My kayak buddy and I entered the Little Manistee at 10:30 am at Driftwood. Driftwood is not maintained anymore. It is not marked on the road, we had to ask a local to find it. There is easy access to the river and we left our upper vehicle there with no problem. We just wanted an easy overnight trip and paddled 2/3 way to Nine-mile and camped. The river was open and flowing nicely. Several tree cuts and fast spots that we call "technical paddling", meaning get set up and paddle hard through the cuts. Sometimes tricky with 14' boats and 100 lbs. of gear, lol. Mostly easy, some fisherman, empty cottages, a beautiful stretch. We stayed dry and had a fun paddle. The next morning we packed up and paddled to Nine-Mile Bridge and our vehicle. Day one 3-4 hours. Day two 2 hours.
Wilderness Tsunami 145 & Eddyline Merlin 15'
We had Nat'l Forest parking permits
The big USFS topo map