Forest Discovery Trail

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Lumberman's Monument Visitor Center

The path goes through the grounds of the visitor center to the overlook deck.

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At a Glance

Current Conditions: This trail is not groomed.
Operational Hours: Visitor Center Hours - 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Area Amenities: Parking
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: Heavy
Best Season: May 15 to October 23
Restrictions: Allowed - Nonmotorized and nonmotorized over-snow Use Prohibited - Motorized and over-snow motorized vehicles, pack and saddle animals 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. 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
Closest Towns: Tawas, Oscoda, Hale, Glennie
Water: Drinking Water
Restroom: Flush
Operated By: Huron Shores Ranger Station - (989) 739 - 0728
Information Center:

General Information


From Tawas -

  • From M-55 turn right onto Wilber Rd. go 1.25 miles north to Monument Rd.
  • Continue on Monument Rd. for 11 miles to River Rd.

From Oscoda -

  • Travel 15 miles west along River Rd. 

General Notes:

Location - River Road National Scenic Byway, Lumberman's Monument Visitor Center

Nearby Recreation Areas -

  • Monument Campground
  • Highbanks Trail

County - Iosco

Seasonal and Other Information -

  • This site is not gated when closed.
  • This site is not maintained in winter:
    • Access road and/or parking lot are not plowed.
    • Water and/or toilet facilities are not available.



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Nature Viewing

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Viewing Scenery

 The Forest Discovery Trail leads to one of two observation decks on the Visitor Center grounds.

Amenity -

  • Observation Deck

Viewing Wildlife

There are many areas on the forest for scenic viewing. 

The ultimate wildlife viewing experience is watching animals in their habitat.  Here are some helpful tips to become a wildlife friendly viewer:

  • Use the right tools - A field guide, a pair of binoculars and a camera.  Wear clothing that is appropritate for the season and activitiy.
  • Watch at dawn and dusk - This is the time when most wildlife species are active enough to view.
  • Keep your distance - Maintain a distance that is comfortable for the wildlife.
  • Stay quiet - Move slowly and quietly to increase your chances of viewing wildlife, and to avoid stressing the animals you wish to watch.
  • Do not feed the wildlife - There is plenty of food availale in the wild.  Human food can cause digestive problems, provide improper nutrition, and even kill an animal. 

An online version of the Michigan Wildlife Viewing Guide is available on the MI-DNRE website.

Special FeatureAu Sable River
SpeciesAn online version of the Michigan Wildlife Viewing Guide is available on the MI-DNRE website.

Outdoor Learning

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Winter Sports

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Parking 82 vehicle capacity