Description - The Huron-Manistee National Forest (964,974 acres) is actually two forests combined for administration purposes. The Huron Shores Ranger Station is part of the 433,912-acre Huron National Forest. Aptly named, Huron Shores Ranger Station stretches from the Great Lake Huron to areas west of M-65. Fishing is synonymous with the Huron Shores Ranger Station. A wide variety of warmwater and coldwater species inhabit the diverse waterways that include perhaps Michigan's most notable, the Au Sable River. So well known, the Au Sable River is affectionately referred to as "The River." As a major tributary to Lake Huron, a 23-mile stretch has been designated a National Scenic River. Three major reservoirs manage the natural forces of the Au Sable: the Loud Dam Pond, Crooke Dam Pond, and Foote Dam Pond. Much of the region is characterized by some f the flattest terrain and lowest elevations (900 feet) on the entire Huron-Manistee National Forest. Mid-sized lakes, small pothole ponds, and numerous streamlets dot the mixed hardwood and conifer landscape. Wildlife inhabiting the region ranges from migratory birds and butterflies, to large fur-bearers and common reptiles.
Copyright: USDA Forest Service
River catch on the Huron-Manistee National Forests
- The Huron Shores Ranger Station offers the outdoor enthusiast a wide range of sporting destinations. Water-oriented activities dominate, particularly on or around the 150-mile Au Sable River. Including the Mainstream, East, South, and North Branches, the river provides anglers with harvests of salmon, steelhead, rainbow, northern pike, walleye, bass and others. Boating and paddling opportunities exist the entire route with numerous outfitters dotting the lengthy river route. Hikers enjoy the river as well. Eagle Run provides a loop trail system for hiking, cross-country skiing and mountain biking while the Highbanks Trail System provides a scenic backcountry linear trail overlooking the Au Sable River Valley.
There are over seven developed campgrounds, including Rollways Campground on the Au Sable, each equipped with picnic tables, fire rings, drinking water, and restrooms. Inland lake campgrounds include Round Lake, Horseshoe Lake and Jewell Lake. Campers will find mid-sized lakes amid restful, quiet woodlands and open fields where kids can frolic on the soft sands of a developed beach or fish from shallow shorelines. Monument Campground is a popular destination featuring a rustic camping area that was originally created by the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps. Three notable day trips from Monument include the River Road Scenic Byway, the Lumberman's Monument Visitor Center (along the Byway), and Iargo Springs, a natural spring with steep drop-offs, a scenic overlook, and historical plaque.
Pine River area is another water-oriented destination offering a variety of pleasures including paddling, camping, berry picking and spring mushroom gathering. Known as a prime viewing location for the endangered Kirtland's warbler, the quiet backcountry visitor may also get a glimpse of white-tailed deer, fox, coyote, otter, mink, beaver, and kingfishers. Other good wildlife viewing opportunities exist in the Hoist Lakes Area, where backpackers and cross-country skiers are invited to enjoy lengthy excursions.
Snowmobilers find 166 miles of route available between Iosco and Alcona counties. Call 989-739-0728 for maps.
Recreation - Recreations enjoyed on the Huron Shores Ranger Station include paddling, camping, picnicking, swimming, boating, fishing, nature study, hiking, berry picking, mushroom gathering, horseback riding, mountain biking, bird watching, wildlife viewing, and an array of winter sports.
Climate - Northern Michigan normally experiences mild summers with average temperatures around 70 degrees F (21 degrees C). Winter temperatures average 14 - 22 degrees F (-10 to -6 degrees C). Yearly rain and snowmelt in the region averages 28 - 36 inches but can be dramatically altered by the "lake effect," thus depositing significant amounts of snow within a short period of time causing hazardous road conditions.
Huron Shores Ranger Station administers the eastern portion of Huron National Forest in the lower northern peninsula of Michigan. Major routes include Michigan 55, 65 and 72.