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Shark Enterprises
Joan H. Young
861 W. US 10
Scottville, MI 49454
© all rights reserved
this page updated 3/28/20

Stories containing:
Pere Marquette River
Bowman Lake or Bridge

at Bowman Bridge

Bowman Bridge
Campsite Trail Campsite Trail NCT Connector NCT Connector NCT NCT

Bowman Bridge

Bowman Bridge is a National Forest Campground with a public access site on the Pere Marquette River. There is a connector to the North Country Trail.

On July 25, 2005 the area was hit by a Class 1 Tornado. 80% of the trees in the campground were damaged. Repairs were completed, and the site re-opened in 2007. Although the site is more open than it was in the past it is still a nice campground.

There are 16 semi-primitive sites for family camping, 4 tent sites, and 2 group sites. Picnic tables, fire rings, latrines, water from a faucet. Check with the National Forest for current rates.

Boat Launch- dirt ramp with a drive-around circle, parking for many vehicles with trailers in a paved loop
Distance and time- Canoe Bowman Bridge to Rainbow Rapids 2 hours, 7.3 miles.

Fishing- The Pere Marquette is known for steelhead and salmon runs, and trout. Fly fishing is popular.

Campsite Trail

This is a short trail from the campsites down to the access road. From behind the concessionaires booth the trail follows the top of the steep bluff, and then begins to angle down its face. Near the bottom the surface used to be paved and now consists of broken asphalt slabs. The trail empties directly on to the access road with a blind curve for drivers coming from the parking lot. Watch your kids!
Access- The upper end is behind the concessionaires booth in the campground, the bottom end turns off the access road about halfway between the campsite road and the parking area.
Restrictions- National Forest regulations apply
Distance and time- 600 feet, just quicker than the road to reach the beach, 2 minutes.
Trail Markers- none, treadway obvious
Treadway- natural surface, and broken asphalt
Grades- flat at top, moderately steep near bottom
Ecosystem- wooded bluff at edge of river floodplain, lots of wildflowers
Most recent date this info personally checked on foot- March 2020
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Connector to NCT

This 0.4 mile trail connects you to the North Country National Scenic Trail which goes from New York to North Dakota.

Description begins at the kiosk at the west end of the campsite area across from the Group Sites. The Forest Service has used chipped up wood from the tornado cleanup to surface the trail here. It remains to be seen if that is a good idea, but it's certainly easy to follow. The trail angles southwest and in 0.2 mile, cross 56th St., and almost immediately cross a snowmobile trail. You are passing through scrubby oak and jackpine. This area was also heavily damaged by the tornado. The trail has been cut through numerous small ridges made years ago by a tree-planting machine. At 0.3 mile the trail makes a left turn, and at 0.4 mile you will reach the main North Country Trail. Turn left to go south (ultimately toward New York), and right to go north (toward North Dakota)
Access- from paved campsite road, no parking where trail begins, you would need to park in the loop near the water and walk the 0.35 mile up to the kiosk
Restrictions- National Forest regulations apply
Distance and time- 0.44 mile, about 15 minutes
Trail Markers- white rectangles
Condition of Marking- fair, blazes need touching up
Treadway- natural surface
Grades- flat
Ecosystem- scrub oak and jackpine, many large trees damaged by tornado
Most recent date this info personally checked on foot- 2010
Back to map

North Country Trail

Follow the link for a description of the North Country National Scenic Trail in Lake County.

Picnicking- day use areas near the water, picnic tables, no fires

Rest Rooms- latrines at the riverside (accessible), and throughout the campground
Potable Water- summer only - faucets at riverside, and throughout the campground

Access- paved roads off 56th St.
Restrictions- no fireworks, Forest Service regulations apply
Seasonality- campground road gated in winter, road to boat launch remains open
Ecosystem- oak and jackpine woods on a bluff above river floodplain
Other points of interest- connection to the North Country Trail
Most recent date this info personally checked- May 2007
Additional Facilities- monofilament recycle box
Maintained by- Baldwin District of the Manistee National Forest
650 N. Michigan Avenue
P.O. Box D
Baldwin, MI 49304
More- The Pere Marquette is a designated Wild and Scenic Waterway between The Forks and Custer Bridge. If you wish to canoe on this portion of the Pere Marquette River you need a permit between May 15 and September 10. There are special regulations which apply. Private watercraft permits may be reserved by calling 1-231-745-4631. Some of the landings along the river require a Recreation Fee sticker to park there. See Manistee National Forest Recreation Fees

[Counties] Lake County Manistee County Mason County Oceana County

From Ludington/Scottville, go east on US 10 to Walhalla and turn south at the blinker. Take a left at Kinney (following the main route) and this becomes 56th St. About 8 miles to the corner of Evergreen. Continue "straight" (the road takes a little twist) and go all the way downhill, past Mack Road to the river. Turn left on a paved road just before the bridge.

Or from Baldwin, turn west on 7th St, go 5 blocks to the end and turn left. In one block make a right on Carr Road which becomes 52nd St. The road will jog south and become 56th St. 4.5 miles from MI-37 in Baldwin you will reach Bowman Bridge. Immediately after crossing the bridge turn right on a paved road.


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