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Old 05-17-2011, 08:46 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
3,095 posts, read 5,630,566 times
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Might be making a day trip to check out the Au Sable River area for the first time. If I'm starting the Tawas area, what is the best way to get to the scenic overlooks/hiking trails? Should I go up to Oscoda and take the River Road? Or is there a more direct way? I know I won't have nearly enough time to see the place, but are there any suggestions for must-see spots along the river? Any help would be appreciated!
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Old 05-17-2011, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Loving life in Gaylord!
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Yes....head toward Oscoda and hit River Rd.... this is the best route. You can make many stops along the way to check out scenic overlooks. River Road Scenic Byway - Map
Also there are lots of dams, and some overlook stops have trails...like the Lumbermans monument...which is my favorite. Here, there is a cool visitor center with some awesome things to check out. There is also a trail going to an amazing overlook of the river and dunes. Stop at the "Rollaways" picnic area too. They have a nice trail there, along with fantastic views and a great picnic area. The River Rd. scenic Byway is one of my favorite places to drive in Michigan, and that whole area is stunningly beautiful. If you see somewhere to stop....do it! Each area is different, and each has an amazing view of the Au-Sable. Have fun!

Last edited by michmoldman; 05-17-2011 at 09:09 AM..
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Old 05-17-2011, 09:28 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
3,095 posts, read 5,630,566 times
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Quote:
Yes....head toward Oscoda and hit River Rd.... this is the best route. You can make many stops along the way to check out scenic overlooks. River Road Scenic Byway - Map
Also there are lots of dams, and some overlook stops have trails...like the Lumbermans monument...which is my favorite. Here, there is a cool visitor center with some awesome things to check out. There is also a trail going to an amazing overlook of the river and dunes. Stop at the "Rollaways" picnic area too. They have a nice trail there, along with fantastic views and a great picnic area. The River Rd. scenic Byway is one of my favorite places to drive in Michigan, and that whole area is stunningly beautiful. If you see somewhere to stop....do it! Each area is different, and each has an amazing view of the Au-Sable. Have fun!
Thanks a lot, this is just the type of help I was looking for!
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Old 05-17-2011, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Loving life in Gaylord!
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Originally Posted by michigan83 View Post
Thanks a lot, this is just the type of help I was looking for!
Your welcome! This area has tons of beauty...maybe one of the most overlooked areas in Michigan....so do not forget your camera! Will be looking for pictures on the Michigan picture thread after your trip!!
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Old 05-17-2011, 09:07 PM
 
Location: Somewhere below Mason/Dixon
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Michmoldman has good advice for you. River road between Oscoda and M-65 is where the best overlooks are. I believe the lumbermans monument stop has a hiking trail that goes down to the river where you can see large springs coming out of the hillside. Its a neat sight, but there is a steep hike down there. If you are in shape for it then its well worth it. Also along the river there is a boat ride you can take, I believe its docks are closer to Oscoda. I love that part of the state, its generally overlooked by those who hype other parts of the state. Northeast michigan is beautiful, quiet and peacefull. You should enjoy the trip.
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Old 05-18-2011, 06:22 AM
 
Location: Loving life in Gaylord!
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Yes....danielj72 is right...take the hikes down to the riverside if possible. Also, at Rollaways...there is a long flight of stairs going down to the bottom which is a lot of fun. I believe other stops have stairs also, but this is one of my favorites. We used to take our bikes here and just ride all around the area, and I believe there is (or was) a pretty long trail going along the river for a few miles or more. Also....just north of Rollaways...about a mile, there is a bridge we used to stop at and walk down to a little Au-Sable river feeder creek. Its all sand and very clear, and on a hot day a lot of fun take your shoes and socks off and walk down it a ways. You say your starting in Tawas...is this your first time here also? There are some very cool things to see and do here also.
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:06 AM
 
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I have an affinity for the Au Sable as I grew up on it in Mio. Even hauled canoes a couple summers. Great river but I never really explored downriver much in the regions you are discussing. Will have to make the journey up there again and discover those portions.
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Old 05-19-2011, 05:55 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
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You say your starting in Tawas...is this your first time here also? There are some very cool things to see and do here also.
I drove through Tawas once, but it will be my first time spending any time there. I know I would like to check out the lighthouse and the state park. Anything else I should see?
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Old 05-20-2011, 06:02 AM
 
Location: Loving life in Gaylord!
4,121 posts, read 7,957,720 times
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Originally Posted by michigan83 View Post
I drove through Tawas once, but it will be my first time spending any time there. I know I would like to check out the lighthouse and the state park. Anything else I should see?
Yes....you have to see the State Park and Lighthouse. We just love to walk around downtown and walk onto the docks. Also while your there go to Marions Dairy bar...best ice cream around!
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Old 05-20-2011, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
27,772 posts, read 65,673,344 times
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When I asked aroudn the office about canoeing on the Au Sable, two different people said that they had problems with motorcycle gangs or other unsavory types haging out along the river (apparently in canoes, but that was not clear), partying, having sex in plain view, etc. Is that a comon concern or just coincidence that they each had similar problems at different times. Is there a part of the river that is less frequented by weekend hordes?
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