Au Sable River

Mio Pond to Lake Huron
Mio, MI 48647


Au Sable River

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

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

Au Sable River - Alcona Dam to Lake Huron

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.


Campground Camping

You do not need a permit to camp on the National Forests, although some sites do require a reservation and/or camping fee; and if your campfire will be on National Forest System lands you will not need a wood permit to cut firewood.

Most campgrounds have drinking water.  No RV hook-ups are available for water, sewage or electric at any campground.

Water Activities

Within the boundaries of the Huron-Manistee National Forests there are more than 1,800 miles of rivers and 17,000 acres of lakes that provide a range of recreation opportunties and a variety of fish and wildlife habitats.

Motorized Boating
Motorized boating is allowed on many of the lakes with Federal Access, most of the boat launches are gravel or asphalt and are located within Forest Service Campgrounds.  Two rivers, the AuSable from Alcona Pond to Lake Huron and the Manistee are open to motorized boating.  The impoundments of the AuSable create a lake-like atmosphere, popular for motor-boating and fishing.  The Manistee River is wide and deep with a swift current and slow, wide bends.

Nonmotorized Boating
The five Congressionally designated Wild and Scenic Rivers and two candidate Wild and Scenic Rivers provide canoers and kayakers a range of experiences. Additionally, the Little Manistee and Big Sable are popular rivers for visitors looking for fewer crowds.

Several campgrounds and day use sites on the Forests have beaches available for visitors to use. With a variety of sandy bottomed lakes across the Forests to choose from, visitors will not be lacking in swimming opportunities. Lakes range in size and depth, and most Forest Service access sites are the only public access available to those lakes.

Visitors will often spend a lazy afternoon tubing down one of the many miles of river available on the forest, particularly on the AuSable National Scenic River, Manistee and White Rivers.


Day Hiking


Winter Sports


There are around 600 miles of snowmobile trail through the Huron-Manistee National Forests.  The trails are groomed by several different partner organizations

XC Skiing/Snowshoeing


Mountain Biking

There are several trails on the forest open to mountain biking, including portions of the North Country National Scenic Trail.  With much of the forest having a sandy base and/or topography, trails range from moderate to difficult.


Ice Fishing
Lake and Pond Fishing
River and Stream Fishing

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