Au Sable Area

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Along the Au Sable River is the Au Sable Special Area, a 10,628 acre area characterized by flat to gently rolling hills with some steep banks along the Au Sable River. This area is located in Iosco and Alcona counties. The Au Sable Special Area stretches the southern end of Alcona Dam Pond (Bamfield Road) to just before Cook Pond on either side of the river.

The area is densely forested and inhabited by bald eagles, deer, bear, bobcat, porcupine and various songbirds. Campers and day-use visitors enjoy boating, tubing, rafting, canoeing and fishing on the Au Sable River. Other popular recreation activities include viewing the river and wildlife, hiking, swimming, picnicking, horseback riding, hunting, trapping and berry and mushroom gathering. The Forest Service requires camping permits from May 15 through September 30 at the 19 designated primitive campsites along the river in this area.

Two developed campgrounds are located in this area, South Branch Trail Camp and Rollways Campground.

At a Glance

Fees No Fee
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.
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 -
  • 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, Oscoda, Mikado, Hale, Mio
Information Center:

General Information

General Notes:

Location - Au Sable River

Nearby Recreation Areas -

  • Thompsons Landing
  • Shore to Shore Trail
    • South Branch Trail Camp

Acreage - 10,628

County - Iosco

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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Water Activities

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