Popular hiking trail loop closed for summer

MANISTEE COUNTY — The popular hiking trail loop along the Manistee River using the Manistee River Trail and the North Country Scenic Trail will not be available this summer because the river crossing at Red Bridge has been removed for bridge reconstruction.

Located near the Village of Brethren in Manistee County, the deteriorated bridge over the Manistee River will be fully replaced this construction season.

Recreational use of the river will be maintained throughout the construction, although those who plan to backpack the popular loop between Hodenpyl Dam and Red Bridge will be unable to cross over the river on Coates Highway.

The Forest Service discourages hikers from trying to swim across the Manistee River to complete the loop. Visitor and public safety is the priority for the Forest Service planning to make the hike.

Recognizing this area of the Manistee River is among the heaviest recreation areas on the Manistee National Forest, the construction contract requires two lanes of boat traffic be maintained through the use of buoys, lights, floating booms and other devices.

Cofferdams and barges shall be lighted at night. Construction signage at the boat launch, along the Manistee River, at recreation trailheads and critical road and trail junctions will advise forest and river users of the Coates Highway closure and construction work.

Alternate hiking and boating opportunities on the Huron-Manistee National Forests can be found online at www.fs.usda.gov/hmnf.

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Posted by Dylan Savela

Dylan is the county reporter for the News Advocate, he also is in charge of the Small Town Life, religion and senior pages. He can be reached at (231) 398-3111 or dsavela@pioneergroup.com.

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