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Manistique Ranger District

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General Information

Indian River
Copyright: - US Forest Service
Indian River
Description - The Manistique Ranger District is located in Schoolcraft and Delta Counties where forests, lakes, and swamps dominate the landscape. Elevations range from 800 to 1,000 feet affording comfortable trail experiences. U.S. Forest Service roads tangle around the hundreds of lakes and ponds where a wide variety of fish and wildlife species are managed cooperatively with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR). One cannot experience the Manistique Ranger District without noting the dominance of white pine, Michigan's state tree. Other conifers woven into the landscape include Jack Pine, Balsam Fir, and Black Spruce. Much of the Upper Peninsula has been lumbered over the past two centuries and now a natural succession is taking place evolving into lovely forestlands of American Beech, Paper Birch, Red Maple, Sugar Maple, and Black Cherry. Amid the low-lying areas of the Forest, bog communities flaunt Labrador tea, sphagnum moss, tamarack, ferns, bunchberry, and lichens cover the terrain. With boundaries that include Lake Michigan, the District's diverse habitats support diverse wildlife, including migrating songbirds, waterfowl, and insects.

Attractions - Camping and fishing are two extremely popular pursuits within the boundary of Manistique Ranger District. Stretching across miles of forestland, Manistique is the perfect destination for anglers of all skill level. Managed lakes and ponds offer the public a year-round opportunity from both the land and water. Harvests in the Manistique area include yellow perch, rock bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed, small and largemouth bass, black crappie, bullhead, northern pike, walleye, brown trout, rainbow trout, brook trout, and muskie. Fish species composition and abundance vary from year to year due to natural factors and fisheries management activities within these waters. Fishing license are issued by the MDNR and may be purchased in numerous local bait shops, sporting goods stores and convenience shops. A Michigan fishing license is required for all national forest waters. Several of the larger resources in Manistique Ranger District include Crooked, Steuben, Bass and Thunder Lakes. Boaters and paddlers will find back-in and car-top boat launches throughout the District, however, many have limited turn-around and parking space.

Much of the fishing takes place adjacent to dispersed camping areas where a small tent and / or trailer space provide seclusion and oftentimes a swimming spot. The more popular overnight campgrounds within Manistique include Camp 7, Colwell Lake, Corner Lake, and Indian River. A lodging opportunity exists at Tom's Lake where a picturesque rustic cabin rests on a small knoll surrounded by tall pines.

The predominate trail in the area is the Pine Marten Run, a 26 mile system of hiking and horseback riding trails located in the Ironjaw Semiprivate Area approximately 30 miles northwest of Manistique. The Indian River Canoe Trail begins in the Munising Ranger District and meanders south into Manistique exploring one of the richest trout stretches within the entire Hiawatha National Forest. Snowmobile trails and cross-country ski trails in the western area of the National Forest are located predominately in the Munising and Rapid River Ranger Districts.

Recreation - Manistique Ranger District welcomes camping, hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, boating, picnicking, fishing, and watching wildlife.

Climate - This area of the national forest normally experiences mild summers with average temperatures around 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 160 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 - The Manistique Ranger District spans Delta and Schoolcraft counties with major access roads being State Routes H13, 440, 94, and 437. The Lake Michigan town of Manistique lies several miles south.

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More Information

Contact Information:
Manistique Ranger District, 499 East Lake Shore Drive , Manistique, MI, 49854, Phone: 906-341-5666, Fax: 906-341-8423, TTY: 906-341-3514

Additional Information:
Hiawatha National Forest - 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.

Hiawatha National Forest - Official agency website.

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