Pine River Base Camp Overnight (PRiBCO) October 11-12

We are again going to the Pine River west of Cadillac, MI.  This will be the 2nd Annual PRiBCO.  There are camping opportunities at the Peterson Bridge National Forest Campground, Pine River Paddlesports Campground (private), and Coolwater Campground (private).  Some of us are going up Friday, October 10 to start the weekend. 

On Saturday, October 11 we will run shuttle and paddle from Walker Bridge (Silver Creek Campground) to Dobson Bridge, and then return to our camps.  Morning rendezvous is at the parking lot on top of the hill above Dobson Bridge on the Pine River at 9:00 a.m.  We will leave behind a couple of vehicles to take drivers back at the end of the day and the rest will drive upstream.

On Sunday, October 12 we will run shuttle and paddle from Dobson Bridge to Low Bridge.  This time we have to rendezvous at 9:00 a.m. at the launch site at Dobson Bridge and unload boats.  All vehicles will then drive downstream to Low Bridge and the drivers will get into as few cars as possible and head back to the parking lot.

No permits are necessary for the river, but parking permits are necessary at Dobson and Low Bridges.  They have self-service sites so make sure you have some petty cash with you.  I think it is $3 a day and $5 for two days.  The campgrounds should be fairly empty, at least before we get there.  Last year we had several other clubs join us and we filled up the campgrounds.  It was a great time!

Jay Hanks


2 responses to “Pine River Base Camp Overnight (PRiBCO) October 11-12

  1. DIRECTIONS: Depending on where you are arriving from, the Pine River is west of Cadillac, MI, and coming from the south you can either drive north on M-37 or northwest on M-115 from Clare to M-55 west. From the intersection of M-55 and M-37 the Pine River is about one mile south, crossing at Peterson Bridge. The National Forest campground is on the east side of M-37 on the south side of the river. Pine River Paddlesports is on the west side of M-37 a little bit past the entrance to the National Forest campground. Finally, Coolwater Campground is on a high bank above the river but a little bit further away. The road to Coolwater is another 1-1/2 miles past Peterson Bridge going south. Turn left (east) at Kestlewoods RV Camground and store. Another 1-1/2 miles down No. 48-1/2 Road you reach the entrance to Coolwater Campground as it changes from pavement to dirt.

  2. What a weekend. I think we hit peak color and two perfect days. Thirteen boats with fifteen paddlers on Saturday and eight boats with nine paddlers Sunday morning. The river has definitely changed since the flood this spring. There is a lot more wood down. The river is clear though thanks to quite a lot of chain saw work except for one log just below the put in. The plastic boats were able to push & drag over it, but several paddlers did choose to portage.

    The NFS campground was closed so the group camped at Coolwater Campground.


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