Au Sable River - Alcona Dam to Lake Huron

Area Status: Open
This area is Open
 

Au Sable River

This section provides motorboat opportunities with a lake fishing atmosphere. Its flow of water still serves as an important link in the production of the state's electrical power supply.

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: Reservations will be required for Au Sable River Primitive Camping starting May 15.
Operational Hours: Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week unless otherwise posted.
Rentals & Guides: Canoe Rentals -
  • Glennie:
    • Alcona Canoe Rental
  • Hale:
    • Rollways Resort
  • Mio:
    • Gotts Landing
    • Hinchman's Acres Resort
  • Oscoda:
    • Au Sable River Kayaking Company LLC; B & B LLC (Hunts)
    • Oscoda Canoe Rental
Fees Recreation Enhancement Act Fee - Day Use -
  • Pine Acres Boat Launch
  • Sawmill Point Boat Launch
  • Thompsons Landing River Access
  • Whirlpool Angler Access
Camping -
  • Au Sable River Primitive Camping
Permit Info: 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.
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: Glennie, Mikado, Oscoda, Hale, Mio
Operated By: Huron Shores Ranger Station - (989) 739-0728
Information Center:

General Information

Directions:

This section of the river runs from 4001 Canoe Landing to Lake Huron.  For directions to a particular site, please visit that sites page.


General Notes:

County - Oscoda, Iosco


Parking:

Parking is available at all sites.


Parking:

Au Sable River Primitive Camping

  • 2 vehicles per site

Au Sable Vista

  • 10 vehicle capacity

Pine Acres Boat Launch

  • 29 vehicle capacity

Sawmill Point Boat Launch

  • 10 vehicle capacity

Thompson's Landing Boat Launch

  • 10 vehicle capacity

Whirlpool Angler Access

  • 6 vehicle capactiy, with trailers

Accessibility:

Au Sable River Primitive Camping

  • Some sites are boat-in/walk-in only.
  • Some sites a high clearance vehicle is recommended to access them.
  • Sites are hard-packed dirt.

Au Sable Vista

  • Paved parking
  • Paved/Accessible sidewalk
  • Wooden/Accessible observation deck
  • Accessible restrooms.

Pine Acres Boat Launch

  • Gravel boat ramp
  • Gravel parking lot
  • Accessible Restroom

Sawmill Point Boat Launch

  • Gravel boat ramp
  • Gravel parking lot
  • Accessible restroom

Thompson's Landing Boat Launch

  • Stairs to river
  • Accessible restroom

Whirlpool Angler Access

  • Accessible fishing ramp
  • Paved parking
  • Boardwalk to river
  • Accessible restroom

Directions:

Au Sable River Primitive Camping

  • Alcona Pond - located approximately 6 miles west of Glennie and 10 miles southeast of McKinley.
  • Au Sable Area - Between Alcona Dam and Loud Pond, access is at Alcona Dam, Thompson's Landing or Loud Dam.
  • Loud Pond - located 20 miles west of Oscoda/Au Sable and 18 miles northwest of Tawas/East Tawas. The access is located at Loud Dam.
  • Five Channels - located approximately 19-miles west of Oscoda/Au Sable and 16-miles northwest of Tawas/East Tawas between Bissonette Road and River Road. The access is at Five Channels Dam. Cooke Pond - located 15 miles west of Oscoda/Au Sable and 14 miles northwest of Tawas/East Tawas between Bissonette Road and River Road. Access is at Pine Acres, Sawmill Point and Cooke Dam.
  • Sawmill Point - Located 15 miles west of Oscoda on River Rod. Turn north on Cooke Dam Rd.
  • Foote Pond - located approximately 7 miles west of Oscoda/Au Sable and 14 miles northwest of Tawas/East Tawas between Bissonette and River Roads. Access at Cooke Dam, Foote Site Park.
  • Lower Au Sable Primitive Camping - located on the east stretch of the Au Sable River, west of Oscoda/Au Sable. Access is at Foote Dam or Whirlpool Angler Access.

Au Sable Vista

From Oscoda -

  • Travel north on F41 for 14 miles.
  • Turn left and travel west on F30 for 16.5 miles.
  • Turn right and travel north on Bamfield Rd. for 3 miles.
  • Turn left on FR 4949 to enter the overlook.

Pine Acres Boat Launch

From West Branch -

  • Travel east on M-55 for 20.9 miles.
  • Turn left and travel north on MI-65 for 19 miles.
  • Turn right and travel east on Pine Acres Rd. for .1 mile.
  • Turn left and travel north on FR 2210 for .5 miles.

Sawmill Point Boat Launch

From Oscoda -

  • Travel west on E. River Rd. for 14 miles.
  • Turn right and travel north on Cooke Dam Rd. for 1.25 miles.
  • Turn left and travel west on FR 2088 for .25 miles.
  • Take right fork onto FR 2087 and drive to entrance.

Thompson's Landing Boat Launch

From West Branch -

  • Travel west on W. Houghton Ave/I-75 BR/MI-55/MI-76 for .7 miles.
  • Turn left and travel west on M-55 for 20.9 miles.
  • Turn left and travel north on MI-65 for 14 miles.
  • Turn left and travel west on Rollways Rd. for 3 miles.
  • Turn right and travel north on Curtisville Rd. for .75 miles.
  • Turn right and travel east on FR 4341 for .5 miles.

Whirlpool Angler Access

From Oscoda -

  • Travel west on River Rd. for 3 miles.
  • Turn right and travel north on FR 4581 for .5 miles.

Activities


Camping & Cabins

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Fishing

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Hiking

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Nature Viewing

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Picnicking

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Water Activities

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/hmnf/recarea/?recid=18568