Pine River 2013

All of the relevant points discussed in the plan are marked on the map embedded and linked below.


All of the campgrounds where are conveniently located on the stretch of water we want to canoe are closed for the season, so I've selected a nearby rustic campground that will at least not have us sleeping in an RV parking lot, which is what campgrounds tend to become this time of year.

The plan is to arrive at the Blacksmith Bayou Campground on Saturday afternoon/evening. My plan is to arrive there in late afternoon and get us a camp site. Because the salmon are currently running, we will be sharing it with fishermen, but from experience they keep odd hours and are fairly quiet. When we're sleeping in the middle of the night they'll be fishing.

There is also a fire ring and picnic table. It is my hope to use the fire ring for some cooking on Saturday.

This campground has a per-car use fee, payable by cash in a drop tube. If I get there first I'll pay for both vehicles.

If the Blacksmith Bayou site is full the fallback site is Horseshoe Bend. This is an unmarked forest service park, and includes a vault toilet. I'm not aware of any formal campground there, but dispersed camping in the Huron/Manistee National Forest is allowed, so if we set up camp outside of the park proper we'll be fine. Rally here in the event that no spots are found at Blacksmith Bayou.

A third fallback site, not marked on the map, is Tippy Dam campground. It's a mile or so south of the dam, and has electrical hookups, so this is an undesirable spot. We'd essentially be camping in an RV parking lot.

We will sleep overnight at the camp site, and break camp in the morning.


We will spend Sunday kayaking.

Put In

Put in will be at the Peterson Bridge North boat launch. I have confirmed with the ranger station that this is open even though the campground itself is closed.

Take Out

Take out has a couple of options, which we will need to assess on the day of. A shorter trip will be to take out at Low Bridge, a forest service site. Although it's unclear on the map, there is a nice takeout here with parking and vehicle access to the water.

For a longer trip that will involve some flat water paddling, we can take out at the Robinson Road boat launch on Tippy Dam pond. This may involve some power boat interactions, but I don't anticipate any significant problems.

Equipment and Food


I plan to bring some home made sauerkraut and kielbasa to cook on Saturday night, since we'll be sleeping outside. In the event this isn't practical, I will also have an emergency cache of dehydrated food. Beer is welcome, and I believe that Jim mentioned something about having a new brew to show off.

My plan for the morning was oatmeal, but don't feel obligated to eat it. Oatmeal is easily stored, easily transported, and easily taken home.

I will also have trail mix along in the event we need a food break on the water. There are a couple of beaches we can pull up to get a rest and some food.

There is no water at the site. I will be bringing a couple of gallons. If everyone were to bring a gallon, that should get us through.


I'll have a larger wood burning rocket stove in as a backup cooking plan, in case the fire ring doesn't work. Might be advisable for somebody to bring a second stove as an emergency measure. The rocket stove is a pain in the tail, but it does work and can sustain longer cooking items if needed.

I'm also throwing in a length of polypropelene rope to have in the kayak. If somebody gets hung up it can be useful for getting them off the snag. I've also used it successfully to retrieve a bit of gear snagged on something in swift water.

Map Link