Pine River


River Description:

The Pine River is a 53 mile long, swift flowing river for the more experienced paddler. The top segment for white water (especially at the Spring thaw and major rain events) is the Peterson Bridge to Low Bridge Access. This is a 2.5 hour total float and perfect for a quick day on the water.

Please note: All watercraft on the Pine River require a watercraft permit from late May through early September.  You may pick up a pass at any of the US Forest Service Stations, calling 877-444-6777 or by visiting: www.Recreation.gov

Difficulty: Advanced


River Amenities/Quick Look:

  • The majority of the sites along the pine river are primitive entry locations. The river corridor is a mix of private and public lands.  Before exiting your watercraft know where you are.  Use only public sites for rest stops (indicated below)

Meadow Brook Bridge

Site Amenities:
– Primitive Parking Area
– Parking Fee: No

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Skookum Bridge

Site Amenities:
– Primitive launch site only (no parking area)

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Walker Bridge

Site Amenities:
– Parking Fee: Yes
– Parking Area
– Toilets
– Primitive Launch Site

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Lincoln Bridge

Site Amenities:
– Parking Fee: Yes
– Parking Area
– Toilets
– Launch Site

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Elm Flats

Site Amenities:
– Parking Fee: Yes
– Parking Area
– Toilets
– Launch Site

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Dobson Bridge

Site Amenities:
– Parking Fee: Yes
– Parking Area
– Toilets
– Launch Site

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School Bridge

Site Amenities:
Bridge Crossing only – no direct river access

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Peterson Bridge

Site Amenities:
– Parking Fee: Yes
– Parking Area
– Toilets
– Launch Site
– Picnic Area
– Information Station

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Low Bridge

Site Amenities:
– Parking Fee: Yes
– Parking Area
– Toilets
– Launch Site
– Information Station

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Norman Dixon

Site Amenities:
– Parking Fee: No
– Parking Area
– Launch Site

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Meadow Brook Bridge >> 0.75 hrs >> Skookum Bridge >> 2.0 hrs >> Walker Bridge >> 0.75 hrs >> Lincoln Bridge >> 0.75 hrs >> Elm Flats >> 2.0 hrs >> Dobson Bridge >> 0.75 hrs >> School Bridge >> 1.5 hrs >> Peterson Bridge/Pine River Paddlesports >> 3.5 hrs (White Water Area) >> Low Bridge >> 0.50 hrs >> Norman Dixon

Total float time for the entire segment outlined >> 12.5 hrs


Top White Water Float Segment:

The Pine is known for its white water rafting/paddling opportunities, especially during the spring thaw.  Paddlers from across the Midwest flock to the region to experience the white water.  The section between Peterson and Low Bridge offer the best white water opportunities year-round, but especially in the spring.

Top Multi-Day Segment:

If you are looking for an overnight on the Pine, we recommend you start at Skookum and make your way down to Low Bridge or Norman Dixon for an overnight with the plan to stop and camp in between. Be sure to do your homework to ensure you are camping on public lands and please obey the rules pertaining to campsites being 150′ off the river banks.

Unplug. Explore. Michigan's Great Outdoors.

The Michigan's Great Outdoors collaborative consists of five Northern Michigan counties all working together to promote tourism in the region.  With so many hiking, biking, winter sports, and ORV trails in the region that dynamically connect these counties, this site is devoted to educate the first-time visitor to the region looking to explore the great outdoors for the first time.  We welcome you to browse this site and explore all this region has to offer.