Experience a Fall Getaway in the Oscoda Area

The chance to experience the beauty of Pure Michigan doesn’t end once fall brings about seasonal changes. Whether you want to enjoy the changing leaves or learn about unique Michigan history, the Oscoda area offers an unforgettable experience.

Au Sable River flowing through a fall forest
Au Sable River | Photo Courtesy of Instagram Fan billyschutter

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Located on the east side of the state, on the south side of the Au Sable River, the Oscoda area features some of the state’s signature sites and experiences. Read on to see what to check out when visiting Oscoda in the fall.

1. River Road National Scenic Byway 

The 22-mile byway is a great way to take in all the color Northeast Michigan has to offer. It stretches westward from Lake Huron into the Huron-Manistee National Forests-Cadillac. Stop at the Lower Au Sable Scenic Overlook where a wide wooden staircase adjacent to the parking lot leads anglers and those who want a close look at the river waterside. Then head to the Foote Pond Scenic Overlook, a sand dune that cascades below a stone overlook less than 100 yards from the parking lot. Next, don’t forget to drop by the 14-foot bronze Lumberman’s Monument statue and its accompanying Lumberman's Monument Visitor Center. For the final stop, head to the Iargo Springs Interpretive Site for panoramic vistas from the 200-foot high overlook, then brave a long staircase down to a system of boardwalks winding through forest and past gurgling springs that flow into the river. Benches make the trek back up to the overlook manageable.

2. Iargo Springs Interpretive Site

Also located on the River Road Scenic Byway, the site offers a breathtaking view of the Au Sable River Valley from its observation deck that is 300 feet above the river. The adventurous can also walk down a flight of 294 steps to experience where the underground springs come together and form cold water streams.

3. Michigan Hiking Trails

There are more than 3,500 acres of hiking trails in and around the Oscoda area. Visitors can head out on the Reid Lake Foot Travel Area and see natural sites like a beaver pond, marshes and bogs, as well as an abundance of birds and wildlife. The Highbanks River Trail is a 7-mile trail that gives hikers and backpackers a great view of the Au Sable River. The Highbanks Trail is also where you’ll see the MCRA Canoer’s Memorial Monument, which was erected in memory of canoe racers who have died.

4. Au Sable-Oscoda Historical Museum 

At this historical museum, you’ll find Native American artifacts, as well as information about the region’s history concerning commercial fishing, shipwrecks and the railroad industry. The museum also has information about the Au Sable River, its dams and the notorious fire of 1911 that caused mass destruction to the community.

5. The Au Sable River Queen 

This is the only paddle-wheel riverboat that runs from summer into fall, allowing passengers to take in the autumn colors from its decks. Passengers can enjoy a two-hour round trip on the Au Sable River but should dress warm for those fall evenings and call in advance to reserve a spot.

6. Annual Paul Bunyan Days 

Bring the whole family for a day of fun, including carnival rides, craft vendors, a classic car show, a pie eating contest, kids activities and a hospitality tent with live music Friday and Saturday nights.