A hugely popular 150-foot Pine River sand slide got special treatment from the U.S. Forest Service recently.
Forest officials cut down a number of trees on the bank rim and located them along the barren slide hoping to reduce sand erosion into the river and curtail the antics of passing canoers.
“Our goal has been to reduce public traffic across the sand to give the area some time to revegetate,” said Ken Arbogast, spokesman for the Manistee National Forest. “The site has been growing in popularity over the past several years. The increased attention and use seems to have accelerated the erosion there.”
The giant slide is located 2.5 miles west of M-37, downstream from Peterson Bridge. An assortment of YouTube show the antics of those who visit the site, from somersaulting down the slide to riding canoes and kayaks down it. It has become a safety concern, according to Arbogast. It is a congestion concern too for those who are paddling downstream.
“We’re hoping that the trees will stabilize the bank and prevent further erosion,” Arbogast said. “We’ll revisit it in the spring to determine what additional steps may be taken.”
The problems at the Pine River site go back many years. Here’s a look at some of what takes place there.
YouTube clips: Pine River sand slide antics