ESCANABA RIVER STATE FOREST
ESCANABA RIVER STATE FOREST
Escanaba River State Forest, located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, is a sprawling natural sanctuary that offers a captivating blend of serene landscapes and abundant wildlife. Stretching across thousands of acres, this forest encompasses an enchanting mix of dense forests, picturesque rivers, and pristine lakes. Step into its mystical embrace and you'll find yourself surrounded by towering pines, vibrant maples, and a rich variety of other native trees. The centerpiece of the forest is the glistening Escanaba River, which meanders through the terrain, attracting fishermen, kayakers, and nature enthusiasts alike. With its vast network of trails, this wilderness haven beckons hikers, bikers, and snowmobilers to explore its scenic beauty at every turn. Whether you seek tranquility amidst vast stretches of nature or an adventure through diverse landscapes, Escanaba River State Forest stands as a captivating testament to the natural wonders of Michigan.
The Escanaba River State Forest is located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and covers an area of approximately 376,120 acres. It is named after the Escanaba River, which runs through the forest and serves as an important waterway for numerous recreational activities.
The history of the Escanaba River State Forest is closely tied to the region's logging industry. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, this area was heavily timbered, and logging companies took advantage of the vast forest resources. The timber harvested from these lands played a crucial role in building the early towns and cities of Michigan and supplying the growing demand for wood products.
As the logging industry expanded, it became evident that sustainable forest management practices were necessary to prevent overexploitation. In response, the State of Michigan began acquiring land in the area to establish a state forest. The original acquisition of the Escanaba River State Forest began in 1921 and continued over several decades.
The forest underwent significant management efforts in the 1930s during the Great Depression. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a New Deal program, played an essential role in developing the infrastructure within the state forest. CCC camps were established in the area, and workers constructed roads, trails, campgrounds, and other infrastructure to support recreational activities and natural resource management.
In addition to logging and the CCC's activities, the Escanaba River State Forest has a history of mining. The region was home to iron ore and copper mines in the past. Though the mining activities are no longer operational, they have left a mark on the landscape and influenced the forest's management strategies.
The Escanaba River State Forest is managed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Its primary focus is on sustainable forest management, providing recreational opportunities, and conserving the natural resources of the area. Visitors to the forest can enjoy various activities such as camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, and snowmobiling, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts in Michigan.
The Recreation Passport is required for vehicle entry into state parks and recreation areas, state boat launches, state forest campgrounds and state trail parking lots. Details and information on how to obtain your Michigan Recreation Passport can be found by visiting the MICHIGAN RECREATION PASSPORT
1. Pioneer Trail Park & Campground: This campground is located on the Escanaba River and offers a variety of amenities including electricity, water hookups, restrooms with showers, picnic tables and fire rings.
2. J.W Wells State Park: Located along Lake Michigan's Green Bay near Cedar River within the state forest boundaries offering modern camping facilities with electrical service at each site as well as mini cabins for rent.
3. Indian Lake Travel Resort: Although not directly in the Escanaba Forest it's nearby and provides full hookup RV sites plus tent campsites too.
4. Delta County Fairgrounds Camping Area: It has 24 available spots that come equipped with electric services to make your stay more comfortable.
5. Hiawatha National Forest: Though this isn't exactly inside the bounds of Escanaba River State Forest but its close proximity makes it an excellent option for campers looking out to explore both these natural wonders during their trip.
6. Rapid river/Manistique Recreation area: Offers rustic style camping experience amidst nature trails where you can hike or bike around exploring wildlife.
7. Escanaba Township Wildwood Campsite: A small secluded campsite perfect if you are seeking solitude surrounded by wilderness.
8. Velvet Green Creations Rustic Retreats: These retreats offer unique glamping options which include yurts, treehouses etc providing all basic amenities like beds,kitchenette,bathroom making them ideal choice who want comfort while being outdoors.