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Shark Enterprises
Joan H. Young
861 W. US 10
Scottville, MI 49454
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this page updated 6/3/19

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at the Pere Marquette River Flats

Pere Marquette River Flats
Waterfowl Observation Platform More Info

Pere Marquette River Flats

The Pere Marquette River Flats are a wide marshy area where the river flows into Pere Marquette Lake and thus to Lake Michigan. The water has two channels, and the Old US 31 "double bridges" cross here. These were rebuilt in 2000, and are much safer, but are not nearly so attractive as the old semi-circular concrete railings. You can launch a small boat here, or watch wildlife on the marshes.

Boat Launch-
South- paved boat ramp with good parking for multiple vehicles on southeast side of the bridges
North- steep dirt access to river on northwest side of the bridges, no real parking there but people do put in small boats

Sutton's Landing- Follow the link for a description of Sutton's Landing.

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

Waterfowl Observation Platform

This observation platform is handicapped accessible; a good place to watch wildlife even from a wheelchair. This is a wooden tower built to give the user a view from a high vantage point across the extensive marsh at the mouth of the Pere Marquette River.
The platform was built by the DNR in cooperation with Ducks Unlimited, Dow Chemical, Mason County Wetlands, Inc, and Coastal Zone Development Fund.
Dow plant visible across the highway, their ponds are also to the west, but are contained by high berms.
Access- Gravel parking area.
Restrictions- No hunting, no firearms.
Distance and time- 200 feet. This is a nice spot for birdwatching on the marshes.
Trail Markers- unnecessary
Condition of Marking- easily visible from highway, no other marking needed
Treadway- ramp and 12 steps with high railings
Grades- An accessible ramp goes to the lower level of the platform, with 12 additional steps to the top level
Ecosystem- extensive cattail marsh
Most recent date this info personally checked on foot- October 2018
Back to

Trail Condition Report, by Steve, August 15, 2006. This site is amazing!!!

My girlfriend and I went on an "adventure" for our first date. We just started driving and any time we saw something fun we stopped. We did a good bit of walking and sight-seeing in the area. Then we drove past the waterfowl observation tower. We hadn't seen anything like it, so we got food and had a picnic on top. After a month, neither of us could remember where it was, and both kinda wanted to go back some time.

Well, I'm proposing to her this weekend and I want to do it on that platform, and your site is the only thing on the internet that I could find with any information on it. The platform has a perfect place in our history together for a place to propose and I couldn't have found it without you.

Thank you so much for getting all this info together and keeping it up to date. Keep up the good work.

Wildlife Watching- Pere Marquette River flats are a good place to see waterfowl- see Observation Platform description above.

Handicap Accessibility- An accessible ramp goes to the lower level of the platform, with 12 additional steps to the top level.
Latrine at south boat launch has 1" lip from concrete walkway, but access to walkway is from gravel parking area, over about 3' of grass.

Rest Rooms- latrine at south boat ramp
Potable Water- none

Access- via paved Old 31 (Pere Marquette Highway), all parking areas are dirt
Restrictions- No hunting, no firearms.
Seasonality- open year round, but may not be plowed
Ecosystem- extensive cattail marsh
Other points of interest- Sutton's Landing is just to the south
Most recent date this info personally checked- October 2018
Additional Facilities- none
Maintained by- Michigan DNR
More- The Pere Marquette is a designated Wild and Scenic Waterway between The Forks and Custer Bridge. If you wish to canoe on that 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 (self-pay tubes are available for daily passes, yearly passes may be purchased at a Ranger Station). Manistee National Forest Recreation Fees

[Counties] Lake County Manistee County Mason County Oceana County

To reach the Pere Marquette River Flats go south from Ludington on Old US 31, also known as Pere Marquette Highway. Reach the Pere Marquette River in just under 2 miles.

Or leave the US 31 Freeway at the Pere Marquette Highway exit, turn north and go 1 mile to the river.


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