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Manistee Michigan Attractions

Northern Michigan offers visitors an extensive variety of activities including hiking, golfing, skiing, bicycling, shopping, and wine tasting (for those up for a little drive.) Read further for a short-list of area attractions.


Schmidt Outfitters is located in of Wellston, a small community that prides itself in its abundant natural resources. Located in the heart of the Manistee National Forest, outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy year-round activities including hiking, fishing, canoeing and kayaking, hunting, snowmobiling, etc.

The Big Manistee River helped shape the history of Wellston. Native Americans once lived along its storied shores, and the logging industry used its currents to transport logs to Manistee during the mid-1800s to the early 1900s. The Swigart Land Company founded Wellston in 1885. One of the town's original buildings, the Wellston Inn, is still standing and in operation.

The City of Manistee

Manistee is located just a short 20 minute drive from Wellston. The town was built by lumber barons in the mid-1800s, and boasts Victorian architecture for both businesses and homes. Visitors can enjoy sandy Lake Michigan beaches, golfing, and fine dining. Stroll down historic River Street for a unique shopping experience, and follow the Big Manistee River to Lake Michigan on the Riverwalk.

Ramsdell Theater and Art Institute

Small town charm meets big city cultural opportunities in Manistee. The historic Ramsdell Theater, built in 1903, showcases Manistee's Victorian heritage with its impressive architecture. Thespian James Earl Jones is an alumnus of the Ramsdell Theater. Visit the Ramsdell for stage, symphony, or art exhibitions. Their web site features performance schedules and ticket information. 101 Maple Street / Manistee, MI 49660. Box office telephone is 231-723-9948. Ramsdell Theater and Art Institute

Little River Casino Resort

For those who enjoy games of chance, the Little River Casino Resort is 20 minutes from Wellston. The casino also includes restaurants, a conference center, and an RV park. The casino is an enterprise of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians.  Visit Little River Casino

Orchard Beach Aviation

Want to explore the Manistee area...from the sky? Fly over the city of Manistee, the Lake Michigan shoreline, and Portage Lake with Orchard Beach Aviation. Call 231-723-8095 for flight information and rates. Manistee Blacker Airport / US 31 / Manistee, MI 49660. http://www.jackpine.com/~orcbchav/

Hiking and Mountain Biking Trails

Manistee River Trail

Beginning at Seaton Creek campground at the Hodenpyle Dam Pond, the Manistee River Trail follows the Big Manistee River to the Red Bridge boat access and connects to the North Country Trail. Bicycles and pack animals are prohibited on the trail. Manistee River Trail Map

The Manistee River Trail offers breathtaking views of the river and the surrounding forest. Check out the suspension bridge below the Hodenpyle Dam.

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The North Country Trail

Running through North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, the North Country Trail offers stunning scenic views. The trail running from Udell Hills Road (west of Wellston approximately 6 miles) to Dilling Road (east of Brethren 2.5 miles) is 10.4 miles, and Dilling Road to the Marilla trail head is 13.4 miles. More about the North Country Trail Here

North Country Trail at the Marilla trail head Map.

The Nordhouse Dunes

The Nordhouse Dunes, 3,500 acres located along the Lake Michigan shoreline, offer hikers and sightseers stunning views (especially during sunsets!) The dunes stand approximately 140 feet high, and feature a variety of woody vegetation. The Nordhouse Dunes are located just south of Manistee. Nordhouse Dunes Map

Big M Trail

The Big M Trail offers both novice and expert cross-country skiers and mountain bikers the ultimate experience. Trails vary from flat and leisurely to technical. Trails are open for biking from April 15 through September 30, and cross-country skiers can expect groomed trails from late December through March (snow dependent.) The trail head is south of M-55 on Udell Hills Road. The Big M is located 6 miles from Schmidt Outfitters.

Pine River Paddlesports Center

For those with an adventurous spirit, Pine River Paddlesports rents canoes, kayaks, and rubber rafts for floating down the Pine River and Big Manistee River. PRPC also has an on-site rock climbing wall and an Adventure Store outfitted with souvenirs, camping supplies, and UpNorth clothing. 9590 South M-37 / Wellston, MI 49689. Telephone number 231-862-3471. Visit them at http://www.thepineriver.com/

Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes

Outdoor adventurers will feel right at home at the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes scouting the breathtaking forests, beaches, dunes, and glacial phenomena. Explorers can enjoy scenic drives, wildlife viewing, backpacking, kayaking, stargazing, snorkeling, snowshoeing, etc, etc. Also check out the Maritime Museum, the 1871 lighthouse, and the Manitou Islands. For more information: 9922 Front Street / Empire, MI 49630-9797 / 231-326-5134. http://www.nps.gov/slbe/

Traverse City Area

Interlochen Center for the Arts

Interlochen Center for the Arts is located approximately 45 miles north of Wellston. Presentations from students, faculty, and world-renowned guest artists include theater productions, music concerts, and visual art exhibitions. For an up-to-date list of events, visit Interlochen's web site .

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