Nestled in Roscommon County are gentle rivers flowing through the beautiful forested wilderness, home to turtles, herons, frogs, and fish. Float or paddle the South Branch of the AuSable River, or take an excursion on the Muskegon River a memorable, quality outdoor experience.

Ausable River

The South Branch of the AuSable River flows northward out of St. Helen to Roscommon (this section is floatable only at certain times of the year). Out of Roscommon the AuSable River flows north and east through the George Mason Wilderness Retreat. There are no homes or roads in the 3,500 acres between Chase Bridge and Smith Bridge where the river is preserved as a wilderness. Here the river's depth ranges from one to four feet (a few areas are deeper). A moderate current takes you steadily downstream. Area canoe liveries help you plan trips from 1-4 hours to overnight.

  • Canoeing the AuSable

    Great Getaways TV

  • Winter Kayaking on the AuSable

    Great Getaways TV - The South Branch of the AuSable River is world renowned for canoeing, kayaking and tubing. Only about 1 percent of the summer kayakers will take the trip in the winter. When the wind blows puffs of powdery white snow are sent off of the trees and turns the river into a magical place. So much has been written on this river that pertains to the warmer months but very little is said about the winter time. It is truly a great experience. We advise recreational kayakers that if you would like to try some winter kayaking to get ready for chill paddling by getting: a spray skirt, a change of clothes and a paddling partner.

  • Arts & Culture
    Canoe Liveries - Ausable River
    • Campell's Canoe Livery

      Campbell’s located on M-18 ( Lake Street) in Roscommon. They offer rentals of canoes, kayaks and tubes which can be used on the South Branch of the AuSable River. They can be reached at (800) 722-6633 or (989) 275-5810.

    • Paddle Brave Canoe Livery and Campground Resort

      They have canoes, kayaks, and tubes for rent. Located at 10610 Steckert Bridge Road in Roscommon. They have two telephone numbers they can be reached at: (800) 681-7092 or (989) 275-5273.

  • Muskegon River

    The Muskegon means "Happy River" and flows south and west from Houghton Lake into the backwaters of the Reedsburg Dam. From there the river meanders through miles of unspoiled wilderness flowing over a bed of sand at approximately 3-4 miles per hour. You will travel through the Houghton Lake Wildlife Research Area, where the Muskegon River takes you gently through some astounding natural areas.

  • Canoe Liveries
    Canoe Liveries - Muskegon River
    • White Birch Campground and Canoe Livery

      5569 South Paradise Rd. (four miles west of Houghton Lake) on the Muskegon - phone (231) 328-4547 White Birch offers kayak, canoe and tube trips on the Muskegon River that range from one hour to overnight, and group rates and packages are available.

  • Hotels With Canoe Packages