CADILAC– The Huron-Manistee National Forests’ (HMNFs) commitment to visitor experience is on full display as recreation site improvement projects occur across the Forests in 2023. Projects throughout the summer necessitate temporary closures that may impact travel plans.
“The interruptions anticipated this summer are going to pay dividends next year and for years to come. Visitors to our recreation sites are making lasting memories and it is important that the HMNFs are remembered by visitors for the right reasons. These projects help ensure visitors have a safe and unforgettable experience,” said Forest Operations Staff Officer Kim Walton. Walton asked for patience from affected visitors.
Site maintenance and improvement projects planned for the summer will result in the following temporary closures, delayed openings, or disruptions to normal services. They are listed below by ranger district.
Cadillac/Manistee Ranger District
- Blacksmith Bayou pavement preservation is planned for early August.
- Caberfae Scenic Overlook maintenance will replace worn and damaged boards and ensure structural stability. The overlook will also receive new interpretive signs.
- Elm Flats Canoe Landing ramp will be replaced to address maintenance and safety concerns.
- Lake Michigan Recreation Area (August 28 to September 1, 2023) pavement preservation will affect all sites within Lake Michigan Recreation Area including the campground loops, group campsites, beach access and picnic area.
- Peterson Bridge South Campground (September 5to September 15, 2023) pavement preservation will close the site on weekdays until complete.
- Peterson Bridge North Day Use and Boat Launch Area canoe ramps are being replaced to address maintenance and safety concerns.
Mio Ranger District
- Buttercup Campground is receiving a new vault toilet.
Huron Shores Ranger District
- Au Sable River Primitive Camping (April 17 to November 3, 2023) Access may be impacted while Consumers replaces headgates and dead bay infill at 5 Channels Dam. The eastern portion of the boat launch parking lot will be utilized for contractor parking and material staging. There will also be intermittent closures of the boat launch while the construction barge is built and/or launched.
- Pine Acres Boat Launch visitors should expect intermittent closures through the fall, while the site receives new fee tubes, boat launch and information boards, dock improvements and parking lot drainage upgrades.
- West Gate Scenic Overlook is receiving a new double vault toilet.
Construction is not the only thing that can impact the availability of the HMNFs recreation sites. Weather, large events, fire restrictions, tree mortality, and any number of other factors may affect summer travel plans. It is important to plan and prepare. Gaining knowledge of the area from land managers, literature, maps, and online resources can ensure a successful trip.