At a Glance
- Access: 9225 James Rd, Baldwin, MI 49304
- Fishing is the biggest draw to this section of the Pere Marquette River that features high quality waters and scenic, wooded slopes.
- River miles in this section: 4.4 miles
- Float time is approximately 1 hour, 45 minutes
- For more information, view the Pere Marquette National Scenic River map (pdf).
What to See
Fishing is the biggest draw to this section of the Pere Marquette River that features high quality waters and scenic, wooded slopes. It is incredibly popular, especially during the spring and fall runs of steelhead and salmon, as well as during the fly hatches. This part of the river falls within the “flies-only” and “catch-and-release” section in terms of fishing guidelines. The edges of the river have wade-able areas and stretches of gravel are common.
The Pere Marquette River has exceptional water quality, relatively undamaged habitat, and scenic beauty. It is federally designated as a Wild & Scenic River and state designated as a Blue Ribbon Trout Stream. This medium sized river has a good current, is a renowned cold water fishery, and is the only undammed river in the Lake Michigan watershed.
In this stretch, the Little South Branch and Middle Branch of the Pere Marquette join to form the mainstem of the river just upstream of M-37. The Baldwin River flows into the mainstem upstream of the Green Cottage access point. Conservation plays an important role in preserving the integrity of the river and surrounding forest as it prevents the subdivision of land and unmanaged timber cutting.
Through partnerships with families, the Land Conservancy has protected 3,300 acres of land and 26 miles of river frontage in the Pere Marquette River watershed. Along this particular stretch, the Land Conservancy worked with the Rasmussen family to secure their private property on the Little South Branch in perpetuity with a conservation easement.
Note: Due to the federal designation of the Pere Marquette as a protected river, U.S. Forest Service permits are required for all watercraft (kayaks, canoes, tubes, etc.) between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Click here for more information or call 877-444-6777.
There are restrooms available at Fork’s Landing, M-37, and the Green Cottage access sites. There is also a picnic area available at the Green Cottage site. Camping is available downstream, as well as nearby campsites. Fees apply at U.S. Forest Service sites, including Green Cottage. There are amenities nearby at the intersection of 76th Street and M-37, as well as in Baldwin–Jones Ice Cream is highly recommended.