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photos of winter backpacking - Manistee River Loop

Just did a winter hike of the Manistee River Loop in northern Michigan.  Has to be one of the prettiest hikes in the midwest.  It's about 20 miles long and I took 5 days to do it in snowshoes.  I would highly recommend this hike.  Only saw 3 other people on the trail.fullsizeoutput_23d9.jpeg1bMy76OgQhG14OkpAyvTqg.jpgkOoBkYmmSoeM2wMWx1i+IQ.jpg

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@CarlR, wow! Thank you so much for sharing these photos. They are incredible. That first one is a jaw dropper. I couldn't believe how small the tent was when I scrolled down! 

You will see that we have moved your post to the Michigan board. That way, others in the area will see that you recommend this spot. 

Do you mind telling us what you gear setup was? It would be great to hear as there are many members in the community who love backpacking and ask about the complexities of doing it in the winter. 

Glad you had a great time out there. Thanks again for sharing!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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Thanks @CarlR - I appreciate this post a lot.

My family and I go to Ludington every Summer for a week and I was looking at that trail as a possible overnight. It would just be me going solo while my wife and kids stayed at the cabin.

In your opinion, during Summer and under decent conditions, is this a 20 mile trek that can be done in two solid days?

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“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.” (John Muir)

Absolutely-I did this loop in 2 days with a couple friends in October, 2020. It is not hilly at all, although the Manistee River side has lots of roots. The NCT side is much less scenic, so if you only have time to do one side, definitely choose the Manistee. That being said, during prime weather, the campsites on the Manistee side were hard to come by. Absolutely beautiful hike in the fall!

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Yes, this trail can definitely be done in two days! 

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@CarlR 

Love the trip report! Thanks for sharing and for posting the great photos!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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Hello! This is one of my favorite trails! The view is stunning all year round! The trail is very busy in the summers but as you said, way slower in the winter. Thank you for sharing the pictures, they are beautiful!  

I’ve got a girls group planned for August. We plan to combine NCT and the Manistee trail for a loop. How far apart are the water sources on the NCT side?

thanks!

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There are really no water sources on the NCT side until shortly before you get to the bridge crossing to the Manistee River side. So...about 9 miles

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