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Au Sable River in Michigan

Trip Overview

My wife and I kayaked the stretch of the Au Sable from the public access in Mio to the landing at Comins Flats. We both had been itching to kayak the Au Sable again for some time, and the river didn't disappoint us. The float took less than two and one half hours and was extremely enjoyable. A blue sky, mist on the water, and the sounds of the morning greeted us as we took off at about 8:00am. My wife has a Perception Sundance and I have a Mainstream Streak. She is an avid birdwatcher, and has greatly influenced me in this endeavor, also. Immediately into our float we were amazed by the amount of Kingfishers and Cedar Waxwings on the river! They flew over us, around us, and delighted us with their calls. Early on in the trip an immature Bald Eagle flew over us and left us quiet for a few moments in our awe. Later on I would totally disregard our 'rule' of talking in quiet tones and slow gestures by shouting "Look, Michelle, Look!" when a mature Bald Eagle flew about 25' above us-what can i was too amazing for protocol, LOL. We have seen Common Nighthawks by where we live in the evening, but seeing three of them during mid-day was unique. They flew high above us, catching the latest hatch on the river, the white bands on the underside of their wings so distinct. We didn't see any deer near the river, but a young river otter feeding or playing near the bank made up for it plenty. We just floated quietly by the otter, it never spooked, and we just barely paddled by with silly grins on our faces. I have long had a fondness for the Au Sable and this short trip reminded me why. With my wife paddling quietly along side of me, th Au Sable showed us all the best of her uniqueness.


Take M33 into Mio, the Au Sable crosses M33 in town. There are a couple of canoe liveries right at the bridge.


For a small fee, one of the canoe liveries will pick you up from a landing site after you drop off your vehicle. If you want to see wildlife, or like a quiet float, go early in the morning to avoid the rental canoers and the party crowd, especially on the weekends.

  • Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip