How Consumers Energy generates electricity from hydroelectric dams.

ABOVE: See how Consumers Energy generates electricity from hydroelectric dams.

Nothing is quite like Michigan’s great outdoors. With more than 2,600 miles of trails, our state ranks #1 for the most active, multi-use trails in the nation. We encourage residents to take advantage of our beautiful natural resources by planning family adventures near Consumers Energy’s hydroelectric properties. Michiganders can experience some of the most scenic areas along the Muskegon, Au Sable, Kalamazoo and Manistee rivers.

This season, more than 12,000 acres of our land and 78 recreational sites associated with our waters are open to the public. Take your family on a fun-filled vacation near our hydros to:

  1. Camp- Pitch a tent or park a camper at a campground near Manistee, Au Sable and the Muskegon rivers. There are more than 2,800 campsites associated with the Hodenpyl, Tippy, Foote, Alcona, Mio and Hardy dams.
  2. Hike- A three-mile path parallel to the Muskegon River entices hikers to stretch their legs on the nature trail at the Hardy Dam, where 26 tree species are identified with plaques. Sites at Hardy and Croton have also been managed for the endangered Karner blue butterfly. If you’re an ambitious hiker, you can cross a suspension footbridge downstream of Hodenpyl Dam for a 20-mile trek where the North Country National Scenic Trail connects to the Manistee River trail.
  3. Fish- Anglers experience a world-class inland fishery in Michigan each spring when hard-fighting steelhead leave the Great Lakes to spawn in rivers. Many steelhead swim downstream of Tippy, Foote, Croton and Calkins Bridge dams. Note: Fishing licenses and courtesy toward fellow anglers are required.
  4. Canoe- Paddle on all rivers along Consumers Energy’s hydros. The 23-mile stretch between Mio Dam to Alcona Pond on the Au Sable river is part of the internationally-known Au Sable River Canoe Marathon every July.
  5. Bird Watch- Bald eagles, a variety of waterfowl and species like pileated woodpeckers call our hydro property home. For the best chances to view rare, native trumpeter swans, visit the Loud and Cooke ponds on the Au Sable river.
  6. Turkey Hunt- Call in a bearded turkey on more than 12,000 acres along the Muskegon, Au Sable and Manistee rivers. Note: Properly licensed hunters only.
  7. Pick Morels- This spring, search for tasty morel mushrooms at the “morel capital of Michigan”— the Hodenpyl Dam near Mesick.

What is your favorite warm-weather activity near Consumers Energy’s hydros? Comment below!