

Filed By: Kirk W Smith (Mackinac Island, MI)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Neutral
Report: It was awesome!

More Information

Contact Information:
Hiawatha National Forest, 2727 North Lincoln Road , Escanaba, MI, 49829, Phone: 906-786-4062

Additional Information:
Michigan National Forests and Parks - The federally administered forests and parks of Michigan pervade nearly every region of the state and consist of diverse natural and historic attractions.
Straits - The Straits Travel Region serves as the gateway to the sequestered Upper Peninsula and to Canada while boasting its own natural wonders.
Upper Peninsula - This region encompasses nearly the entire Upper Peninsula landmass embracing windswept mountain tops, tumbling waterfalls, pristine woodlands, scenic lakeshores, and welcoming communities.

Hiawatha National Forest - Official agency website.


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