With its winding rivers, towering pine trees, and breathtaking coastal shorelines, there is no place quite as peaceful as Oscoda, Michigan. If you truly want to immerse yourself in the serene surroundings, then the best excursion for you is kayaking or canoeing down the Au Sable River, which quietly runs along the edge of the town.
Paddling the Au Sable River
While you do not need a lot of experience in order to embark on this tranquil river, it is important to keep in mind that there are no places to stop, anchor, or break along the way. You are going to need to commit several hours to the journey, and be ready to keep moving forward. However, people of all ages have found that this is a fun activity to enjoy together. From the young to the young at heart, everyone enjoys an afternoon spent gliding on the river.
If you have your own equipment, you can enjoy the Huron Shores Coastal Water Trail at your own leisure and on your own time. However, many people who are embarking on a summer road trip through Michigan and checking destinations off their bucket list do not always have a kayak or canoe on hand. Fortunately, there are several places in Oscoda where you can rent a watercraft and experience the crystal clear waters of this river for yourself.
Oscoda Canoe Rental offers kayak, canoe, and tube rentals. For kayak and canoe rentals, there are two different trip options available. When you start at Whirlpool, you will embark on a six-mile trip down the river that lasts for about two hours. When you start at Foote Dam, you will begin a 12-mile journey that lasts for about four hours. This company recommends advance reservations.
Another company that offers rental equipment in Oscoda is North Country Canoe Rental. You can book kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, or tubes from this company. Similar to other rental companies in the area, you can select a two-hour trip that begins at Whirlpool or a four-hour trip that begins at Foote Dam. The tube excursion lasts for five hours.
More to Outdoor Things to Explore in Oscoda
Once you have completed your soothing trip down the river, you may be looking to experience the other shoreline that Oscoda is famous for. Oscoda Beach Park is one of the best places to cool off after a day spent in the sunshine. This park boasts more than 1,000 feet of Lake Huron shoreline, and it’s the preferred public beach in the area. In addition to its beachfront access, you also can enjoy other amenities at the park, such as the basketball court, skate ramps, children’s playground, and boardwalk.
Where to Eat in Oscoda
After hours spent on the river and in the waters of Lake Huron, you and your travel party are likely going to be ready for a meal. Fortunately, Oscoda Beach Park is just a few steps away from downtown Oscoda, where you will find plenty of places to eat and drink.
For a casual atmosphere and American bar food with a twist, head to Edelweiss Tavern. This restaurant is the local sports bar where people go to watch their favorite games and connect with their friends. Its menu always features new creations, such as Cherry Brats or the Largo Spring Salad.
If you are searching for a fine dining experience, then consider heading over to Tait’s Bill of Fare. This restaurant is open for dinner, and usually features a menu that includes steaks and fresh fish entrées.
Ice Cream in Oscoda
No day in Northern Michigan would be complete without a scoop of ice cream from a local shop. Fortunately, you can easily find some of the best ice cream in Michigan right at Parkside Dairy. This low-key ice cream shop has a grab-and-go storefront as well as several tables out front for guests who want to enjoy their ice cream on-site. You will need to come ready to make a decision, at this ice cream shop features more than 40 different flavors of ice cream on any given day as well as soft-serve ice cream with dozens of premium toppings to choose from. After you get your cone, you can enjoy it right there or take it back to the beach to see the Lake Huron water glitter at sunset.
Lodging in Oscoda
Whether you’re looking for a place to stay at the end of your river journey or perhaps a place to stay while you explore more of northeast Michigan, here are a few local lodging options near Oscoda:
- Au Sable Loop Campground and Day Use Area
- Meadow Springs Campground
- O Me, O Mio
- Top Notch Cabin in the Woods
- Log Cabin Luxury – Romantic Riverfront Setting on the Famed Ausable River