CADILLAC, Mich., Sept. 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers Energy is highlighting six early fall activities to enjoy outdoors on 12,000 acres of land and water at its hydro facilities on the Muskegon, Au Sable, Kalamazoo and Manistee rivers that open to the public.
"Our hydro properties are located in some of the most scenic areas in Michigan, and people who enjoy the outdoors can find year-round recreational opportunities available at the 12,000 acres associated with the dams," said Rich Castle, Consumers Energy's natural resource administrator for hydro operations. "Our free online brochure is a great resource to discover how and where to enjoy the properties all year long."
- Fall Color Viewing – A great way to experience Michigan's fall color is to park and hike through the brilliantly colorful landscape on Consumers Energy hydro property. Along the Manistee River, try the MDOT M-37 Roadside Park and the MDOT M-55 Roadside Park. Along the Au Sable River, make stops at the Mio Scenic Overlook, the USFS Westgate Scenic Overlook, USFS Iargo Springs, USFS Lumberman's Monument, the USFS Foote Pond Overlook, and the Au Sable River Queen Excursions. On the Muskegon River, walk the Hardy Rustic Trail, and The Edge Trail near Croton Dam.
- Fishing – Anglers targeting walleye, bass and panfish feeding heavily before winter do well on reservoirs behind Consumers Energy dams. Hodenpyl and Tippy dams on the Manistee River have available nearby boat rentals and launches. Salmon fishing is renowned downstream of Foote, Croton, Tippy and Calkins Bridge dams in early fall when the big king salmon enter Michigan's rivers.
- Birding – View waterfowl and other birds as they gather in numbers to migrate through Michigan. Foote Site Park and the Foote Tailwater Access Sites are two must-visit sites on Consumers Energy hydro property along the Sunrise Coast Birding Trail that runs along U.S. 23. Consumers Energy helped sponsor the 145-mile trail that was dedicated just this spring.
- Boating – Kayakers and canoeists find quality paddling along all rivers that have Consumers Energy river hydros as well as serene views of changing fall colors. On reservoirs behind the dams, sailboat enthusiasts find plenty of tacking space. Motorboaters also find space to roam and secluded coves to explore.
- Hunting – Hunting is off limits on Consumers Energy property, except on the 12,000 acres associated with the company's hydro properties, where properly licensed sportsmen and women may pursue deer, turkey, small game, upland birds, waterfowl and other game. However, constructing blinds, target shooting as well as baiting are strictly prohibited on all Consumers Energy property, as are dirt bikes, ATVs and other off-road vehicles.
- Camping – Campers can stay close to color tour sites and other outdoor activities. There are more than 2,800 campsites associated with the Hodenpyl, Tippy, Foote, Alcona, Mio and Hardy dams.
A brochure titled Get Closer to Nature provides details about these activities and others. It's available free at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/hydro.
Consumers Energy's 13 hydroelectric projects are licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; recreational facilities at these sites are open to the public without discrimination. The energy provider has received certification from the Wildlife Habitat Council for enhancement projects at most of its hydro facilities.
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.6 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
BROCHURE: Download "Getting Close to Nature," a brochure that details activities available at Consumers Energy hydro properties: www.ConsumersEnergy.com/hydro
MICHIGAN DNR: Find information about Michigan fishing and hunting licenses and regulations: www.michigan.gov/dnr
For more information about Consumers Energy, go to www.ConsumersEnergy.com.
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SOURCE Consumers Energy