At a Glance
- Walhalla Bridge Access: 1187 S Walhalla Rd, Township of Branch, MI 49402
- This section of the Pere Marquette River features impressive forested slopes and overlooks, and large emergent wetland areas. It is a good birding area because of the more open areas.
- River miles in this section: 9 miles
- Float time is approximately 5 hours
- For more information, view the Pere Marquette National Scenic River map (pdf).
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.
The Walhalla Bridge access is located on Walhalla Road about a mile and a half south of US-10 at Walhalla. Restrooms are available at Walhalla and Indian Bridge, but not at Custer. There are no picnic areas at any of these sites. Fees apply at U.S. Forest Service sites, which includes the Indian Bridge site. There are amenities nearby along US-10 which is a few miles north as well as in Scottville, Custer and Baldwin, nearby towns.
What to See
This area features impressive forested slopes and overlooks, and large emergent wetland areas. It is a good birding area because of the more open areas. This section of the river is challenging to maneuver as it contains several branches that can be difficult to navigate. Because of this, it is one of the lesser visited parts of the river.
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, Weldon Creek and the Big South Branch flow into the mainstem of the river. The Big South is the biggest of the four main tributaries and adds significant water to the river system.
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 since 2001. Along this particular stretch, the Land Conservancy worked with the Ohse and Shoup families to secure their private properties in perpetuity with conservation easements.