The Manistee River Trail Loop combines the 11-mile Manistee River Trail completed in 1992 with an 8.5-mile section of the North Country Trail. These separate trail systems were linked with the addition of a 245-foot pedestrian suspension bridge over the Big Manistee River, which was completed in 1996, creating a popular backpacking loop. The sparsely hiked section of the North Country Trail includes rolling hills of dense old-growth forest and a fern covered floor. There are opportunities to spot deer and porcupine. The more popular Manistee River Trail side provides hikers with breathtaking river views and waterfalls. There are 23 rustic campsites along this portion of the trail that are occupied on a first-come, first-served basis. On good weather weekends, camping spots can be difficult to come by around 12 p.m. on Saturday. In addition to camping, hiking, and photography, fly fishing for steelhead salmon as well as brown and rainbow trout is a popular activity.
Note that there is no access to water on the North Country Trail Section from Red Bridge to Eddington Creek.