Carp River


The Carp River, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, flows through predominantly forested lands with little development along its way. The river flows through the Mackinac Wilderness Area.

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Designated Reach

March 3, 1992. From the west section line of section 30, T43N, R5W to Lake Huron.

Outstandingly Remarkable Values


Prehistoric native Native American sites are among the largest and most data rich sites in the Eastern Upper Peninsula. Likewise, many of the historic sites (mostly remnants of the early logging era) have interpretive value.


Geologic features throughout the corridor are considered to be unique and exemplar in several aspects. The Carp flows east to west along the strike of the bedrock formation for most of its length; this is unique in a region in which most rivers generally follow the gentle north-south dip of the bedrock. The river receives groundwater flow through karst features associated with the Niagara escarpment, which is a rare geological feature.


There are a wide variety of recreation opportunities and experiences related to the river ecosystem, primarily in a non-motorized, undeveloped setting. Examples include sport fishing; various camping opportunities and experiences; a range of canoe and boating opportunities for various skill levels; and the North Country Trail in the river corridor. The Carp is one of the few wild and scenic rivers in the region which passes through a designated wilderness area. Spring's high water provides for canoeing and offers steelhead fishing and dipping for smelt near the river's mouth. Summer is the time for brook or brown trout, and fall brings salmon fishing.


The diversity of wildlife habitats and secluded nature of the corridor provides a critical link for species such as timber wolf. Of the wildlife species known to inhabit the Hiawatha National Forest, the Carp River corridor provides habitat for nearly all species of reptiles and amphibians, plus the vast majority of birds and mammals. This includes habitat for federal and state listed species.

Managing Partners And Contacts


Recreational Scenic Wild
Recreational — 6.1 miles; Scenic — 9.3 miles; Wild — 12.4 miles; Total — 27.8 miles.
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