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Au Sable River Valley Sight Seeing

Foggy Morning At Iargo Springs

Foote Pond Scenic Overlook

Wild Flower Garden at Lumberman's Monument

Sight Seeing

Photo-Au Sable River QueenAu Sable River Queen, PO Box 249, Hale, MI 49738, Phone: (989) 739-7351.  The only paddlewheel river boat operating in northern Michigan, the Au Sable River Queen prepares to set out on a two hour excursion along the shoreline of Foote Pond of the Au Sable River. This popular fall color activity requires reservations for weekend trips.

Photo-Iargo SpringsIargo Springs Interpretive Site, Huron Shores Ranger Station, 5761 North Skeel Road, Oscoda, MI 48750, Phone: (989) 739-0728.  Iargo Springs Interpretive Site provides a spectacular view of the Au Sable River.  It lies next to River Road and has been used as a drinking water source since pre-settlement times.  Dams were constructed on the springs by early loggers, before the turn of the century.  The dams were useful on diverting water to the logging camps nearby.  Most of the waters of Cook Pond were dry land then.  Europeans have visited the springs for recreation since the 1920’s.  A trail was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1934.  Early photographs show the dam being repaired and reinforced by the CCC’s.  This work lasted until a storm took out the dams in 1981.  Iargo Springs Interpretive Site was renovated in 1991.  The “On Step At A Time” campaign raised funds to rebuild the stairway.  Additional grant moneys and Forest Service funds were used to landscape the area and construct boardwalks and dams.

Photo-Lumbermans MonumentLumberman's Monument Visitor Center [Museums, Historical Sites], Junction of River and Monument Roads, Huron-Manistee National Forests, Oscoda, MI 48750, Phone: (989) 362-8961, Lumberman's Monument Visitor Center sits on a high bluff overlooking the sparkling waters of the Au Sable River.  This major waterway is rich in cultural history.  Visitors get their first taste of this history as they pass through the entrance into the visitor center grounds.  Their eyes are immediately drawn to the massive bronze statue of three lumbermen that have watched over this stretch of the Au Sable River since 1932.   This massive statue creates anticipation and wonderment of what lays ahead.   Parking is convenient, with easy access for disabled, elderly, and large groups that may require curbside unloading. The Lumberman's Monument was erected  in 1931 as a lasting memorial to the lumbermen that harvested Michigan's  giant white pine in the 1800's.  The 14-foot bronze statue  overlooks the beautiful Au Sable River ("River of Sand").  The three figures represent various stages of the historic  lumbering operation.  In the center, the timber cruiser holds  a compass. To his left, a sawyer holds an ax and cross-cut saw.  On the right, is the river rat using a peavey.Etched on the granite base are  the names of contributors  of the $50,000 cost of the memorial.  Many are descendants  of the lumbermen that cut the pine.  On one corner you may  notice the words "Aitken Fecit," meaning "Aitken  made it."  Fecit coming from a Latin verb meaning "to  make."  The sculptor was Robert Aiken of New York.

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Photo-Our Lady of the Woods ShrineOur Lady of the Woods Shrine, PO Box 189, Mio, MI 48647, Phone: (989) 826-5509, Email: tmarymio@m33access.com. This massive Shrine-Grotto is a composite of all the major Marian shrines of the world.  Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of LaSalette, Our Lady of Czestochowa are shrines of the Old World; Our Lady of Gaudalupe and the Canadian Shrine are shrines of the New World.  In visiting this Shrine-Grotto, one cannot see all the separate shrines in one glance. One must make individual, private pilgrimages to each shrine separately.

Photo-River Road National Scenic Byway - Westgate Welcome CenterRiver Road National Scenic Byway, Huron-Manistee National Forest, The twenty two mile River Road Scenic Byway parallels the historic Riviere Aux Sable (River of Sand). The Au Sable River provided a westward link for Native Americans and French Fur traders. Later it became a major transportation route, taking Michigan's white pine from the inland forests to the sawmill towns on Lake Huron. Today, the Au Sable River is still a major water way, with six hydroelectric dams providing power and water recreation. Travelers will enjoy lush forests and breathtaking vistas from high banks along the river. Three monuments help visitors recall the area's past. Canoer's Memorial honors those that have paddled and those that continue to paddle these flowing waters. Lumberman's Monument is a lasting tribute to the lumbermen that cut the big white pine, providing lumber for a developing nation. The Kiwanis' Monument commemorates the efforts of private citizens in the reforesting of Michigan's barren lands. Money collected by the Kiwanis Clubs in Michigan was used to fund the replanting effort during the 1920s and 1930s. 

Kiawanis Monument

Conoer's Memorial

AuSable River Queen Underway

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