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Manistee River Trail

 

The Manistee River Trail, located on the eastern banks of the Big Manistee River, is a great trail for a quick weekend trip of hiking, backpacking, or enjoying Michigan’s outdoors. This roughly 11 mile trail runs between the Tippy Dam and Hodenpyl Dam with multiple access points along the way.

The terrain on the trail is fairly easy. Hills tend to be short and not terribly steep. There are multiple campsites along the river with a few roads to cross, too. While hiking along the banks, there are several points where you can enjoy beautiful views of the bends of the river. There are also numerous tributaries that dump into the Big Manistee River with bridges that make for easy crossing. There is a large pedestrian suspension bridge on the north end of the trail, which crosses over the river to the North Country Trail system. There are many fishing and swimming opportunities along the trail, but the river can be swift.

Typically, the trail can be used as a part of a roughly 23 mile loop. This popular route uses the Manistee River Trail on the east side of the river and the North Country Trail on the west side of the river. The route crosses the river at two points. On the north end, the pedestrian suspension bridge crosses the river near Hodenpyl Dam. On the south end, Coates Highway crosses over the river near the Red Bridge trailhead. For much of the 2018 season, the bridge on Coates Highway was under construction not open to pedestrian traffic.

Since this trail is in the Manistee National Forest, dogs are allowed but must be leashed. Mountain bikes are prohibited, but are allowed on the western side of the river on the North Country Trail. Horses and other pack animals are also prohibited.

With the many access points, beautiful views, abundance of water, fairly easy terrain, and many camp sites, the Manistee River Trail makes for a great beginner backpacking route. The route is easy to follow and easy to access from much of lower Michigan. (Roughly 2.5 hour drive from the shop!) You don’t have to travel far for a great time backpacking!

Google Maps Directions

More trail info

Want to hike the Manistee River Trail, but want a little help? Don’t have the gear?

Check out The High Five Tribe and learn the way!

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4+ Day Pack Guide

When packing for a 4+ Day Trip, take the time to consider what to bring. Adding items can make your trip much more enjoyable and safe, but bringing too much gear can leave your pack heavy and cumbersome. The following items should be considered when packing for a 4+ Day Trip in addition to the items on the Essential/Day Trip List. We recommend a pack with volume of 65L or more.

Clothing

Baselayer
Pants
Shorts
Long Sleeve T
Short Sleeve T
Underwear
Camp Shoes
Hats/Gloves
Swimsuit
Towel

Food/Water

Dehydrated Meals
Candy
Snacks
Pasta
Oatmeal
Coffee/Tea

Shelter

Tent/Hammock
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Pad
Pillow
Tent Repair Kit
Chair
Footprint
Pack Cover
Rope/Paracord

Cookware

Stove
Fuel
A Pot
Cups, Bowls
Utensils
Water Reservoir

Other

Toilet Paper
Soap
Toothbrush
Toothpaste
Trekking Poles
Garbage Bag
Dry Bag
Organizers
Shovel
Saw/Hatchet

Recommended Packs:

Xenith/Xena
Aether/Ariel
Atmos/Ariel
Volt/Viva


For a printable PDF, please click below.

4+ Day Pack List

 

 

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2-3 Day Pack Guide

When packing for an overnight trip, there are a few more items to consider to pack in addition to the items on our Essential Pack List. Food, shelter, and extra clothing should be carefully considered when packing. We recommend a pack with volume of 40-60 L for most 2-3 day trips.

Clothing

Baselayer
Pants
Shorts
Long Sleeve T
Short Sleeve T
Underwear
Camp Shoes
Hats/Gloves
Swimsuit

Food/Water

Dehydrated Meals
Candy
Pasta
Oatmeal
Coffee/Tea

Shelter

Tent/Hammock
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Pad
Pillow
Tent Repair Kit

Cookware

Stove
Fuel
A Pot
Cups, Bowls
Utensils

Other

Toilet Paper
Soap
Toothbrush
Toothpaste
Towel
Garbage Bag
Dry Bag
Organizers
Shovel
Saw/Hatchet

Recommended Packs:

Atmos/Aura
Volt/Viva
Exos
Stratos/Sirrus
Kestrel/Kyte
Talon/Tempest


For a printable PDF, please click below.

2-3 DayTrip Pack List

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Essentials/Day Hike Pack Guide

 

Whether you are going out for a half day trip or out for 4+ days, these are items that you should at least consider bringing out on your trip. This is not an all inclusive list. Your location, time of year, climate, and more will all take part in determining what type of gear you should take on your trip. We recommend a pack with a 10-30L volume for most day hikes.

Clothing

Rain Jacket
Extra Socks
Hat
Sunglasses
Proper Footwear
Pack
Insulation
Swimsuit

Food/Water

Water Bottle
Snacks
Water Filter

Nice To Have’s

Camera
Phone Charger
Wipes
Sanitizer
Binoculars
Hammock

Safety

First Aid Kit
Lighter/Matches
Sunscreen
Lip Balm
Phone
Knife/Multitool
Bug Spray
Emergency Shelter
Bear Spray

Navigation

Compass
Map
Headlamp/Flashlight

Other

Pen/Pencil
Journal
Cash

Recommended Packs:

Stratos/Sirrus
Kestrel/Kyte
Talon/Tempest
Daylite


For a printable PDF, please click below

Essentials/Day Hike Pack Guide

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2017 Backcountry Classes

Backcountry Classes

 

Red Fox is excited to offer a series of backcountry classes with Luke Boone of Boone Excursions! Whether you’re planning a trip in Michigan, or somewhere more exotic (hard to imagine) – these classes will be a great introduction! Thursdays at 6:30 pm!

Reserve Your Spot Today!