Au Sable River, Michigan

The stretch of the Au Sable River from Grayling to Lake Huron offers breathtaking scenery as well as excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. Panoramic vistas from high bluff overlooks, long wooden boardwalks over spring-fed streams, and miles of quiet, undeveloped shoreline all can be found along this scenic river that flows from Grayling to Oscoda.  The Au Sable River is considered one of the best brown trout fisheries east of the Rockies and has been designated a blue ribbon trout stream by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Most of the main branch of the Au Sable River flows through or adjacent to the Huron-Manistee National Forest. 23 miles of the river, from the Mio Pond downstream to the Alcona Pond, was designated as a National Wild and Scenic River on October 4, 1984.  River Road, running parallel with the Au Sable River, is a designated National Scenic Byway.

foote dam pondThe watershed provides habitat for bald eagles and the endangered Kirtland's warbler. The Au Sable River in Michigan, United States runs approximately 138 miles through the northern Lower Peninsula, through the towns of Grayling and Mio, and enters Lake Huron at Oscoda.  In French, au sable literally means "with sand." A 1795 map calls it the Beauais River.

Consumers Energy owns and operates six hydroelectric dams along the Au Sable between Lake Huron and the town of Mio. Most of the river frontage is Huron National Forest land managed by the U.S. Forest Service or Consumers Energy lands. These lands provide a combination of developed and undeveloped outdoor recreation opportunities.

The Au Sable River Queen, the only paddlewheel river boat operating in northern Michigan