The main branch of the Paint River is an excellent year-long canoe route. The brook and rainbow trout fishing is outstanding. The historical use of this river for log drives provides many interpretive opportunities.
Designated Reach: March 3, 1992. The main stem from the confluence of the North and South Branches to the Ottawa National Forest boundary. The North Branch from its origin to its confluence with the South Branch. The South Branch from its origin to its confluence with the North Branch.
Classification/Mileage: Recreational -- 51.0 miles; Total -- 51.0 miles.
The Little Bull Dam to Horserace Rapids section of Paint River in Michigan is 2.8 miles long is a stretch of class II white water according to the American Whitewater Assosciation. This stretch of Paint River, Michigan has an average gradient of 27 fpm.
The Paint River from Little Bull Dam to Horserace Rapids is a stretch of whitewater with medium difficulty, this section is recommended for paddlers of medium experience, if you are a beginner you should probably look for a different strectch of whitewater to paddle. This is a fun stretch of whitewater, you might get wet paddling here so you should be prepared for that. It can be said that this is a place for fun paddling.
Ottawa National Forest
E6248 U.S. Highway 2
Ironwood, Michigan 49938
Put in on the South Branch, 4.5 miles north of US-2 on Forest Highway 16 or on the North Branch 9 miles north of US-2 on Forest Highway 16. The branches meet at the Paint River Forks campground. Trout fishing is good and the trip is easy until you leave the Ottawa National Forest. For information on conditions of the Paint River east of the Ottawa National Forest, contact the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Crystal Falls, Michigan 49920, (906) 875-6622.