Au Train River Canoe Trail

Area Status: Not Cleared
Map showing Autrain River Canoe Trail

The slow-moving, meandering AuTrain River offers an excellent four to six hour canoe trip. The trail begins at the Forest Service boat launch in the AuTrain Lake Campground and proceeds north approximately 10 miles to Lake Superior.

The AuTrain River was once a logging run to Lake Superior. Logging began along the river in 1861; Major logging occurred in the 1880's The largest logging drive took place in 1887 when 10 million feet of Pine logs were floated down the AuTrain.

Now, an absence of rapids and portages creates a quiet, relaxing outing. Numerous sloughs along the water course harbor a large variety of wildlife including ducks, songbirds, great blue herons, kingfishers, muskrats and turtles. Walleye, perch, suckers and bullheads inhabit the river year long. Steelhead make a spring run and salmon a fall run. Link to Trail Map

AuTrain River Canoe Trail Restoration

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Not cleared, expect downed trees, and obstacles. Riverbank Restoration in Progress:  During the summer of 2020, the US Forest Service started riverbank restoration along the AuTrain River.  Crews have completed restoration of six highly eroded riverbanks using a variety of methods including vegetation bundles (fascines), sandbags, coir logs (fiber logs), cobble and rock steps. In 2022, crews will improve four additional sites. You may see work crews installing erosion control or planting vegetation at these sites throughout the summer. Crews will install ladders or steps to allow access to some of these sites to continue.  Please follow signs and avoid disturbing these sites. At these sites, please:
  • Follow signs,
  • Stay on the designated routes,
  • Stay off eroding sand and areas under restoration,
  • Stay off vegetation bundles (fascines) and sandbags, and
  • Use provided vessel tie-offs.
Closest Towns: Au Train

General Information


From the intersection of County Highway 3 and M-28 in Au Train drive south 4.2 miles on County Highway 3.

Access A: Located on AuTrain Lake at the Forest Service boat launch, approximately 5.5 miles south of the village of AuTrain. Do not use this access point or try to canoe the lake when strong north winds are blowing.

Access B: Located at the southern bridge where H-03 crosses the AuTrain River, approximately 1.5 miles south of the village of AuTrain.

Access C: Located at the northern bridge where H-03 crosses the AuTrain River. Note: There is only ½ mile walk along H-03 between Access B and Access C, and also between Access C and the Bridge on M-28. This makes for easy access to vehicles.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Boating - Non-Motorized

The Au Train River Canoe Trail offers 10 miles of excellent canoeing or kayaking.


• Wear a life preserver while canoeing.

• If your canoe capsizes, stay with it and hang on.

• Pack your food, bedding, clothing and matches in waterproof bags and tie them in the canoe.

• Spring weather in the Upper Peninsula changes quickly. Pack extra warm clothing even if you are planning only a one-day trip.

• Leave a trip plan with a friend describing your route, destination and approximate time of arrival.

• Be a courteous, considerate canoer.

Canoes are available for rent from resorts along AuTrain Lake.

Difficulty Level: Easy

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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