Black River Harbor is the only Great Lakes harbor located administered by the USDA Forest Service. The harbor has services for day and transient boaters, including several dock-side picnic tables. The scenic hiking trails through an old growth hemlock and hardwood forest and five waterfalls make this a very popular scenic stop as people travel around Lake Superior.

Black River Harbor and Recreation Area is located 15 miles north of Bessemer, Michigan via County 513 - the Black River Scenic Byway. In 1904, this was a wagon road from Bessemer to Lake Superior. In 1924 Gogebic County began construction of the harbor park, later transferred to the USDA Forest Service. The park includes a vending machine kiosk, picnic area, playground, pavillion, campground and a sandy beach.


Black River Recreation Area

As described by the Michigan DNR website.

The scenic Black River corridor is part of the U.S. Forest Service’s National Scenic Byway system. Rolling forested hills, stands of old growth forest, wetlands, waterfalls, and dramatic relief along the river corridor grace this beautiful site. A campground, group shelter, boat ramp, beach, and other developments can be found in Black River Harbor, while much of the rest of this site is rustic and undeveloped. The Black River Harbor is the only harbor facility the Forest Service manages in the United States.

Five picturesque waterfalls along the Black River and large vertical bluffs along the Harbor are major scenic attractions of this site. All are accessible from Black River Road. The North Country National Scenic Trail is another excellent way to access the waterfalls and old growth pine/hemlock forest that line the Black River corridor. The North Country National Scenic Trail, when completed, will extend 3,200 miles from New York to North Dakota. For more information contact: North Country Trail Association, P.O. Box 311, White Cloud, MI 49349. Bald eagles have nested along the river near the North Country Trail.


From Bessemer, drive east on US-2 about 1 mile to County Road 513 (Black River Road). Turn left (north) and follow the signs for the Black River Scenic Byway.

Ownership: U.S. Forest Service (906) 667-0261

Size: 4,500 acres

Closest Town: Bessemer