The Au Sable River area has been used as a trade and travel way by Native Americans for many generations. Early French explorers referred to the river as “Riviere aux Sables,” or “River of Sand.” In addition to providing transportation, the river corridor provided raw materials for the Great Lakes region’s fur industry and the river has carried millions of feet of timber downstream during the lumbering era to sawmills or waiting barges at ports on Lake Huron. This period of intensive activity changed many characteristics of the river and it has taken many years and ongoing restoration efforts to help reduce erosion and to restore aquatic habitat along the river corridor.
Today, six man-made impoundments on the Au Sable River contribute a significant component of Michigan’s hydroelectric power supply. For more information visit the Working Together section of the website.
The Au Sable River is enjoyed by anglers for its world class trout fishing. Paddlers enjoy the calm, but swift paddling of the river and the lake-like atmosphere below the impoundments.
To download the Au Sable River, National Scenic River, brochure, with map, visit the Maps and Publications section of the website or select this link: http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5325280.pdf. This brochure is set to print on 11 x 17 paper, landscape (wide) orientation. To print on 8 1/2 x 11 paper set the print area to "shrink to printable area", this will make the text on the page smaller.
The twenty-two mile River Road National Scenic Byway extends westward from Lake Huron into the Huron National Forest. It parallels the historic Riviere aux Sable (River of Sand). The Au Sable River was a major transportation route for floating Michigan’s giant white pine from forest to the sawmill towns on Lake Huron. You can learn more about this lumbering history at Lumbermen’s Monument Visitor Center that sits at the center of the byway.
Byway travelers will find abundant recreation opportunities, from motorized trails for off-road vehicles and snowmobiles to quiet trails for hiking and cross-country skiing. Camping, fishing and boating facilities are accessible from the byway. For a more relaxed experience, visitors will enjoy the lush forest and breathtaking vistas from the many scenic overlooks along the route. Visit www.byways.org for more information.
For information on Lumberman's Monument, Monument Campground or the Visitor Center visit the Lumberman's Monument section of the website.
This area contains all recreation sites located near the Corsair Area, located south of the Au Sable River and River Road National Scenic River in the southeast corner of the Huron National Forest. This area includes Corsair Hiking and Cross-Country Skiing Trail, Sand Lake Day Use Area, Round Lake Campground and Tuttle Marsh.
The Hungerford Recreation Area is a nonmotorized area consisting of over 6,500 acres of National Forest System lands. The area provides opportunities to hike, snowshoe, cross-country ski, horseback ride, mountain bike and enjoy the National Forests. The horseback riding and mountian biking trails are two seperate trails. The two trails cross each other at several locations, but "You Are Here" maps are located at trail junctions to aid in navigation. The trail is marked with blue diamonds for the mountain bike trail with a bike symbol and blue diamonds with horses for the horse trail.
Horseback Riding - There are over 35-miles of premier horse trails in the Hungerford Recreation Area.
Mountain Biking - There are two-loops for mountain bikes, creating a 10-mile trail.
Scenary and Topgraphy - The trails go through heavily forested areas of oak, maple, aspen, and red and white pine. At times riders will cross or utilize roads. Parts of the trails are suitable for less experienced riders, while other segments offer a more experienced riding opportunity. The topography ranges from hilly to very hilly. Riders will experience a range in scenery as they ride through the heavily forested areas and into open fields and meadows.
The recreation sites in this area are all located on the Lake Michigan shoreline or within driving distance of the lake.
Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area is the only designated wilderness on the Huron-Manistee National Forests. Adjacent to the wilderness area is the popular Lake Michigan Recreation Area. Further inland visitors can go to Hoags Lake and enjoy a day of swimming, picnicking or fishing.
The Manistee River, from Tippy Dam to the M-55 Bridge, is a designated National Recreation River. There are several river access sites, day use areas and campgrounds located along this section of river. During the summer the river is popular with canoers and kayakers, while during the fall salmon season, sites such as Suicide Bend and Sawdust Hole are popular with anglers.
The section north of Tippy Dam, up to Hodenpyl Dam Pond, is bordered on either side by the Manistee River Trail and the North Country National Scenic Trail. This area is also within the Manistee River Semi-Primitive Nonmotorized Area, a 7,900 acre area of the Forest.
The Manistee River Trail follows the east shore of the Manistee River for 8.8 miles through rolling hills. The trail traverses past several wetlands and there are bridges crossing two creeks. A waterfall near the northern end of the trail is very popular with many hikers. The Manistee River Trail/North Country National Scenic Trail connector is also the site of the largest wooden suspension bridge in Lower Michigan. Several observation sites along the trail provide hikers with vista views of the Manistee River and surrounding area. There are several dispersed campsites along the trail.
A 23-mile loop trail is formed with the Manistee River Trail along the Manistee River. The loop trail can be accessed from the Marilla and Upper Branch Trailheads for the North Country National Scenic Trail and the Red Bridge and Seaton Creek accesses for the Manistee River Trail.
Did you know that the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCNST) passes through three National Parks, eight National Forests, and one National Grassland?
The North Country National Scenic Trail is being constructed across federal, state, county and private land. Upon completion the trail will extend from Crown Point, New York to Lake Sakakawea, North Dakota. It will be the longest, continuous hiking trail in the United States.
The 128.8-mile portion of the NCNST that goes through the Manistee portion of the National forests has 15 spur trails to other forest hiking and interpretive trails.
The NCNST is marked with blue rectangle-shaped blazes. Connector trails are marked with white rectangle blazes on trees. For information on the NCNST visit the National Park Service www.nps.gov/noco/index.htm.
The Pere Marquette National Scenic River is a sixty-six mile stretch from the junction of the Middle and Little South Branches east of Baldwin to the Old Highway 31 Bridge.
The Bowman Lake Semi-Primitive Nonmotorized Area is 1,100 acres and has both the Pere Marquette and North Country National Scenic Trail going through it.
Whelan Lake Semi-Primitive Nonmotorized Area is a 2,800 acre area located near the south branch of the Pere Marquette River.
To download the Pere Marquette River, National Scenic River, brochure, with map, visit the Maps and Publications section of the website or select this link: http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5180864.pdf. This brochure is set to print on 11 x 17 paper, landscape (wide) orientation. To print on 8 1/2 x 11 paper set the print area to "shrink to printable area", this will make the text on the page smaller.
This area not only has the Pere Marquette River running through it, but also contains a portion of the North Country National Scenic Trail and habitat for the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly.
A tornado several years ago created a tornado swath near the Bowman Lake Campground and adjacent semi-primitive nonmotorized area where visitors can now see the natural regeneration after such a powerful act of nature.
The trail begins in Empire near Lake Michigan, on the west side of the state and ends at Lake Huron on the eastern side of the state. The trail passes under I-75, north of Grayling, and then continues eastward to follow the historic Au Sable River to its end in Au Sable, just south of Oscoda. 112 miles of trail run through the Huron portion of the Huron-Manistee National Forests.