Menominee River Wisconsin & Michigan Boundary Water

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Menominee River Wisconsin & Michigan Boundary Water

The Menominee River is located in the upper midwest and forms much of the border between the state of Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The name of the river comes from an Ojibwe/Algonquian term for “wild rice” or “in the place of wild rice”. The historic Native American Menominee tribe once lived in this area and used the plant as a staple. The federally recognized Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin now has a reservation on the Wolf River.

The Menominee River headwaters form approximately 10 miles northwest of Iron Mountain, Michigan by the confluence of the Brule and the Michigamme Rivers. The river runs for about 116 miles, draining rural, forested areas of Upper Michigan and northern Wisconsin. As the Menominee River winds south, it is joined by the Pine River, Sturgeon River, Pemebonwan River and Pike River. Eventually, it enters Green Bay on Lake Michigan between the cities of Menominee, MI and Marinette, WI.

The Menominee River runs through a region that was once a center for the iron ore mining industry. Over the years, dams have been built on the river converting it into a series of large reservoirs. These reservoirs offer some of the deepest and cleanest waters in the area and much of this area has since been obtained by the State of Michigan and the State of Wisconsin and is being managed for recreational use, which ensures conservation and restricts shoreline development.

The Menominee River State Recreation Area straddles the banks of the scenic Menominee River for several miles and is a collaborative effort between Wisconsin and Michigan. This collaboration had its beginnings in 1997 with lands donated to the Wisconsin DNR and Michigan DNR. Other lands have been added to the project over the years and the Wisconsin and Michigan parks are managed by their respective state Departments of Natural Resources.

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