The City of Manistee has one of the most distinct layouts in all of the state if not the Midwest. The city’s downtown runs along the Manistee River Channel that connects Lake Michigan to Manistee Lake. I’ve always felt that the most beautiful sites in Manistee the Riverwalk, which allows the public to walk along the river for 1.75 miles. It is great for a leisurely stroll or to get up and get some exercise.
When walking down the Riverwalk I usually like to park my vehicle near the east end of US-31 and Cypress Street and begin the walk to First Street Beach. Strolling along, when usually notices the different kinds of water wildlife (geese, swans, fish, etc.) that populate the river.
During the summer season boats and yachts populate the docks that pepper the river channel. In addition, I am always amazed when watching one of the large freighters go through the channel on their way to (or way from) dropping off cargo to one of the industries located on Manistee Lake. No matter how many times I see one of the bascule bridges (Memorial Bridge and Maple Street Bridge) go up, it is an awe-inspiring site.
As you make your way down the South Riverwalk you will also be able to see the unique architecture of many of the town’s buildings located on the Northside of the street.
On the opposite side of the river is the North Riverwalk which I like to walk at least once a week. This side of the Riverwalk was constructed in 1983. There is a universally accessible boardwalk with benches and fishing decks along the riverbank as well as shrubs, trees and grassy-sloped areas ending at a gazebo constructed by the Manistee Jaycees. I love listening to the Roots on the River summer concerts there, which are held weekly at the park.
So whatever the season, the Riverwalk offers residents and visitors a like a unique way to explore Manistee.