The Manistee River in the U. S. state of Michigan, runs 190 miles through the northwestern Lower Peninsula. It is considered, like the nearby Au Sable River, to be one of the best trout fisheries east of the Rockies; the river rises in the sand hills in southeastern Antrim County, on the border with Otsego County, about 6 miles southeast of the town of Alba. These deep glacial sands provide it with a remarkably stable flow of clean cold water year round, making it a popular river for fishing as well as canoeing. Over the course of its length, it drops in elevation from around 1,250 to 579 feet, with an average stream gradient of about 2.9 feet per mile. The name "Manistee" is from an Ojibwe word. However, it may be from ministigweyaa, "river with islands at its mouth"; the Ojibwe and Ottawa peoples lived along the river, with the Ottawa having a reservation on the river from 1836. The federally recognized Little River Band of Ottawa Indians continues to occupy its reservation in Manistee County, as well as lands in Mason County.
The upper river was renowned for its outstanding grayling fishery, among the finest in the world. Catches in excess of 1000 fish per weekend outing were reported up until the 1880s, when extensive logging in the area ruined the streams and habitat. Logging in the area commenced in earnest by European-American settlers between 1880 and 1910, with peak production occurring in the 1890s. Logging denuded habitat areas, with silt runoff and logging debris degrading the water quality of the river; the river's large size, stable flows, dearth of cataracts or other difficult passages made it ideal for the transportation of lumber. During this period huge numbers of white pine logs, some as large as 6 feet in diameter, were floated down the river to the port at Manistee and on to the lumber markets of Grand Rapids and Chicago; the wood was used to build the towns of the Midwestern United States. Some of these logs became trapped at various points on the river, can be seen today along the river bottom.
Today the river is used extensively for recreation, offering excellent conditions for canoeing and fishing. Having been restored since the ravages of the logging era, the river is again considered among the finest trout and salmon rivers in the country. Commercial navigation is possible in the lower stretches of the river below the Tippy Dam
Huron-Manistee National Forests
The Huron-Manistee National Forests are two separate national forests, the Huron National Forest and the Manistee National Forest, combined in 1945 for administration purposes and which comprise 978,906 acres of public lands, including 5,786 acres of wetlands, extending across the northern lower peninsula of Michigan. The Huron-Manistee National Forests provide recreation opportunities for visitors, habitat for fish and wildlife, resources for local industry; the headquarters for the forests is in Michigan. The Huron National Forest was established in 1909 and the Manistee National Forest in 1938. In 1945, they were administratively combined. Huron has about 44.8% of the combined area, whereas the larger Manistee has about 55.2%. The Huron National Forest is prone to frequent seasonal forest fires, due to ecological and geological factors including the domination of the jack pine in sections the forests, the needles of which are flammable, sandy soil composition as a result of glacial outwash plain geology of sections of the Huron National Forest, jack pine barrens management practices to create nesting habitat for the Kirtland's warbler resulting in dense, young stands of jack pine that are susceptible to crowning wildfires.
In 2010, the Meridian Boundary Fire burned over 8,500 acres in and near the Huron District of the Huron National Forest. The fire destroyed 13 homes, damaged two others, destroyed or damaged 46 outbuildings; the Huron-Manistee streams. The nationally known Pere Marquette and Au Sable Rivers offer quality fishing. Additionally, over 330 miles of trails are available for hiking; the Huron-Manistee National Forests are a tourist attraction to many campers. You do not need a permit to camp on the National Forest campgrounds. However, some do require that one pays camping fee. A wood permit is required to cut firewood; the Manistee National Forest portion is located in northwest lower Michigan. It has varying but sandy terrain covered with trees. There are numerous lakes and frontage on Lake Michigan; the area is popular for fishing, boating, cross-country skiing and hunting. The North Country Trail passes through it, it has a total area of 540,187 acres. In descending order of land area it lies in parts of Lake, Wexford, Mason, Muskegon and Montcalm counties.
There are local ranger district offices located in Manistee. The Manistee National Forest is broken by private property and towns. Much of the land had been abandoned by logging companies after being logged off a century ago; the Lumberjack 100, a 100-mile ultra-endurance mountain bike race is held annually within its bounds. The Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness is a unique feature in the Manistee portion; this small area of 3,450 acres, situated on the east shore of Lake Michigan is one of the few wilderness areas in the U. S. with an extensive lake shore. Most of the dunes are 3500 to 4000 years old and some stand about 140 feet higher than the lake; the Nordhouse Dunes are interspersed with woody vegetation such as jack pine and hemlock. There are many small water holes and marshes dotting the landscape and dune grass covers many of the dunes; the beach is sandy. The Huron National Forest portion is in northeast lower Michigan, its southern boundary is at the latitude of Manistee's northern boundary.
It has a total area of 438,538 acres. It lies in parts of Oscoda, Iosco and Ogemaw counties. There are local ranger district offices in Oscoda; the Bull Gap ORV Trail is located in the Huron portion. It contains 115 miles of ORV trails; the threatened Kirtland's warbler nests in the area, tours are available, subject to time restrictions. Michigan AuSable Valley Railroad Official website
A national park is a park in use for conservation purposes. It is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or owns. Although individual nations designate their own national parks differently, there is a common idea: the conservation of'wild nature' for posterity and as a symbol of national pride. An international organization, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, its World Commission on Protected Areas, has defined "National Park" as its Category II type of protected areas. While this type of national park had been proposed the United States established the first "public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people", Yellowstone National Park, in 1872. Although Yellowstone was not termed a "national park" in its establishing law, it was always termed such in practice and is held to be the first and oldest national park in the world. However, the Tobago Main Ridge Forest Reserve, the area surrounding Bogd Khan Uul Mountain are seen as the oldest protected areas, predating Yellowstone by nearly a century.
The first area to use "national park" in its creation legislation was the U. S.'s Mackinac, in 1875. Australia's Royal National Park, established in 1879, was the world's third official national park. In 1895 ownership of Mackinac National Park was transferred to the State of Michigan as a state park and national park status was lost; as a result, Australia's Royal National Park is by some considerations the second oldest national park now in existence. Canada established Parks Canada in 1911, becoming the world's first national service dedicated to protecting and presenting natural and historical treasures; the largest national park in the world meeting the IUCN definition is the Northeast Greenland National Park, established in 1974. According to the IUCN, 6,555 national parks worldwide met its criteria in 2006. IUCN is still discussing the parameters of defining a national park. National parks are always open to visitors. Most national parks provide outdoor recreation and camping opportunities as well as classes designed to educate the public on the importance of conservation and the natural wonders of the land in which the national park is located.
In 1969, the IUCN declared a national park to be a large area with the following defining characteristics: One or several ecosystems not materially altered by human exploitation and occupation, where plant and animal species, geomorphological sites and habitats are of special scientific and recreational interest or which contain a natural landscape of great beauty. In 1971, these criteria were further expanded upon leading to more clear and defined benchmarks to evaluate a national park; these include: Minimum size of 1,000 hectares within zones in which protection of nature takes precedence Statutory legal protection Budget and staff sufficient to provide sufficient effective protection Prohibition of exploitation of natural resources qualified by such activities as sport, fishing, the need for management, etc. While the term national park is now defined by the IUCN, many protected areas in many countries are called national park when they correspond to other categories of the IUCN Protected Area Management Definition, for example: Swiss National Park, Switzerland: IUCN Ia - Strict Nature Reserve Everglades National Park, United States: IUCN Ib - Wilderness Area Victoria Falls National Park, Zimbabwe: IUCN III - National Monument Vitosha National Park, Bulgaria: IUCN IV - Habitat Management Area New Forest National Park, United Kingdom: IUCN V - Protected Landscape Etniko Ygrotopiko Parko Delta Evrou, Greece: IUCN VI - Managed Resource Protected AreaWhile national parks are understood to be administered by national governments, in Australia national parks are run by state governments and predate the Federation of Australia.
In Canada, there are both national parks operated by the federal government and provincial or territorial parks operated by the provincial and territorial governments, although nearly all are still national parks by the IUCN definition. In many countries, including Indonesia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, national parks do not adhere to the IUCN definition, while some areas which adhere to the IUCN definition are not designated as national parks. In 1810, the English poet William Wordsworth described the Lake District as a sort of national property, in which every man has a right and interest who has an eye to perceive and a heart to enjoy; the painter George Catlin, in his travels through the American West, wrote during the 1830s that the Native Americans in the United States might be preserved...in a magnificent park... A nation's Park, containing man and beast, in all the wild and freshness of their nature's beauty! The first effort by the U. S. Federal government to set aside such protected lands was on 20 April 1832, when President Andrew Jackson signed legislation that the 22nd United States Congress had enacted to set aside four sections of land around what is now Hot Springs, Arkansas, to protect the natural, thermal springs and adjoining mountainsides for the futur
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a United States National Lakeshore located along the northwest coast of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan in Leelanau and Benzie counties near Empire, Michigan. The park covers a 35-mile-long stretch of Lake Michigan's eastern coastline, as well as North and South Manitou islands; this Northern Michigan park was established because of its outstanding natural features, including forests, dune formations, ancient glacial phenomena. The lakeshore contains many cultural features including the 1871 South Manitou Island Lighthouse, three former stations of the Coast Guard and an extensive rural historic farm district. In 2011, the area won the title of "The Most Beautiful Place in America" from Good Morning America. In 2014, a section of the park was named the Sleeping Bear Dunes Wilderness by the United States Congress; the park was authorized on October 21, 1970. The park's creation was controversial because it involved the transfer of private property to public.
The federal government's stance at the time was that the Great Lakes were the "third coast" and had to be preserved much like Cape Hatteras or Big Sur, which are National Seashores. The residents living in what is now Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore believed themselves to be stewards of the land and did not want it to be overrun by tourists; the government won out, in part by supporting the local schools to offset the lost property tax revenue and by adding North Manitou Island to be included in the park. The park is named after an Ojibwe legend of the sleeping bear. According to the legend, an enormous forest fire on the western shore of Lake Michigan drove a mother bear and her two cubs into the lake for shelter, determined to reach the opposite shore. After many miles of swimming, the two cubs lagged behind; when the mother bear reached the shore, she waited on the top of a high bluff. The exhausted cubs drowned in the lake, but the mother bear stayed and waited in hopes that her cubs would appear.
Impressed by the mother bear's determination and faith, the Great Spirit created two islands to commemorate the cubs, the winds buried the sleeping bear under the sands of the dunes where she waits to this day. The "bear" was a small tree-covered knoll at the top edge of the bluff that, from the water, had the appearance of a sleeping bear. Wind and erosion have caused the "bear" to be reduced in size over the years. In 2014, 32,500 acres of the park were formally designated as the Sleeping Bear Dunes Wilderness by the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Conservation and Recreation Act; this was the first wilderness protection bill to be passed by the United States Congress in five years. Glen Haven existed as a company town from 1865 to 1931. A dock for Glen Arbor, the site soon became a fuel supply point for ships traveling up and down the lake. Here, Charles McCarty decided to open his own business and built a dock to supply the ships with wood. In 1863, McCarty built the Sleeping Bear House.
It was expanded a few years to accommodate travelers. In 1928, it was remodeled into the inn for summer vacationers; the General Store was established to supply the workers. Like most company towns, the workers were paid in company coupons, redeemable only at the company store; the Blacksmith Shop is. In 1878, David Henry Day arrived in the community. By this time, coal from the Appalachian coal fields was replacing wood on the steamships. Day was looking for another future to this small community. In 1860, Port Oneida had a population of 87 people. Thomas Kelderhouse had built a dock to sell wood to the passing steamships, he was able to sell fresh produce and maple sugar in season. A local story says; the area includes 16 historic farms. The farming community was abandoned due to hard farming conditions and declining timber sales. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is one of Michigan's most popular destinations for camping vacations the most popular; this popularity may be due to the fact it was named the "Most Beautiful Place in America" by Good Morning America in 2011.
There are a few campgrounds in the national lakeshore and they are grouped into D. H. Day Campground, Platte River Campground, a few camping areas on the Manitou Islands within, some other sites for backcountry or group camping. D. H. Day Campground is part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and offers a moderate level of privacy and a beach on Lake Michigan. Campsites are rustic and more far apart than campsites at most campgrounds. Nearby points of interest include Empire Bluffs, the "dune climb", North Bar Lake. Campsites 1–31 allow the use of a generator, the remaining sites forbid generator use. Platte River Campground is part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and offers a variety of campsites; some campsites are modern, some are "hike-in," and others are more rustic. Nearby points of interest include Platte River Point, the Platte River, Big Platte Lake; the north section of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park is a short drive from Platte River Campground. Kayaking is a popular activity at the campground the kayak trail leading from the campground to Platte River Point Sleeping Bear Dunes has three main campgrounds on South Manitou Island, including the Weather Station Campground located on the south side of the island, the Bay Campground on the west shore of the island and the Popple Campground on the north shore.
In addition to federal campgrounds within the national lakeshore itself, ther
Highland Recreation Area
Highland State Recreation Area is a 5,900-acre state recreation area in the southeast part of the U. S. state of Michigan. It is located in north Oakland County, 14 miles west of Pontiac. Haven Hill Natural Area, within the Highland State Recreation Area, was designated in 1976 as a National Natural Landmark; the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, which owns and operates Highland, describes the recreation area as a parcel of forest and kettle lakes operated for light camping and drive-in/drive-out recreational day use. 45 miles of trails in the recreation area are designated for hiking, mountain biking, equestrian sports. West of Duck Lake Road in Highland State Recreation Area, a group of small moraines are locally called "mountains" -- the highest elevation in the park, Mount Kanzer, is 1,150 feet above sea level; the highland for which this recreation area is named is this group of moraines. South of Highland Road and east of Duck Lake Road lies the 721-acre Haven Hill Natural Area and National Natural Landmark, a component unit of the Highland Natural Area.
MDNR describes Haven Hill as an area that contains "all of southern Michigan's principal forest types within one small area, including swamp forest of tamarack, beech-maple forest, oak-hickory forest, mixed hardwood forest. The area has remained undisturbed for the past 75 years." Haven Hill was preserved as a natural area first by auto magnate Edsel Ford, whose estate it was, by MDNR after Ford's death in 1943. The Highland State Recreation Area, the Haven Hill Natural Area embedded within the recreation area, are both located on M-59 directly west of Pontiac, Michigan; the nearest limited-access highway is U. S. Highway 23 at M-59/Highland Road. Friends of Highland Recreation Area Highland Recreation Area Pure Michigan The Haven Hill Project Haven Hill Project Blog Haven Hill Project, Complete Haven Hill History Haven Hill Project, First History Hike Video Haven Hill Arch, White Lake, Michigan Waymarking.com Haven Hill Natural Area Protected Planet
Tobico Marsh, located just north of Bay City, Michigan, is part of the Bay City Recreation Area. Tobico Marsh was designated as a registered National Natural Landmark in 1976 because of its large size undisturbed condition and variety of aquatic plant life. With nearly 2,000 acres of wetland woods, wet meadows, cattail marshlands and oak savannah prairies, Tobico Marsh is one of the largest remaining freshwater, coastal wetlands on the Great Lakes. Comprising 1,652 acres, the marsh contains three distinct habitats: a wide expanse of open water, an extensive area of marshland, a mixed hardwood forest; the first private ownership of Tobico Marsh was by logging interests. As logging diminished, the land was sold to several individuals who formed the Tobico Hunting and Fishing Club. In 1956, Guy Garber and Frank Andersen, the only surviving members, realized the value of the area as a wildlife refuge. Andersen donated the property to the State of Michigan in 1957 and it became the Tobico State Wildlife Refuge.
The State obtained adjacent land and formed the Tobico Marsh State Game Area, with the wildlife refuge as its core. In 1995, the refuge and game area were merged with the adjacent Bay City State Park, forming the Bay City State Recreation Area. Bay City State Recreation Area
Warren Woods State Park
Warren Woods is a 311-acre state park in Berrien County, near the town of Three Oaks. It is leased by private owners to the state of Michigan; the woods are named for the inventor of the featherbone corset. Starting in 1879, Warren bought 150 acres of the woods and 250 acres of the dunes, setting it aside for preservation; the park is home to the last climax beech-maple forest in Michigan. The virgin North American beech and sugar maple forest has specimens 125 feet tall and with girths greater than 5 feet in diameter; the remaining area in the park consists of floodplain oak-hickory forest. Because of the size and age of the trees, the rarity of the ecosystem, the area has been designated since 1967 as a National Natural Landmark. Many of the beeches, with their temptingly smooth, silver-grey bark, are scarred by hand-carved graffiti, some of it decades old; the park is administered by nearby Warren Dunes State Park. Most visitors come to walk the 3.5 miles of hiking trails, which run from the northern boundary on Warren Woods Road to a parking area accessed from the southern boundary on Elm Valley Road.
In the middle of the park the trail crosses the Galien River on a pedestrian bridge, where there is an interpretive station. The park contains the 42-acre Warren Woods Ecological Field Station owned and operated by the University of Chicago. Birders cite the park as a good place to spot pileated woodpeckers. Other visitors come to picnic; the park is the subject of ecological studies because, in combination with the ecosystems preserved in nearby Warren Dunes State Park, it completes a progression of ecological seres. The park offers picnicking. Warren Woods State Park Michigan Department of Natural Resources Warren Woods State Park Map Michigan Department of Natural Resources Warren Woods State Park Protected Planet