Au Sable River

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The Au Sable National Scenic River is a 23 mile segment of the main stream of the Au Sable River in Oscoda and Alcona Counties, near the communities of Mio and McKinley. The segment begins one mile below Mio Pond and ends just below the Forest Road (4001) Bridge. The legal boundary can be seen on National Scenic River maps or available at the Mio Ranger District of the Huron National Forest. See map below.

The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, P.L. 90-542, became law on October 2, 1968. Its purpose is to preserve “certain selected rivers which, with their immediate environment, pose outstanding remarkable geologic, fish and wildlife, historic or cultural or other similar values…in a free flowing condition…for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.” After seven years of consideration, this 23 mile segment of the Au Sable was designated a National Scenic River on October 4, 1984.

The Huron National Forest has prepared a Management Plan, as directed by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, to provide guidance, specific direction and identify projects and improvements needed to manage the Au Sable for the next ten years or until revision is needed.

The Mio Ranger District has been awarded the job of administration of the Scenic River corridor. Management objectives identified are to:

  1. Preserve the river’s free flowing condition and its existing water quality.
  2. Retain the existing natural, undeveloped appearance of the river’s shoreline.
  3. Protect all significant archaeological, historic and scientific values within the river’s corridor for future generations.
  4. Provide users of the river corridor with an opportunity for a semi-primitive experience.
  5. Reduce the conflicts between different users of the river and the stress of user activity on the river’s ecosystem.
  6. Protect and enhance the habitat of fish and wildlife in the river corridor.

Specific projects which have been identified in the Scenic River Plan are now being implemented. Examples of projects include improvements to the McKinley and 4001 Bridge access sites, various soil erosion abatement projects along the shoreline, designation of camping sites and the installation of rest stop facilities, closure of roads not needed for the administration of use of the river, construction of fish habitat improvements in tributaries, and the installation of informational signing.

Access At Joseph Pillars Park Fishing Pier ADA compliant, Access At Parmalee Bridge, County Road 489, Luzerne

  • Rustic Camp Ground
  • Canoe Launch

Access At Big Creek Twp. Deeter Road, Luzerne

  • Rustic Camping
  • Picnic Area
  • Pavillion
  • Canoe Launch

Access at Camp 10 Bridge Rd.

  • Fishing Piers
  • Boat Launch

Au Sable Nat'l Scenic River Map

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