In 1978, sixty-six miles of the Pere Marquette were designated a National Scenic River. The Pere Marquette River is the longest unregulated (no dams or impoundments) river system in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. The river is a nationally known, high-quality stream supporting large populations of resident trout, steelhead and salmon.
The Pere Marquette River, within the Forest’s boundary, has been divided into three non-motorized watercraft segments: Segment 1 - Forks to Bowman Bridge; Segment 2 - Bowman Bridge to Upper Branch Bridge; and Segment 3 - Upper Branch Bridge to Indian Bridge. The river’s characteristics and the setting vary by river segment. Someone wanting a recreation experience where there is a good chance of encountering others would enjoy Segment 1; those wanting the opportunity to experience more solitude would appreciate Segment 3.
Camping within the river corridor on National Forest lands is allowed only at designated sites. Sites range from developed campgrounds to primitive, canoe-in only sites. Fees for camping and using river access sites are charged under the Recreation Fee Enhancement Act. Check the bulletin board at each site for fees and additional information.
Know Before You Go
Watercraft permits are required for all watercraft, including tubes, from the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend through the Monday of Labor Day Weekend for a fee of $2.
Watercraft hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Much of the river corridor is privately owned. Use only public sites for rest stops. Respect private property.
Each watercraft occupant must have a personal flotation device (PFD), children 6 and under must wear a PFD at all times.
Camping and campfires at designated sites only.
Fireworks, nudity, glass bottles, and styrofoam are not permitted.