Canoer's Memorial

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

River Road National Scenic Byway

Canoers Memorial was erected to honor canoers who have participated in the Au Sable River Canoe Race held each year. The Au Sable River Canoe Marathon was the idea of two men, Harold Brubaker and Frank Davis. They conceived the idea in 1947 as an aid to tourism. The first race took place in Sept. of 1947 in canoes made of wood and canvas. There were 46 teams entered, 15 teams finishing the race. Allen Carr and Delbert Case of Grayling finished first with a time of 21 hours and 40 minutes.

There is a spectacular panoramic view of Cooke Dam Pond. Access to Highbanks Trail during summer months is available at this site.

Brochure with map:

  • River Road National Scenic Byway (pdf) - this brochure shows River Road, the Au Sable River and Lumberman's Monument
  • Highbanks River Trail Map (coming soon)
  • Eagle Run Trail Map (coming soon)

The 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 trail maps are set to printon 8.5x11 paper.

Flickr Photo Albums:

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Managed Season starts Apr. 1, 2016 and ends Nov. 30, 2016.
Operational Hours: Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week unless otherwise posted.
Fees No Fee
Permit Info: Au Sable River Primitive Camping -
  • No permit or reservation is required outside of the permitted season.
  • Camping Permit required at primitive campsites from May 15 to September 10.
Special Use Permit -
  • No special use permit is required for individuals or small groups (74 people or less).
  • Permits are required for commercial, event or large groups (75 people or more).
Visit the Passes and Permits section for more information on obtaining a special use permit.
Open Season: January 1
Usage: Light
Restrictions: As a visitor to the National Forest, you are asked to follow certain rules designed to protect the Forest, natural resources and to provide for public safety of visitors. These rules are available to you on-line or at any office of the Huron-Manistee National Forests. Please take time to read and understand them. General Topic orders apply across the Forests. Applicable Orders -
  • Au Sable River and Cooke Pond Semi-primitive Motorized Areas, shorelines of Alcona Pond and the Eable Run Trail System; R904-14-21
  • Motorized Vehicle Use of Roads, Trails and Off-road Areas; R904-14-02
  • Occupancy and Use; R904-14-03
Highlights - Camping is prohibited, except at designated campgrounds or campsites.
Closest Towns: Oscoda, Tawas, Hale
Operated By: Huron Shores Ranger Station - (989) 739-0728
Information Center:

General Information


From Oscoda -

  • Travel west on River Rd. for 18 miles.
  • The site is located on the right.

General Notes:

Location - River Road National Scenic Byway, Au Sable River

Nearby Recreation Areas -

  • Highbanks Trail
  • Iargo Springs
  • Lumberman's Monument
  • Kiwanis Monument

County - Iosco

Seasonal and Other Information -

  • This site is not gated during the off season.
  • This site is not maintained in winter:
    • Access road and/or parking lot are not plowed.

  • Accessible parking is available.  
  • The path to the observation area and monument is paved and over 36" wide.  


Nature Viewing

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Special FeatureRiver Road National Scenic Byway