Travel to Michigan

Travel to Michigan

OTTAWA NATIONAL FOREST

Located in a hilly area at the western end of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Ottawa National Forest has some rugged terrain which includes rocky cliffs and outcroppings. There are forests of pine and hemlock, maple and aspen, with some old-growth trees.

Also here are over 500 lakes, some wetlands, many streams, waterfalls, and a number of riversincluding the Sturgeon National Wild and Scenic River, which has a 300-foot-deep gorge. White-tailed deer, black bear, and fox are among the wildlife.

The National Forest has three designated wilderness areas: the 18,327-acre Sylvania Wilderness, the 16,850-acre McCormick Wilderness, and the 14,139-acre Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness.

Activities: Hiking and backpacking are possible on 196 miles of trails, including 118 miles of the North Country Trail (see entry page 177). Difficulty varies from easy to moderate.

White-water and flat-water canoeing and kayaking are available on the Sturgeon and other rivers. Canoe outfitters and rentals are located nearby. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are possible during winter. Fishing is widely available, and hunting is permitted in season.

Camping Regulations: Camping is freely allowed throughout most of this National Forest, except near public recreation areas or where otherwise prohibited. Campfires may be built, but the use of a stove is recommended.

A permit is required for camping in the Sylvania Wilderness from May 15-September 30, and camping there is restricted to designated sites. Advance reservations may be made for the sites.

For Further Information: Ottawa National Forest, 2100 East Cloverland Drive, Ironwood, MI 49938; (906)932-1330.

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