Highbanks Trail

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Trail Type:

Counties Trail is in:

End Points:

  • 45.423917, -84.539125
  • 45.420897, -84.529640

A short, 7-mile hike along the bluffs of the Au Sable River will provide day hikers with some of the best, and most dramatic, views of the Au Sable River, where hikers or skiers will be able to look over the river valley, with clear views almost to Lake Huron in some spots.

The linear trail begins 15 miles outside of Oscoda, with access areas and parking at Iargo Springs, Lumberman’s Monument, and Sid Town.

During the summer hikers may see bald eagles that nest in the area, along with many other wildlife that inhabit the area.   During winter, snowshoers and cross-country skiers looking for ungroomed trail will find it on the Highbanks Trail.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: This trail is not groomed.
Operational Hours: Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week unless otherwise posted.
Usage: Light
Best Season: January 1 to December 31
Restrictions: Allowed – Nonmotorized and nonmotorized snow useProhibited – Motorized and over-snow motorized vehicles, pack and saddle livestock As a visitor to the National Forest, you are asked to follow certain rules designed to protect the Forest, natural resources and to provide for public safety of visitors. These rules are available to you on-line or at any office of the Huron-Manistee National Forests. Applicable Orders –

  • Au Sable National Scenic River Corridor; R904-14-18
  • Au Sable River and Cooke Pond Semi-primitive Motorized Areas, shorelines of Alcona Pond and the Eagle Run Trail System; R904-14-21
  • Motorized Vehicle Use of Roads, Trails and Off-road Areas; R904-14-02
  • Occupancy and Use; R904-14-03
Closest Towns: Grayling
Water: None
Restroom: Vault
Operated By: Huron Shores Ranger Station

General Information


From Grayling –

  • Travel east on M-72 for 10 miles.
  • Turn left and travel north into parking lot.

General Notes:

Location – Au Sable River

Nearby Recreation Areas –

  • Iargo Springs
  • Sawmill Point
  • Lumberman’s Monument
  • Lumberman’s Monument Visitor Center

County – Iosco

Seasonal and Other Information –

  • This site is not gated during the off season.
  • This site is maintained in winter:
    •  Access road and/or parking lot are plowed.


  • The trail is hardpacked earth.



Day Hiking

Nature Viewing

Viewing Wildlife

There are many areas on the forest for scenic viewing. 

The ultimate wildlife viewing experience is watching animals in their habitat.  Here are some helpful tips to become a wildlife friendly viewer:

  • Use the right tools – A field guide, a pair of binoculars and a camera.  Wear clothing that is appropritate for the season and activitiy.
  • Watch at dawn and dusk – This is the time when most wildlife species are active enough to view.
  • Keep your distance – Maintain a distance that is comfortable for the wildlife.
  • Stay quiet – Move slowly and quietly to increase your chances of viewing wildlife, and to avoid stressing the animals you wish to watch.
  • Do not feed the wildlife – There is plenty of food availale in the wild.  Human food can cause digestive problems, provide improper nutrition, and even kill an animal.

An online version of the Michigan Wildlife Viewing Guide is available on the MI-DNRE website.

Special Feature Nature Trail, River Road National Scenic Byway

Outdoor Learning

Interpretive Areas

Winter Sports

XC Skiing/Snowshoeing

Warming Shelters No
Nearby Resorts No
Base Conditions Not Groomed

If you have information about this trail please fill out the Add/Edit Trail form.

References and More Info


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