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Old 11-15-2011, 11:25 AM   #1
Majim
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Does anyone have any suggestions for Manistee National Forest in Michigan - good campgrounds and places to go?
I am looking to plan a trip there next summer.


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Old 11-16-2011, 02:10 AM   #2
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The Manistee National Forest is huge. Was there any place in particular you hoped to visit or particular acvtivies you have in mind?
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Old 11-16-2011, 04:25 AM   #3
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We like Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore NP,The cg we stay at is Platte River cg which has 4 loops, 3 with electric & the 4th non elec,It's about 50 miles north of Manistee,You take 31 N to 22,There's a smaller cg that part of the National lakeshore called D.H.Day,If you go to Platte River cg you will need to get reservations as soon as you can.If you have kids there are sand dunes & boating & nice small towns in the area.
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:14 AM   #4
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Thanks for the input - Platte River CG looks really nice. I am open for suggestions as to the best spots - We like to feel secluded in the woods and private, as opposed to being out in the open and packed in. For activities, we like hiking, biking, and canoeing. I would love to see and explore the dunes. Our kids are older (19 & 23) so they probably wont come with us.

Are there any places similar to that in Manistee?


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Old 11-16-2011, 01:53 PM   #5
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Never been there but there's Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness area within the Manistee NF i heard is nice,It's near Manistee & Ludington,Ludington is a nice area also.
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Old 11-17-2011, 02:33 AM   #6
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Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a favorite destination of mine, but it is not in the Manistee National Forest. The Platte River campground is very nice but fills as quickly as reservations can be made. Do not stay at Sleepy Bear Campground. Better to go to one of the many campgrounds in the Traverse City area instead, again, one of my favorite areas to visit. Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness area has few developed trails but is a nice hike in the dunes. Never stayed at Lake Michigan Campground there but did not look like a spot we would enjoy camping. However, I personally consider Sleeping Bear Dunes/Traverse City a separate destination from the Manistee National Forest. I've spent entire weeks just visiting Sleeping Bear Dunes, or Traverse City, or wine tasting and scenery, or hiking, or road biking and you could spend a week mountain biking the different mountain bike trails in the area. Canoeing/Kayaking & fishing is always available.

Manistee National Forest - the state park campgrounds are clean and offer electric. You will have to transport in water or fill up when you pull in. You can dump when done camping. Ludington State Park is especially nice. Silver Lake State Park can be noisy as it caters to the off road vehicle crowd. Same issue with other private campgrounds @ Silver Lake.



Many hiking and cross country/mountain biking trails. The Big M recreation area is a favorite destination for mountain biking and the North Country Trail runs from south to north through the National Forest. Loda Lake is nice short hike, and depending on when you stay, the wild flowers can be incredible. Many opportunities to canoe with a variety of water. The Pere Marquestte, White River, Pine River are probably the favorites. Jones Ice Cream in Baldwin is a can't miss trip if you are close to there. National Forest offices in both Baldwin and Cadillac to help you plan your activities. For road bikes many back roads appeal plus the Hart - Montague rail trail is a nice easy 30 mile end to end trip.



Little out of the way places to visit? Downtown Pentwater & downtown Manistee for shopping. The gem factory in Shelby. Fishing at Cadiallac and through out the forest. Fly fishing headquarters would be Baldwin. Many non chain restaurants that range from average to excellent.



Both have their own charms. Would be tough to visit both in a one week stay.

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Old 11-18-2011, 09:23 PM   #7
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Wow Al & Karyl! Thank you very much - this is an excellent summary! You clearly know this area very well, and those are all the activities we love to do!

It looks like Sleeping Bear Dunes is the place to go for our first trip up to that area.
When I I started thinking about the trip, I didn't realize how vast the area was and the separation between the two. Since we like to go to a "destination" that offers a lot of different activities, I think we will be best starting off going to Sleeping Bear Dunes, and then plan a separate trip to Manistee.

I am going to try and do an advance reservation in Platte River Campground - from Google earth, it looks like everything is nicely wooded and private.


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Old 11-19-2011, 02:30 AM   #8
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Sleeping Bear Dunes was recently voted as one of the most beautiful spots in America. Enjoy your trip!




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Old 11-21-2011, 11:28 AM   #9
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Thanks for all of your great comments and ideas! I really appreciate your insight and experience!

I should rename the thread -Sleeping Bear Dunes!

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Old 02-16-2012, 09:00 AM   #10
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The east side of the state has the Huron - ManasteeNational Forest. If you are looking for a great place to stay, very scenic and reasonably priced and waterfront sites for canoes. kyaks and boats - check out Old Orchard Campground, which is just outside of Oscoda MI on the Ausable River floodwaters of Foote Dam. the campground itself is about 7 miles long (a lot of seasonal sites). There are a string of dams with portage points and canoe slides for the canoers. Great fishing, swinming,hiking, and small towns. I have been going there since I was a kid.

http://www.michigan.org/Property/Detail.aspx?p=B3659

If you are into isolation, there are a number of state campsites that can be reserved along the shoreline of the river. They are about as rustic as you can get, but make for a great relaxing weekend.

http://www.michigandnr.com/parksandt...&type=SFCG
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