Drive the Jack Pine Wildlife Viewing Tour. This 58-mile self-guided tour will take you through the scenic Au Sable River Valley and the unique Jack Pine ecosystem – home of the endangered Kirtland’s Warbler, one of the rarest birds in the world. The auto tour not only takes you through areas inhabited by the Kirtland’s Warbler, but also through a variety of wildlife habitats providing opportunities to see, hear, photograph and learn about many kinds of wildlife, from white-tailed deer and bald eagles to bluebirds and beaver.
Located near the town of Mio, the informative and beautiful tour consists of a series of eleven wildlife viewing sites along state and country highways. Interpretive signs at each site describe the natural features of the area including the wildlife that you are likely to see there.
Although you can start at any point along the tour route, we recommend starting in Mio and heading south on M-33. Tour maps and self-guiding brochures are available at the Chamber of Commerce for Oscoda County and U.S.D.A. Forest Service offices in Mio.
The auto tour is supported through a unique partnership of concerned people and organizations who care about the Jack Pine ecosystem, the Kirtland’s Warbler, the Au Sable River and the human communities in the area.
Partners include the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, U.S.D.A. Forest Service, U.S.D.A. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Chamber of Commerce for Oscoda County, the Oscoda County Road Commission, Alcona County Road Commission, Michigan Department of Transportation, Michigan Department of Corrections, The Ruffed Grouse Society, Weyerhauser Foundation, ABTCo, Consumers Energy, Wildlife Forever, MichCon, and the Eastern National Forest Interpretive Association.