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Pike Wild River

The Pike Wild River watershed is made up of approximately 310 square miles, including over 300 miles of streams and numerous lakes. Streams range from small spring seeps to the main branch of the Pike River, which is over 100 feet wide. The largest lake in the watershed is Coleman Lake, 246 acres. Smaller lakes range in size down to spring ponds of 1 acre or less. The Pike River flows into the Menominee River northeast of the Village of Wausaukee, which then empties into Lake Michigan.

On DNR land, there is walk-in access only, no motorized vehicles, no stream alterations, no maintained trails, few developed parking lots or canoe put-ins and no camping. These rules are intended to preserve the wild and scenic qualities of the river.

The Pike Wild River landscape is characterized by rock outcrop and forests of all types found in Marinette County. From aspen stands and northern hardwood to swamp conifer and wetlands, nearly the full spectrum of habitat types are represented. A no-cut buffer implemented within 150 feet of the river provides for older-growth forest habitat. Numerous rapids and waterfalls are found throughout the length of the river. Rock bluffs provide scenic views of the river in many places.

Opportunities for recreational users are numerous. The property gets a fair amount of use by hunters, hikers, wildlife watchers and berry pickers, but possibly the biggest user group is comprised of spring canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts. Protected wildlife species such as the red-shouldered hawk and wood turtle are but a few of the natural resources preserved within this scenic natural area.

The upper reaches of the river are difficult to canoe but provide excellent trout fishing opportunities. River users are urged to use caution while traversing the river as waterfalls and rapids make some stretches challenging and dangerous, particularly during high flow periods. A unique fish species that is observed but can't be fished is lake sturgeon (40- to 60-inch adults). They don't live year-round or spawn in the Pike River but migrate from the Menominee into the lower Pike River, downstream from Highway 141.