AuSable Birding Trail
This trail highlights remarkable bird habitat throughout the Houghton Lake, Higgins Lake, St. Helen, and the AuSable River area
The heavily forested Crawford and Roscommon counties in the heart of northern Michigan have long been a delight for birders and a haven for endangered and migratory species. The AuSable Birding Trail takes you through the woods and into the wetlands, from the protected nesting of the Kirtland’s Warbler to the towering aeries of the populous Bald Eagle. With an emphasis on education in identification and preservation, the local communities have worked together with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Huron Pines and other environmental organizations to make this a premiere birding destination. Birders, novice to expert, are invited to bring their eyes and ears (and binoculars and cameras) to the trails, woods and waters of the AuSable Birding Trail for a rewarding birding experience.
AuSable River Center
211 N. Main Street - RoscommonPhone: (989) 275-4392
The AuSable River Center is open summers on Fridays and Saturdays, noon to 4:30 p.m., beginning May 27th through Labor Day. There you find exhibits that highlight the AuSable River and its great past. Currently there is an exhibit about Verlen Kruger, a man who paddled more than 90,000 miles on some of the most incredible expeditions ever undertaken in a paddle craft. An early model canoe and a later innovative boat that he built will be included in the show as well as his personal gear and journals.
Deer Pens (Ogemaw Nature Park)
5626 W. Rose City Rd. - West BranchPhone: (989) 275-4392
You will have the chance to feed rescued older deer, as well as fawns, goats or a pet pig. There is a picnic area, area to rest, and food available for feeding the animals. Open from 12 to 7 pm Monday thru Friday and 11 am to 8 pm on Saturday.
Kirtland Warbler Area
These highly endangered birds create a beautiful melody as they nest in the Jack Pine woods of Roscommon County. There are only about 3,000 of these birds left on the earth, with a majority of them coming to this area each summer. They return to the Jack Pine woods in this area because it is the only place in the world they find the combination of sandy soils, small grassy openings, and young jack pine trees that they need to breed successfully. These birds can be viewed primarily in the northern part of the county in the area surrounding Kirtland Community College.
Marguerite Gahagan Preserve
209 Maplehurst - RoscommonPhone: (989) 275-3217
This ten acre property and cabin home was donated by Marguerite Gahagan, who when moving to the Roscommon area developed a haven for wild animals that she called her “little people.” The property consists of mature white and red pine forests and cedar swamp. A small stream forms on the property, which becomes Tank Creek. The Preserve is open to the public from dawn until dusk. Take M18 to Southline Rd. turn west unto Preserve Rd.
6327 M-18 - Roscommon, MI 48653Phone: (989) 275-4500
Roscommon Zoo is a family owned and operated zoo/petting zoo located in Crawford County, MI. just minutes from downtown Roscommon. Their scenic 20 acres is home to various native and non-native exotic animals as well as domestic farm animals. Many of the animals have been highly socialized, making for unique interactive experiences between you, the visitor, and some amazing creatures.
Observation Deck (Old 27) - Houghton Lake Flats
Old 27 Expressway - Houghton Lake
Located on Houghton Lake’s Flats along Old 27 expressway, this wildlife restoration project provides a replacement home for waterfowl and other wetland species which once inhabited the area marshlands before settlers arrived.
State Park Explorer Program (North Higgins Lake State Park)
11747 North Higgins Lake Drive - Houghton LakePhone: (989) 821-6125
Armed with field guides, animal skins, bug boxes and other hands-on materials, State Park Explorer Guides lead informal programs and hikes that feature each location's unique natural, cultural and historic resources. Program topics include: insect hunts, pond studies, wildflower walks, wetland wonders, art in nature, campfire programs, star gazing and other topics covering the variety of plants, animals and natural features found in each park. These programs, usually held during summer afternoons and evenings from Tuesday through Saturday starting Memorial Day weekend, are designed for children and adults, often in a family setting.
Wellington Farm Park
M-72 - RoscommonPhone: 1-888-OLD FARM
This farm is a 60-acre, open-air, interpretive museum located on Military Road is a working replica of a typical Mid-American farmstead during the 1930s. In this park is a unique Farm Market, full of farm fresh goodies from fresh milled flours and corn meal to home-baked pies. Special events occur throughout the year.
The Houghton Lake Area Tourism Bureau has been placing caches for more than two years. One travel bug has gone nearly 7,000 miles and has been placed in Germany. There are more than 700 geocaches in Roscommon County, many located among the natural beauty of the area. Come and enjoy this real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game with your family or while hiking along our lakes and streams.
Visit geocaching.com to locate the geocaches in Roscommon County. (Hint: there is a great one with a free dvd behind our office).