Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness
Admire the stunning power of untamed waters
There are rivers that gently meander and there are rivers that roar. You’ll find the latter north of Land O’ Lakes, and it’s a truly a sight to behold. The Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness is deep in the Ottawa National Forest, a rugged and wild place that’s worth the trip north. The Sturgeon River cascades over the 20-foot ancient volcanic outcroppings of Sturgeon Falls before powering through a mile-long gorge. This is not a place for beginning paddlers, but it’s a proving ground for some advanced kayakers and whitewater rafters. Most people enjoy the gorge without getting wet. Stunning views are possible from the eastern rim of the gorge and visitors hiking here will encounter falls, rapids, ponds, oxbows and terraces. The wilderness is beautiful but there are few established trails and some logging roads that can be overgrown and somewhat challenging to follow. If you’re planning a hike, make sure to bring a map and compass or GPS.
To get to the wilderness, follow Highway B to Highway 45. Turn left and travel to Bruce Crossing. Turn right and take M28 to Sidnaw, Michigan. From Sidnaw, take M28 east to FR2200. The trailhead, and parking will be about 3 miles up the road at FR2224. There are easier places to visit around Land O’ Lakes but the challenge of this place is part of the appeal. This is as wild as places get, which is why it’s so worth exploring.
Address: FR 2224, Sidnaw, MI 49961