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Au Sable River

Area Status: Open
This area is Open
 

Au Sable National Scenic River - view from Highbanks

From Mio Pond to Lake Huron, the Au Sable is primarily managed by the HMNF.  The river is managed in two sections, one from Mio Pond to Alcona Dam Pond, the second from Alcona Dam to Lake Huron.

 

Au Sable National Wild and Scenic River

Au Sable National Scenic River

The Au Sable National Scenic River stretches 23-miles, from Mio to Alcona Pond.

 

Au Sable River - Alcona Dam to Lake Huron

Au Sable River

This section provides motorboat opportunities with a lake fishing atmosphere.

Highbanks River Trail

A short, 7-mile hike along the bluffs of the Au Sable River will provide day hikers with some of the best, and most dramatic, views of the Au Sable River, where hikers or skiers will be able to look over the river valley, with clear views almost to Lake Huron in some spots.

Lubmerman's Monument Visitor Center and Forest Discovery Trial

Lumberman’s Monument Visitor Center interprets the area’s colorful lumbering past. The 14-foot Lumberman’s Monument stands on a high bank with the Au Sable River providing a scenic backdrop.

River Road National Scenic Byway

The twenty-two mile River Road National Scenic Byway extends westward from Lake Huron into the Huron National Forest. It parallels the historic Riviere aux Sable (River of Sand). Lumbermen’s Monument Visitor Center sits at the center of the byway.

 

Brochures and Maps:

  • Au Sable National Scenic River (pdf)
  • 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)

Flickr Photo Albums:

At a Glance

Reservations: Reservations are required at Au Sable Primitive Camping from May 15 to September 30.  Visit http://www.recreation.gov to make a reservation.
Fees Recreation Enhancement Act Fee - Day Use -
  • 4001 Landing River Access
  • Au Sable Loop Campground and Day Use Area
  • Gabions Campground and Day Use Area
  • Pine Acres Boat Launch
  • Sawmill Point Boat Launch
  • Whirlpool Angler Access
  • Monument Campground
  • Rollways Day Use and River Access
Camping -
  • Au Sable Loop Campground
  • Au Sable River Primitive Camping
  • Gabions Campground
  • Monument Campground
  • Rollways Campground
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 -
  • Au Sable National Scenic River Corridor; R904-14-18
  • 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.
Information Center:

Activities


Beaches & Dunes

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Bicycling

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Camping & Cabins

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Fishing

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Hiking

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Nature Viewing

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Outdoor Learning

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Picnicking

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Scenic Driving

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Water Activities

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Tubing

A 65-mile section of the river from Grayling to Alcona Dam are unrestricted to canoeing and kayaking.  The 54 miles of river from Alcona Dam to Lake Huron create a lake-like atmosphere that is perfect for larger, motorized boats, and narrow stretches from Alcona Dam to Loud Pond and the lower Au Sable below Foote Dam are perfect for canoes and kayaks. 

Areas for Tubing at Au Sable River

Swimming

The impoundments along the lower 54 miles of the river create a lake-like atmosphere for swimming.  Please remember the water is deep and there is a current.  No lifeguards are on duty and swimming is done at your own risk. 

Areas for Swimming at Au Sable River

Boating - Non-Motorized

A 65-mile section of the river from Grayling to Alcona Dam are unrestricted to canoeing and kayaking.  The 54 miles of river from Alcona Dam to Lake Huron create a lake-like atmosphere, but narrow stretches from Alcona Dam to Loud Pond and the lower Au Sable below Foote Dam are perfect for canoes and kayaks. 

Areas for Boating - Non-Motorized at Au Sable River

Boating - Motorized

Motorized boating is allowed on the impoundments of the Au Sable River.  Motorized boating is not recommended on the Wild and Scenic Section of the river, from Mio Pond to Alcona Dam.

Areas for Boating - Motorized at Au Sable River


Winter Sports

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/hmnf/recreation/wateractivities/recarea/?recid=23980&actid=79