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Traverse Area Paddle Club

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Trip Reports

Woodpecker Creek-Red Bridge

 | Published on 6/29/2018

Friday, June 29. Manistee River: Woodpecker to Red Bridge.


Tracie Lord, Marlene Puska, and me, Lindy Barnes.


The hot sun beat down on us for about 3 hours but we barely noticed. We enjoyed a quiet and peaceful paddle through one of my very favorite sections of the Manistee as we experienced gentle, quiet waters, several pretty little feeder streams with waterfalls all interspersed with a few short sections of standing waves which allowed for a bit of a change and a tad of excitement. Not one of us took one single picture which is sad. We watched a Blue heron dive to the river, catch a fish, swallow it and then sit proudly, high in a tree, as he digested his prize catch. We spotted no less than seven turtles, dozens of tiny pollywogs in various stages of metamorphosis, many King Fishers and other small birds flicking and flittering about. Humans: almost none. There were a few of the younger humanoid variety at the put-in as they were noisily attempting to move their boats down to the water. We made haste to get out of their way as quickly as possible and we never saw nor heard them again.  There were a total of four fishermen on the river plus a few campers hidden on shore amid the trees. Red Bridge itself is being torn down and rebuilt so there is a great deal of construction right at the bridge. However, we were able to paddle under a section of bridge to get to the takeout. Tracie was told the river will remain open to paddlers all summer so getting to the takeout at Red Bridge should be no problem but you might want to check before planning a trip just to make sure nothing changed. Once off the water the heat became apparent making degearing and loading boats one very hot job. All in all, it was a great day. :)