Michigan

River County Reach Length (miles) Description Potential Classification ORVs Watershed (HUC Code 8) Year Listed/ Updated Other State
Au Gres River, East Branch Iosco From confluence with Smith Creek to confluence with Old Channel East Branch Au Gres River 15 A good small stream for canoeing with very good fishing, including trout and salmon. A designated state trout stream. Flows through mainly forest lands. Fish, Recreational Au Gres-Rifle 1982
Au Sable River Otsego, Montmorency, Crawford, Oscoda, Alcona, Roscommon, and Iosco From confluence of Kolka and Bradford Creeks at T28N, R04W, Sec. 23 to Mio Pond Dam at T26N, R02E, Sec. 11, and from Alcona Dam to Loud Dam Pond at T24N, R06E, Sec. 21. 79 The river corridor offers a great variety of scenic values, from extensive forested wetland areas and grassy marshes to upland plains and high sandy bluffs. Some 18 miles of the South Branch flows through the 5,000 acre George Mason River Retreat, a specially designated and managed area designed to ensure solitude for the river user. A National Forest Scenic Byway follows parts of the lower Au Sable River. The mainstream and the South Branch are both extremely popular canoeing streams, with numerous liveries and other facilities readily available. The watershed, with its myriad of streams as the focal point, offers virtually every type of outdoor recreational activity of interest in Michigan, such as hunting, hiking, skiing, camping, snowmobiling, and nature study. Furthermore, the Au Sable is a world famous brook and brown trout stream, with many sections designated as Blue-Ribbon Trout Streams. The "Holy Waters"" on the mainstream is held in reverence by trout fishers from around the globe. Trout unlimited a worldwide conservation organization was born on the banks of the Au Sable. The lower section of the mainstream below Foote Dam supports excellent salmon and steelhead runs and other sections of the river provide trophy walleye and smallmouth bass fishing. In addition to supporting the full complement of northern Michigan wildlife the Au Sable River area is also home to the world's only breeding population of the endangered Kirtland's Warbler." Scenic Fish, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife Au Sable 1995
Betsie River Benzie and Manistee From the Grass Lake Dam in T25N, R14W, Sec. 2 to the inlet of Betsie Lake in T25N, R16W, Sec. 35 48 The Betsie is a designated State Natural River. The upper sections flow through low, rolling forested hills and plains, while the lower corridor includes high forested ridges. The entire mainstream is canoeable, with a moderate to fast current. Canoe rentals and private camping are available on the river, with ski resorts and snowmobile trails nearby. The Betsie also is an excellent steelhead river, with very good salmon runs and fair brown trout fishing, to which the public has good access. Recreational Fish, Recreational, Scenic Betsie-Platte 1995
Black River Otsego, Presque Isle, Cheboygan From headwaters to confluence with Sturgis Creek 49 Located in northern upper peninsula and has a well forested watershed, marginally canoeable. Under study by the state for inclusion in State Natural Rivers System. Recreational Black 1982
Black River Gogebic Black River dam to Southern National Forest Boundary 24 An essentially primitive, scenic stream with several access points above U.S. 2. Many rapids and falls downstream of U.S. 2. Flow is variable, low in summer. Seasonal recreational use. Watershed is mostly wooded and undeveloped. Geologic, Recreational, Scenic Black 1982
Boardman River Grand Traverse From the forks in T26n, RO9W, Sec. 4 downstream to the North boundary of Grand Traverse County property in T27N, R11W, Sec.15 25 The Boardman is a designated State Natural River. The upper portion flows through public lands, which offer a forested river valley consisting of a variety of forest types and topographic features in the fastest growing area of the state. The entire length of the mainstream is good for canoeing and the surrounding public lands provide facilities for camping, hiking, horseback riding, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. Furthermore, much of the mainstream and the North and South branches are classified as Blue-Ribbon Trout Streams, offering both brook and brown trout. The state of Michigan considers the following tributaries vital to the protection of the mainstem. These include the North Branch, the South Branch, Beitner Cr., Jaxson Cr., Swainston Cr., Jackson Cr., East Cr., Parker Cr., Bancroft Cr., Carpenter Cr., Twenty-Two Cr., Taylor Cr., Crofton Cr., and Failing Cr. Recreational/Scenic Fish, Recreational, Scenic Boardman-Charlevoix 1995
Brule River Iron National Forest boundary to backwaters of Brule Island dam 15 Flows on boundary of Michigan and Wisconsin. Good to excellent canoeing and fishing. Watershed is primarily forested. Good water quality. Fish, Recreational Brule 1982 WI
Brule River Iron The 33-mile segment from Brule Lake in the northeast corner of Section 15, Township 41 North, Range 13 East, to the National Forest boundary at the southeast quarter Section 13, Township 41 North, Range 17 East. 36 Excellent brown trout fishery. Provides fine recreational canoe route during most of year. This river is under Congressional study for designation in the Wild and Scenic River System. It is currently under the full protection of the the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act pursuant to Section 7 (b) of the Act. Recreational Fish, Historic, Recreational Brule 1982/ 1995 WI
Cass River Saginaw, Tuscola Headwaters to Caro (22 river miles); Caro to Vassar (13 river miles); Vassar to Frankenmuth (9 river miles); Frankenmuth to confluence with Saginaw River (21 river miles) 62 A central Michigan river rising in the thumb area. A slow moving stream flowing through a heavily farmed portion of the state offering fair to good fishing. River banks are predominantly wooded. Offers an easy canoe trip. Proposed for study for the State Natural Rivers System. Also flows through a considerable amount of state game area and Sanilac Petroglyphs archeologic site. Geologic, Recreational, Wildlife Shiawassee 1982
Cass River, North Branch Sanilac Within Sanilac state game area: From S. Bad Axe RD to Hoadley RD (T14N R12E S12 to T14N R14E S16 ) 5 A small tributary to the Cass River flowing through a predominantly farmed area. Indian petroglyphs in several locations. Historic Cass 1982
Chippewa River Midland, Isabella, Mecosta Headwaters to Barryton (24 river miles); Barryton to Mt. Pleasant (19 river miles); Mt. Pleasant dam to mouth at Tittabawassee River (46 river miles) 92 Flows through central Michigan farm country and forest land. A good canoe trail with fair warm water fishing. Crosses Isabella Indian Reservation surrounding Mt. Pleasant. Recreational Pine 1982
Clinton River Macomb, Oakland Auburn CL just East of I75 in Pontiac to mouth at Lake St. Clair 45 A generally slow moving southeastern Michigan stream with fair to good fishing. Canoeing good and receives heavy use. Flows through an area of high urban development although has fairly well wooded banks. Located in Detroit MSA. Cultural, Fish, Historic, Recreational Clinton 1982
Crystal River Leelanau Entire segment within Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore 3 Sinuous river channel following beach ridges. Large wetlands associated with interdunal wetlands. Remnant beaches contain rich diversity of species. Popular canoeing stream. Recreational Geologic, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife, Other Betsie-Platte 1993
Driggs River Schoolcraft Source at Driggs Lake to mouth at confluence with Manistique River in the Seney National Wildlife Refuge. 36 A central upper peninsula river located mostly within boundary of Seney National Wildlife Refuge. A scenic stream with almost no cultural intrusion. Floating and fishing limited. Scenic Manistique 1982
East Branch Huron River Baraga, Marquette From confluence with Little East Branch Huron River to confluence with Huron River 12 A small but almost completely unspoiled stream. Watershed is 99 percent wooded. Very little human disturbance. Fishing opportunity is very good. Canoeing opportunity poor. Proposed for study by state for its Natural Rivers System. Geologic, Scenic Dead-Kelsey 1982
East Branch Tahquamenon River Chippewa, Luce Western boundary of the Hiawatha National Forest section 19, T.46N., R.6W. to its confluence with the mainstream 14 River flows through wild, forested, rolling hills interspersed with swampy areas. It is well known for scenic upper and lower falls within Tahquamenon Falls State Park. Very little development except near mouth. Recreational Geologic, Recreational, Scenic Tahquamenon 1982/ 1993
Escanaba River, East Branch Marquette Headwaters to 1 mile above Gwinn 13 A small stream flowing through western upper peninsula wild country. Watershed generally forested with some farming. A short segment of this river is located on K.I. Sawyer A.F.B. Recreational Escanaba 1982
Escanaba River, West Branch Marquette, Dickinson Headwaters to confluence with Escanaba 29 A good floating and fishing stream located in western upper peninsula wild country. Small in the upper reaches. Recreational Escanaba 1982
Fence River Iron From confluence with the West Branch of the Fence River to Michigamme Resevoir 17 Outstanding fishing opportunity...flows through western upper peninsula forest lands with a limited amount of farming in watershed. Floating opportunity good with somewhat limited use. Under study by the state for inclusion in state Natural Rivers System. Fish, Recreational Michigamme 1982
Fence River, West Branch Iron From Neligan dam 2 miles south of Baraga-Iron County line to confluence with Fence River. 9 Outstanding fishing opportunity...flows through western upper peninsula forest lands with a limited amount of farming in watershed. Floating opportunity good with somewhat limited use. Under study by the state for inclusion in state Natural Rivers System. Fish, Recreational Michigamme 1982
Flat River Montcalm, Ionia, and Kent From the M-46/M-66 Bridge in T12N, R07W, Sec.10 in Montcalm County, downstream to the Lowell city limits 69 The Flat is included in Michigan's list of state Designated Natural Rivers. Due to its location within a agricultural area with well wooded banks, pastoral settings and clear water, it is generally considered one of the state's most scenic streams. The river receives considerable canoe use; a private ranch in the area offers canoe rentals, horseback riding and camping. In addition, state game areas and county parks offer numerous day use activities. Historically, the river is home to Native American trading sites. It also boasts to having two of Michigan's three remaining original covered bridges, both of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The state of Michigan considers the following tributaries vital to the protection of the mainstem. These include Dickerson Cr., Wabasis Cr., Coopers Cr., Clear Cr. and the West Branch Recreational Fish, Historic, Recreational, Scenic Lower Grand 1995
Flint River Saginaw, Genesee, Lapeer Headwaters to mouth at Shiawassee River. 76 A medium sized central Michigan river with a fair amount of recreation use above city of Flint. Fair fishing and good canoeing in upper one-half. Watershed mainly agriculture. Has mostly wooded banks. Some high banks in place. Flows through Flint SMSA. Fish, Recreational Shiawassee 1982
Ford River Delta, Dickinson, Marquette Headwaters to Gaging Station at RM 10 101 A mostly primitive western upper peninsula stream. Good fishing and outstanding canoeing. Some farming in watershed. Recreational Cedar-Ford 1982
Ford River, North Branch Dickinson Headwaters to mouth at Ford River 35 A narrow stream in a primarily forested watershed with little development. Good fishing and limited canoeing. Recreational, Scenic Cedar-Ford 1982
Fox River Alger, Schoolcraft From its source above Casey Lake at T48N, R14W, Sec.21, to the confluence with the East Branch of the Fox River at T45N, R13W, Sec.25 35 The Fox is a Designated State Natural River. It has a largely undeveloped watershed, heavily forested borders and a large marsh through "Spreads"" areas both below Seney on the mainstream and between M-77 an M-28 on the East Branch. The Fox River Hiking Trail runs parallel to the river while campgrounds and the Seney National Wildlife Refuge are nearby. In addition it is one of Michigan's Blue Ribbon Trout Streams and is also a top quality brook trout stream. Interestingly enough the Fox is the river that Ernest Hemingway was actually writing about in his story ""The Big Two-Hearted River."" The state of Michigan considers the following tributaries vital to the protection of the mainstream. These include Casey Cr. West Branch Spring Ponds Little Fox and Hudson Cr." Scenic Fish, Recreational, Scenic, Other Manistique 1995
Fox River, East Branch Schoolcraft, Luce From source to mouth at confluence with Fox River 35 A state designated Natural River, this central upper peninsula stream flows into a heavily forested area. Some cultural intrusions. Good fishing. The state of Michigan considers the following tributaries vital to the protection of the mainstem: Clear Cr., Camp Seven Cr., Cold Cr., Deer Cr., and Bev. Cr._x000D__x000D_ Scenic Recreational, Scenic Manistique 1982
Grand River Ottawa, Kent, Ionia, Clinton, Eaton, Ingham, Jackson Culver Rd. to Hague Rd. (22 river miles); Portage River to Willow Creek (29 river miles); Eton Rapids to Moores Park (18 rm); Lansing dam to Portland dam (39 rm); Weber dam to Maple Rd. to Hwy 131 (50 rm); Sec 13, T6N, R12-13W to Eastmanville (18 rm) 188 A long river comprising Michigan's largest watershed. Many access points. A generally slow moving stream with few rapids and dams. The stream offers excellent recreational opportunities. Good canoeing and fishing. Flows through lower Michigan farmland, but has mostly wooded banks. Flows through Jackson, Lansing, and Grand Rapids SMSA's. The ledges at Grand Ledge are one of the few significant rock outcroppings in lower Michigan. Many parks along river. Proposed by the state for study for State Natural Rivers System. Some historic and cultural value Cultural, Geologic, Historic, Recreational, Scenic Upper Grand 1982
Huron River Livingston and Washtenaw From the outfall of Kent Lake Dam in T01N, R06E, Sec. 01, Livingston County, downstream to the East boundary of T02S, R05E, Sec. 12, Washtenaw County 37 The Huron is one of Michigan's Designated State Natural Rivers. Much of the river frontage is publicly owned; however, there is little development and a wooded corridor offers river users outstanding scenery and a sense of remoteness uncommon to this highly populated area of southeast Michigan. The Huron receives moderate canoe and kayak use, and offers the only "rapids"" in southeast Michigan. Island Lake State Recreation Area and Huron-Clinton Metroparks offer limited rustic group camping as well as numerous day-use activities along the river such as hiking bicycling nature study picnicking and golf. The river also offers quality smallmouth bass fishing and is managed as catch and release trophy fishing in certain sections. The state of Michigan considers the following tributaries vital to the protection of the mainstem: Davis Cr. Arms Cr. and Mill Cr." Recreational Fish, Recreational, Scenic Huron 1995
Huron River Baraga, Marquette From confluence with East Branch Huron River to Lake Superior 8 A small but almost completely unspoiled stream. Watershed is 99 percent wooded. Very little human disturbance. Fishing opportunity is very good. Canoeing opportunity poor. Proposed for study by state for its Natural Rivers System. Geologic, Scenic Huron 1982
Huron River Oakland, Livingston, Washtenaw, Wayne Headwaters to mouth excluding Kent Lake, 1995 update segment (From the outfall of Kent Lake Dam in T01N, R06E, Sec. 01, Livingston County, downstream to the East boundary of T02S, R05E, Sec. 12, Washtenaw County), Ford Lake, and Belleville Lake. 77 An all around good river flowing through a heavily urbanized area in southeast Michigan. Recieves considerable recreation, mainly fishing and floating with swimming in the upper reaches. A pleasant slow moving stream flowing through farmland, several cold water lakes, several metro-parks, the City of Ann Arbor and the fringe of Detroit SMSA. A designated State Natural River. Fish, Historic, Recreational Huron 1982
Jordan River Charlevoix Rogers Bridge in T32N, R07W, Sec. 35 to East Jordan 2 Very scenic with some fast water. A small river flowing through heavily wooded primitive watershed. Good canoeing and fishing. A designated State Natural River. Recreational, Scenic Boardman-Charlevoix 1982
Jordan River Charlevoix and Antrim Headwaters in T31n, R05W, Sec.22, to Rogers Bridge in T32N, R07W, Sec. 35 23 The Jordan is one of Michigan's Designated State Natural Rivers. Its upper valley is noted for its wide, scenic, undisturbed corridor. Moreover, the Jordan River Valley is a specially managed scenic area with one of the most popular scenic forest drives in the state following the Upper Jordan River. In addition, the upper river valley has excellent fishing, hiking, hunting and skiing opportunities, with the lower section offering canoeable waters. A portion of the Polar-Equator Hiking Trail follows the river for a few miles and the scenic Jordan River Pathway weaves along and across the river. Furthermore, the upper section of the Jordan offers outstanding brook trout, while the lower part of the river offers seasonal steelhead and brown trout fishing. Not surprisingly, the river is considered a Designated Blue-Ribbon Trout Stream. The state of Michigan considers the following tributaries flowing into the mainstem vital to the protection of the Jordan: Landslide Cr., Cascade Cr. , Stevens Cr., Green River, Section 7 Cr., Tutstone Cr., Cokirs Cr., Scotts Cr., Suttons Cr., Mill Cr., Martin Cr., Lilak Cr., Gook Cr., Webster Cr., Severance Cr., and Bartholomew Cr. Scenic Fish, Recreational, Scenic Boardman-Charlevoix 1995
Kalamazoo (Lower) River Allegan From Calkins Bridge Dam in T.O2N., R.14W., Sec.10 downstream to the Hacklander Landing in T.O3N, R.16W., Sec.14 21 The Kalamazoo is part of Michigan's designated State Natural River system. The majority of the designated section runs through the Allegan State Game Area. The river corridor there is heavily forested with little development due to the remoteness of its location in southwestern Michigan. Large holdings of public land along the river contain campgrounds, hiking and cross-country ski trails. The river can be traveled by boat from Lake Michigan upstream to the Allegan Dam. Futhermore, the river is a productive fishery resource. Walleye and other warm-water fisheries are found along the Kalamazoo and it also has significant fall and spring runs of steelhead, sucker and salmon. Many wildlife viewing, hunting and trapping opportunities exist along the river within the Allegan Game Area and the Pottowottami Marsh. The game area is also intensively managed for Canadian geese and wild turkey and contains observation areas for viewing wildlife. The state of Michigan considers the following tributaries vital to the protection of the mainstem. These include Rabbit River, Bear Creek, Sand Creek, Swan Creek, and Mann Creek. Scenic Fish, Scenic, Wildlife, Other Kalamazoo 1995
Kalamazoo River Allegan, Calhoun, Kalamazoo From Marshall to the backwaters of Lake Allegan excluding Morrow Lake. Then from Hacklander Landing in T.O3N, R.16W., Sec.14 to Saugatuck. 83 A long southern Michigan stream with several dams and portages. Flows through heavily farmed and hardwood forest areas. Banks generally wooded. A good all around recreational stream receiving considerable floating and fishing use. Contains several city and county parks. Flows through city of Battle Creek and Kalamazoo SMSA. Under study by the state for State Natural Rivers System. Recreational Kalamazoo 1982
Little East Branch Huron River Baraga From Lake Phillips in Ottawa National Forest to confluence with East Branch Huron River 3 A small but almost completely unspoiled stream. Watershed is 99 percent wooded. Very little human disturbance. Fishing opportunity is very good. Canoeing opportunity poor. Proposed for study by state for its Natural Rivers System. Geologic, Scenic Dead-Kelsey 1982
Little Muskegon River Mecosta, Montcalm, Newaygo Morley Dam in T.13 N., R.10 W. to Croton Dam Pond in T.12 N., R.11 W. 24 Many high, steep forest covered banks along a narrow, tortuous river with overhanging trees. Scenic Scenic Muskegon 1982/ 1993
Manistee River Lake, Mason, Manistee From the Highway 37 crossing near Old Grebe Campground in Section 3, T.19 N., R.13 W. to backwater of State fish weir in T.21 N., R.16 W. 43 One of best cold water fisheries. Provides consistent supply of unusually high quality water. Opportunities for fly fishing and canoeing. Scenic Fish, Recreational Manistee 1993
Manistique River Luce, Schoolcraft Manistique Lake to Paper Company flowage at Manistique 71 A good recreational river with good fishing and floating. High percentage of state owned land. Generally undisturbed and forested watershed. Good fishing and outstanding floating. Recreational, Scenic Manistique 1982
Manistique River, West Branch Schoolcraft Headwaters to confluence with Manistique River 43 River corridor largely undeveloped. Outstanding character of this river is the many sand bars in lower portion. Flows through central upper peninsula wild country near Seney National Wildlife Refuge. Empties into Lake Michigan near town of Manistique. Mouth has scenic sand beaches. Geologic, Recreational, Scenic Manistique 1982
Miners River Alger County Road H-58 (aka. Adams Trail/ Munising-van Meer-Shingleton Rd.) to mouth at Lake Superior (within Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore) 7 Forms Miners Falls and Lake where drops 30 feet into broad valley. Flows over Ordovician Au Train formation and through a sandstone gorge. Scenic Fish, Geologic, Scenic Betsy-Chocolay 1993
Montreal River Keweenaw Entire stream 27 An essentially primitive stream with very minimal human encroachment. Overall recreational opportunity is limited. Falls near mouth. Scenic Keweenaw Peninsula 1982
Mosquito River Alger Entire segment within Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, from Section 17, T48N, R17W to mouth at Lake Superior 6 Mosquito Falls, a branch of river, cascades over wall of former glacial meltwater channel. Excellent water quality and minimal cultural development. Popular trout fishery and hiking destination. Wild Fish, Geologic, Recreational, Scenic Betsy-Chocolay 1993
Muskegon River Clare, Missaukee, Roscommon 40 Reedsburg dam to SR 61 in Clare County 66 A central lower peninsula stream with little development and good water quality. River meanders through terrain varying from marsh to heavily forested areas with high sand and gravel banks. Recreational, Scenic Muskegon 1982
Muskegon River Newago Newaygo to Muskegon-Newago County Line 21 A western lower peninsula stream flowing through sand hill country into Lake Michigan. Many high, forested banks. Excellent canoeing stream with good flow. Close to Grand Rapids SMSA. Under study by the state for State Natural Rivers System. Recreational, Scenic Muskegon 1982
Muskegon River Newaygo Croton Dam in T.12 N., R.11 W. to city of Newaygo in T.12 N., R.12 W. 14 Wide meandering river with high-steep-forested banks. Contains archaeological sites that provide unique record of prehistory Michigan. Recreational Historic, Scenic Muskegon 1982/ 1993
Muskegon River Muskegon, Newago, Mecosta, Osceola SR 61 to Hoffmeyer drain (17 rm); Hoffmeyer drain to Evart (8 rm); Evart to Penn Central RR (25 rm) Rogers dam to Hardy dam (30 rm); SR 213 to U.S. 31 (13 rm) 77 An exceptional central Michigan stream with good to excellent recreation values. Flows through generally wooded corridor with a 50 percent farmed watershed. Clear water with a good current provides excellent canoeing. Very good trout and salmon fishing. Depth in lower reaches supports power boating. Under study by the state for the State Natural Rivers System. Fish, Recreational, Scenic Muskegon 1982
Net River Iron, Baraga From confluece with West Branch Net River to confluence with Paint River 15 A western upper peninsula river with generally good fishing and floating opportunity. Watershed is primarily forested with some farming. Scenic Brule 1982
North Branch Paw Paw River Van Buren From SR 43 downstream to confluence with main branch of Paw Paw River 10 Located in southern Michigan and considered outstanding. Good fishing and excellent canoeing. Flows through a well wooded corridor with minimum cultural development. Some agriculture provides outstanding views of surrounding countryside. Under study by the state for the State Natural Rivers System. Cultural, Recreational, Scenic St. Joseph 1982
Ocqueoc River Presque Isle Sportsman dam to mouth at Lake Huron 34 Located in northern lower peninsula. Flows through heavily forested watershed. Country varies from swamp to hilly. A small stream with good fishing. Some cultural intrusion. Falls at Ocqueoc. Fish, Scenic Lone Lake-Ocqueoc 1982
Ontonagon River Ontonagon Confluence with E. and Middle Br. to mouth at Lake Superior 24 Main stem of the Ontonagon River system. Flows through western upper peninsula wild country. Watershed heavily forested with very little development. Excellent floating and fishing. Located in a deeply incised valley in an area of high hills with land flattening out near mouth. Many high gravel banks. Proposed by state for study for inclusion in State Natural Rivers System. Fish, Geologic, Recreational, Scenic Ontonagon 1982
Ontonagon River, Middle Branch Ontonagon From Ottawa National Forest boundary to confluence with main branch 5 A tributary to Ontonagon. Good fishing and floating. Flows in part through land owned by the U.S. Forest Service. Good to excellent water quality. Receives moderate recreational use. Fish, Recreational, Scenic Ontonagon 1982
Ontonagon River, South Branch Ontonagon From confluence with the Cisco Branch Ontonagon River to mouth at West Branch Ontonagon River 33 Scenic attraction especially when river is running full usually during spring breakup and in late fall. Native brook trout fishing . Popular for canoeing. Fish, Recreational, Scenic Ontonagon 1982/ 1993
Ontonagon River, West Branch Ontonagon Michigan Highway 28 to confluence with Cascade Falls 11 Part of Ontonagon River system. Excellent canoeing and good fishing opportunity. Flows through western upper peninsula wild country with minimal cultural intrusions. Recreational Recreational, Scenic Ontonagon 1982/ 1993
Paint River Iron National Forest boundary/beginning of WSR segment to backwaters of Crystal Falls 25 A western upper peninsula stream flowing through essentially primitive watershed. Outstanding fishing and good canoeing opportunity. Proposed by the state for study for inclusion in State Natural Rivers System. Fish, Recreational Brule 1982
Paw Paw River Van Buren, Berrien Confluence with North Branch Paw Paw River to 2 miles downstream of Berrien County line 38 Located in southern Michigan and considered outstanding. Good fishing and excellent canoeing. Flows through a well wooded corridor with minimum cultural development. Some agriculture provides outstanding views of surrounding countryside. Under study by the state for the State Natural Rivers System. Cultural, Recreational, Scenic St. Joseph 1982
Paw Paw River Berrien Watervliet to mouth at St. Joseph River 22 An outstanding southern Michigan river flowing through generally forested corridor with a heavily farmed watershed. Many long, scenic stretches with little development. A good canoeing stream receiving much fishing use. Under study by the state for State Natural Rivers System. Recreational, Scenic St. Joseph 1982
Pentwater River Oceana From confluece with south Branch Pentwater River to mouth at Lake Michigan. 11 A small stream flowing into Lake Michigan through mainly forested land Recreational, Scenic Pere Marquette-White 1982
Pentwater River Oceana Headwaters in the Huron-Manistee National Forest to confluence with Pentwater River 14 A small stream flowing into Lake Michigan through mainly forested land Recreational, Scenic Pere Marquette-White 1982
Pentwater River Oceana Headwaters in the Huron-Manistee National Forest to confluence with Pentwater River 19 A small stream flowing into Lake Michigan through mainly forested land Recreational, Scenic Pere Marquette-White 1982
Pere Marquette River, Baldwin River: Baldwin River Mason, Lake, Newaygo, and Oceana From widewaters in T19N, R12W, Sec. 32 to confluence with Sanborn Creek. 14 The entire watershed contains large holdings of state and national forest lands. River corridors provide a variety of vegetation and topography, from high sand hills to braided channels flowing through extensive marshlands. The mainstream was one of the first rivers in the nation designated for study under the 1968 Federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and is now designated as a scenic river. The Pere Marquette is an excellent canoeing stream for much of its length; the mainstream offers many opportunities for extended canoe trips and the "Spreads"" through Nelan's Marsh provides an opportunity for wildlife viewing in a remote setting. In addition the Big South Branch is considered a good canoeing stream and the rest of the mainstream offers hiking fishing hunting bird watching camping snowmobiling and cross-country skiing opportunities. Also a section of the North Country Trail crosses the mainstream and many of its tributaries. Although the Pere Marquette is considered a world famous steelhead and salmon river the upper mainstream and tributaries also offer fine brook brown and rainbow trout fishing; warmwater species of fish are predominant in the river from Nelan's Marsh downstream. Historically the river is significant due to evidence of early trapper trader French Jesuit and Native American occupation. The area was also part of the Michigan White Pine Lumbering era and many of the old ""High Rollways"" are still visible from the river." Scenic Fish, Recreational, Scenic Pere Marquette-White 1995
Pere Marquette River, Baldwin River: Sanborn Creek Mason, Lake, Newaygo, and Oceana From confluece with Baldwin River to confluence with the mainstream at T17N, R13W, Sec. 16. 6 The entire watershed contains large holdings of state and national forest lands. River corridors provide a variety of vegetation and topography, from high sand hills to braided channels flowing through extensive marshlands. The mainstream was one of the first rivers in the nation designated for study under the 1968 Federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and is now designated as a scenic river. The Pere Marquette is an excellent canoeing stream for much of its length; the mainstream offers many opportunities for extended canoe trips and the "Spreads"" through Nelan's Marsh provides an opportunity for wildlife viewing in a remote setting. In addition the Big South Branch is considered a good canoeing stream and the rest of the mainstream offers hiking fishing hunting bird watching camping snowmobiling and cross-country skiing opportunities. Also a section of the North Country Trail crosses the mainstream and many of its tributaries. Although the Pere Marquette is considered a world famous steelhead and salmon river the upper mainstream and tributaries also offer fine brook brown and rainbow trout fishing; warmwater species of fish are predominant in the river from Nelan's Marsh downstream. Historically the river is significant due to evidence of early trapper trader French Jesuit and Native American occupation. The area was also part of the Michigan White Pine Lumbering era and many of the old ""High Rollways"" are still visible from the river." Scenic Fish, Recreational, Scenic Pere Marquette-White 1995
Pere Marquette River, Big South Branch Mason, Lake, Newaygo, and Oceana From Beaver Creek in T15N, R14W, Sec. 11 to the mainstream at T18N, R16W, Sec. 22. 49 The entire watershed contains large holdings of state and national forest lands. River corridors provide a variety of vegetation and topography, from high sand hills to braided channels flowing through extensive marshlands. The mainstream was one of the first rivers in the nation designated for study under the 1968 Federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and is now designated as a scenic river. The Pere Marquette is an excellent canoeing stream for much of its length; the mainstream offers many opportunities for extended canoe trips and the "Spreads"" through Nelan's Marsh provides an opportunity for wildlife viewing in a remote setting. In addition the Big South Branch is considered a good canoeing stream and the rest of the mainstream offers hiking fishing hunting bird watching camping snowmobiling and cross-country skiing opportunities. Also a section of the North Country Trail crosses the mainstream and many of its tributaries. Although the Pere Marquette is considered a world famous steelhead and salmon river the upper mainstream and tributaries also offer fine brook brown and rainbow trout fishing; warmwater species of fish are predominant in the river from Nelan's Marsh downstream. Historically the river is significant due to evidence of early trapper trader French Jesuit and Native American occupation. The area was also part of the Michigan White Pine Lumbering era and many of the old ""High Rollways"" are still visible from the river." Scenic Fish, Recreational, Scenic Pere Marquette-White 1995
Pere Marquette River, Little South Branch Mason, Lake, Newaygo, and Oceana From FS Road 5309 in T15N, R12W, Sec. 9 to The Forks at T17N, R13W, Sec. 22 26 The entire watershed contains large holdings of state and national forest lands. River corridors provide a variety of vegetation and topography, from high sand hills to braided channels flowing through extensive marshlands. The mainstream was one of the first rivers in the nation designated for study under the 1968 Federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and is now designated as a scenic river. The Pere Marquette is an excellent canoeing stream for much of its length; the mainstream offers many opportunities for extended canoe trips and the "Spreads"" through Nelan's Marsh provides an opportunity for wildlife viewing in a remote setting. In addition the Big South Branch is considered a good canoeing stream and the rest of the mainstream offers hiking fishing hunting bird watching camping snowmobiling and cross-country skiing opportunities. Also a section of the North Country Trail crosses the mainstream and many of its tributaries. Although the Pere Marquette is considered a world famous steelhead and salmon river the upper mainstream and tributaries also offer fine brook brown and rainbow trout fishing; warmwater species of fish are predominant in the river from Nelan's Marsh downstream. Historically the river is significant due to evidence of early trapper trader French Jesuit and Native American occupation. The area was also part of the Michigan White Pine Lumbering era and many of the old ""High Rollways"" are still visible from the river." Scenic Fish, Recreational, Scenic Pere Marquette-White 1995
Pere Marquette River, Middle Branch Mason, Lake, Newaygo, and Oceana From Bonney Road in T17N, R11W, Sec. 7 to The Forks at T17n, R13W, Sec. 22 20 The entire watershed contains large holdings of state and national forest lands. River corridors provide a variety of vegetation and topography, from high sand hills to braided channels flowing through extensive marshlands. The mainstream was one of the first rivers in the nation designated for study under the 1968 Federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and is now designated as a scenic river. The Pere Marquette is an excellent canoeing stream for much of its length; the mainstream offers many opportunities for extended canoe trips and the "Spreads"" through Nelan's Marsh provides an opportunity for wildlife viewing in a remote setting. In addition the Big South Branch is considered a good canoeing stream and the rest of the mainstream offers hiking fishing hunting bird watching camping snowmobiling and cross-country skiing opportunities. Also a section of the North Country Trail crosses the mainstream and many of its tributaries. Although the Pere Marquette is considered a world famous steelhead and salmon river the upper mainstream and tributaries also offer fine brook brown and rainbow trout fishing; warmwater species of fish are predominant in the river from Nelan's Marsh downstream. Historically the river is significant due to evidence of early trapper trader French Jesuit and Native American occupation. The area was also part of the Michigan White Pine Lumbering era and many of the old ""High Rollways"" are still visible from the river." Scenic Fish, Recreational, Scenic Pere Marquette-White 1995
Pigeon River Otsego and Cheboygan From its headwaters in Osego County to Pigeon River Road Bridge in T35N, R02W, Sec.16 46 The Pigeon is one of Michigan's State Designated Natural Rivers. The largely undisturbed river corridor runs through Pigeon River Country State Forest which offers camping, hiking, and other recreational pursuits. A section of the Michigan Shore-to-Shore equestrian trail crosses the river. Furthermore, the lower part of the river offers fast water and riffles over bedrock for canoeists. The Pigeon is a Blue Ribbon Trout Stream for most of its length and contains both blue and brown members of that species. The river is also home to the largest elk herd east of the Mississippi River. Scenic Fish, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife Cheboygan 1995
Platte River Benzie Lake Ann to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore boundary exluding Platte Lake. 17 A small northern stream heavily used for trout and salmon fishing. A slow stream flowing through generally forested land with some farming. Medium canoeing use. Located in highly scenic northwestern Michigan sand dune area. Fish, Recreational, Scenic Betsie-Platte 1982
Platte River Benzie Entire segment within Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore 4 Sinous river channel following remnant beach ridges. Major archaeological resources relative to mid-woodland period Indian encampments. Popular canoeing destination. Important salmon and trout resource. Recreational Cultural, Fish, Geologic, Recreational Betsie-Platte 1982/ 1993
Portage Creek Kalamazoo Lake Hampton to Kalamazoo 11 A small southern Michigan stream flowing through predominantly Recreational Kalamazoo 1982
Presque Isle River Gogebic From WSR segment at Minnewawa Falls to Lake Superior 13 Flows through gorge-like setting and has many waterfalls, rapids, and rock outcrops. Listed as most challenging white water river in Michigan. Stands of silver maple and white oak. Geologic, Recreational, Scenic, Other Black-Presque Isle 1982/ 1993
Presque Isle River, East Branch Gogebic Presque Isle Springs to Ottawa National Forest boundary 7 Part of Presque Isle River system. Good water quality. Essentially primitive, flowing through wild watershed. Much of it located in Ottawa National Forest. Fish, Recreational, Scenic Black-Presque Isle 1982 WI
Presque Isle River, South Branch Gogebic Presque Isle Lake to Ottawa National Forest boundary 5 Tributary to main stem. A small stream with outstanding fishing. Little canoeing potential. Watershed mostly forested. Recreational, Scenic Black-Presque Isle 1982 WI
Presque Isle River, West Branch Gogebic Chancey Lake to Ottawa National Forest boundary 3 Essentially primitive stream. Tributary to main stem. Outstanding fishing. Canoeing seasonal. A small stream in an essentially primitive watershed. Partially on Ottawa National Forest. Fish, Scenic Black-Presque Isle 1982 WI
Rainy River Presque Isle From confluence with West Branch Upper Rainy River to mouth at Black Lake excluding Rainy Lake. 23 A small northern lower peninsula river flowing through heavily forested watershed. Several miles of this stream flows through swampy land in Black Lake State Forest. Scenic Black 1982
Red Cedar River Ingham Williamston dam to mouth at Grand River 23 A central Michigan river, heavily used for fishing. Some canoeing use mainly in Lansing SMSA area. Flows through predominantly farmed area, but retains natural cahracter with tree-lined banks. Crosses Michigan State University Campus. Recreational Upper Grand 1982
Rifle River Ogemaw and Arenac From Mallard Pond to Northern city limits of Omer, including all channels except the old channels leading in and out of Devoe Lake 54 The Rifle River is included in Michigan's list of State Designated Natural Rivers. Although under mostly private ownership, very little development has taken place on the river. As a result, the scenic river corridor features varied forest types and many high sand bluffs. It is one of the most heavily canoed rivers in the Midwest. The Rifle is a moderately fast river, with good access and no portages. Camping and numerous chances for canoe rentals along the river allow tourists the opportunity to take canoe trips ranging from two hours to five days. In addition, the lower river is famous for its massive spring runs of redhorse suckers. Portions of the mainstream are good for smallmouth bass, while the upper river and its tributaries offer good fishing for brown and brook trout. The state of Michigan considers the following tributaries vital to the protection of the mainstem. These include Gamble Cr., Vaughn Cr., Oyster Cr., Houghton Cr., Wilkins Cr., Mayhue Cr., Prior Cr., Klacking Cr., L. Klacking Cr., Dedrich Cr., West Branch, N.B. Eddy Cre., S.B. Eddy Cr., Silver Cr., Mansfield Cr., and Fritz Cr. Scenic Fish, Recreational, Scenic Au Gres-Rifle 1995
Rifle River, West Branch Ogemaw From Flowage Lake Outfall in T22N, R02E, Sec. 33 to the mainstream at T21N, R03E, Sec. 4 13 The Rifle River is included in Michigan's list of State Designated Natural Rivers. Although under mostly private ownership, very little development has taken place on the river. As a result, the scenic river corridor features varied forest types and many high sand bluffs. It is one of the most heavily canoed rivers in the Midwest. The Rifle is a moderately fast river, with good access and no portages. Camping and numerous chances for canoe rentals along the river allow tourists the opportunity to take canoe trips ranging from two hours to five days. In addition, the lower river is famous for its massive spring runs of redhorse suckers. Portions of the mainstream are good for smallmouth bass, while the upper river and its tributaries offer good fishing for brown and brook trout. The state of Michigan considers the following tributaries vital to the protection of the mainstem. These include Gamble Cr., Vaughn Cr., Oyster Cr., Houghton Cr., Wilkins Cr., Mayhue Cr., Prior Cr., Klacking Cr., L. Klacking Cr., Dedrich Cr., West Branch, N.B. Eddy Cre., S.B. Eddy Cr., Silver Cr., Mansfield Cr., and Fritz Cr. Scenic Fish, Recreational, Scenic Au Gres-Rifle 1995
Rogue River Kent From 20 Mile Rd. in T10N, R12W, Sec.14 to the confluence with the Grand River. 39 The Rogue is one of Michigan's State Designated Natural Rivers. Surprisingly, it boasts of a well forested corridor in Michigan's second largest urban area. Above Rockford the river receives considerable canoe use and is heavily fished throughout its length. In addition, a good native trout population above Rockford is supported by the river, while the area below Rockford Dam receives good spring and fall runs of steelhead and salmon. The state game areas also offer hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities. The state of Michigan considers the following tributaries vital to the protection of the mainstem: Spring Cr., Cedar Cr., Duke Cr., Stegman Cr., Shaw Cr., Rum Cr., and Barkley Cr. Recreational Fish, Recreational, Scenic, Wildlife Lower Grand 1995
Saginaw River Saginaw North limits of Saginaw to south limits of Bay City 11 This short segment is quite broad and located near Saginaw Bay. It is the parent river for many streams and drains a large segment of that part of the state. Maintained for heavy ship traffic, Great Lakes and Ocean class. Banks somewhat developed. Recreational boating and fishing use is quite heavy. Several archeological and historical sites. Historic, Recreational Saginaw 1982
Smith Creek Iosco From Hale to confluence with East Branch Au Gres River. 10 A good small stream for canoeing with very good fishing, including trout and salmon. A designated state trout stream. Flows through mainly forest lands. Fish, Recreational Au Gres-Rifle 1982
St. Joseph River Berrien, St. Joseph, Cass, Branch, Calhoun, Hillsdale Dam at Jonesville to Berrien Springs dam (185 river miles); Berrien Springs dan to mouth at Lake Michigan (25 river miles) 199 Flows thorugh southern Michigan farmland and hardwood forest areas. Rises in Michigan and dips down into Indiana and then back into Michigan to empty into Lake Michigan. A good canoeing steam with fair fishing. A fairly long river with good recreation potential. Proposed by the state for study for inclusion in State Natural Rivers System. Recreational St. Joseph 1982
Sturgeon River Houghton Headwaters to eastern boundary of National Forest. Then from northern boundary of National forest to mouth at Portage Lake. 66 Upper part of watershed is heavily forested and remote with river flowing swiftly thorugh scenic Sturgeon Gorge and over Sturgeon Falls. This area is part of Sturgeon River Wilderness study area. Farther downstream river changes character with pastoral scenes predominant near the mouth. Geologic, Recreational, Scenic Fishdam-Sturgeon 1982
Sturgeon River Dickenson From confluence with West Branch Sturgeon River to US Highway 2. 25 Flows through central upper peninsula farm and forest land. Good floating and fishing opportunity. A generally narrow stream. Recreational Fishdam-Sturgeon 1982
Sturgeon River Alger, Delta From the North line of Sec. 26., T. 43 N., R. 19 W., to Forest Road 440 8 A central upper peninsula river. Watershed generally wooded with some farming. Poor fishing and average canoeing. Scenic Historic, Scenic, Wildlife, Other Fishdam-Sturgeon 1982/ 1993
Sturgeon River Alger Forest Road 440 to Sixteen Mile Lake (Sec. 14, T.45 N., R.20 W.) excluding Dam Lake. 14 A central upper peninsula river. Watershed generally wooded with some farming. Poor fishing and average canoeing. Recreational Historic, Scenic, Wildlife Fishdam-Sturgeon 1982/ 1993
Tahquamenon River Chippewa, Luce Headwaters in section 21, T.47N., R.12W, to the mouth at Whitefish Bay (mainstream) 90 River flows through wild, forested, rolling hills interspersed with swampy areas. It is well known for scenic upper and lower falls within Tahquamenon Falls State Park. Very little development except near mouth. Recreational/Scenic Recreational, Scenic Tahquamenon 1982/ 1993
Thornapple River Kent, Barry Main Street (State Highway 66S) in Nashville to Irving (25 river miles); Irving to mouth at Grand River (33 river miles) (excluding Thornapple Lake) 58 A tributary of the Grand River, it flows through rolling farm country with scenic hills. Well wooded banks. Good canoeing and fair fishing. Under study by the state for State Natural Rivers System. Recreational, Scenic Lower Grand 1982
Thunder Bay River Alpena, Montmorency Hillman to Orchard Hill Bridge 27 A good fishing river flowing through a heavily forested watershed. Some rapids make an interesting canoe trip. Some farming. Proposed by the state for State Natural Rivers System. Fish, Recreational Thunder Bay 1982
Thunder Bay River, North Branch Alpena, Montmorency Headwaters at Rush Lake to backwaters of Elousky Pond 34 A tributary of Thunder Bay River. A small stream with good fishing but limited canoeing. Generally wild watershed, except for some farms. Fish, Recreational Thunder Bay 1982
Tittabawassee River Midland, Gladwin, Ogemaw Headwaters to confluence with Saginaw River excluding Wixom Lake and Stanford Lake 61 An easy canoeing stream with fair warm-water fishing. A broad stream, in part due to dams in upper portion. Generally well wooded corridor with some farming in the watershed. Flows through Saginaw SMSA. Recreational, Scenic Tittabawassee 1982
Two Hearted River Luce The entire length of the mainstream from the confluence of the North and West Branches, T48N, R11W, Sec. 1 to Lake Superior 24 The Two Hearted is one of Michigan's State Designated Natural Rivers. The watershed is sparsely developed and it is the only designated wilderness river in Michigan. Recreational opportunities, such as hiking, canoeing and dispersed camping are available along the river. In addition, the Two Hearted contains Blue Ribbon Trout and steelhead, while menominee can be found in the river mouth at Lake Superior. The Two Hearted was made famous in a short story by Ernest Hemingway and is currently identified by the The Michigan Nature Conservancy as a World Biosphere site. The state of Michigan considers all the following tributaries vital to protection of the mainstem: the North Branch, West Branch, South Branch, East Branch and Dawson Creek. Wild Recreational, Scenic, Other Betsy-Chocolay 1995
West Branch Net River Iron, Baraga Headwaters to confluence with Net River 17 A western upper peninsula river with generally good fishing and floating opportunity. Watershed is primarily forested with some farming. Scenic Brule 1982
West Branch Sturgeon River Dickenson Headwaters to confluence with Sturgeon River 41 Flows through central upper peninsula farm and forest land. Good floating and fishing opportunity. A generally narrow stream. Recreational Menominee 1982
West Branch Upper Rainy River Presque Isle From Rainy River dam at Montmorency County Line to confluence with Rainy River 5 A small northern lower peninsula river flowing through heavily forested watershed. Several miles of this stream flows through swampy land in Black Lake State Forest. Scenic Black 1982
White River Oceana, Muskegon From US HW 31 in T.12 N., R.17 W. to confluence with north and South Branches. 16 Fishing, canoeing, and camping. Numerous unusually well preserved prehistoric sites. Recreational Historic, Recreational Pere Marquette-White 1982/ 1993
White River, North Branch Oceana From 197th Avenue in T14N, R15W, Sec. 11 to the mainstream at T13N, R16W, Sec. 25 25 The White River is a part of Michigan's state designated Natural River system. It has fishing, canoeing, and camping available, as well as opportunities for semi-primitive, non-motorized recreation. The area also contains numerous well preserved prehistoric sites. Recreational Cultural, Recreational Pere Marquette-White 1982/ 1995
White River, South Branch Newaygo From section line common to one and two in T.13N., R.13W. to 8 Mile Rd. in Newaygo Cnty. T.15N., R.12W., Sec. 28 upstream and downstream of Hesperia 19 The White River is a designated State Natural River. It is currently being considered for inclusion in the national Wild and Scenic River system. Much of the lower White runs through U.S. Forest Service property with a heavily forested corridor, is relatively remote, and crossed by few bridges. The White receives considerable canoe use below Hesperia, with moderately fast water and some riffle areas over bedrock. Canoe liveries and public and private campgrounds are available on the White, and the North Country Trail crosses the river and many of its tributaries. In addition, the White is Southern Michigan's most popular trout stream and also supports good runs of salmon and steelhead up to the dam in Hesperia. The state of Michigan considers the following tributaries vital to the protection of the mainstream: Mullen Cr., Five Mile Cr., Flinton Cr., Wrights Cr., Mena Cr., Martin Cr., Heald Cr., Braton Cr., Cushman Cr., Skeels Cr., Sand Cr., Carlton Cr., Mud Cr., Silver Cr., Carleton (Lanford) Cr., Cleveland Cr., North Branch, Robinson Cr., Swinton/Cobmoosa Cr., Newman/Bear Cr., and Knutson Cr. Recreational Fish, Recreational, Scenic Pere Marquette-White 1995
White River, South Branch Newaygo, Oceana, From confluence with main branch and north branch to Forest Boundary 1.5 miles southwest of Hesperia in T.14 N., R.15 W. Then from Forest Boundary three miles east of Hesperia in T.14 N., R.14 W. to Sec. line common to Sec. 1 and 2 in T.13 N., R.13 W. 30 Fishing, canoeing, and camping. Numerous unusually well preserved prehistoric sites. Recreational Recreational Pere Marquette-White 1982/ 1993
Whitefish River, West Branch Marquette, Alger, Delta County Road 444 (Sec. 9/10 line, T.43 N., R.21 W.) to source (Sec. 26, T.46 N., R.23 W.) 24 A tributary of the Whitefish River. Flows through a well forested watershed in central upper peninsula and fishing good but floating marginal. Recreational Cultural, Fish, Scenic Tacoosh-Whitefish 1982/ 1993
Yellow Dog River Marquette From the eastern boundary of Ottawa National Forest to mouth at Lake Independence. 27 A small, essentially primitive stream flowing through western upper peninsula wild country. Outstanding fishing value. No canoeing. A few low falls. Fish, Scenic Dead-Kelsey 1982

Last updated: November 30, 2016

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