Ausable River Camping Campground and Camping

Fishing Hot Spots near Ausable River Camping Campground

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About the Campground

Visit this Huron-Manistee National Forests link for more information about Huron-Manistee National Forest's Ausable River Primitive campsites and additional maps. Ausable River Primitive Camping is not a physical campground located at one location. A series of 102 individually designated single-family campsites are located on a 55-mile stretch of the Ausable River shoreline and bluffs within Alcona and Iosco Counties, Michigan. Camping is allowed only at designated campsites along the Ausable River and reservations and nightly camping fee payments are required prior to camping during the period May 15 through September 30 annually. Camping is open at designated campsites outside of the reservation season on a first come-first served basis. All other Forest Service rules of occupancy apply. From west to east the campsite numbering system has been divided by the name of the impoundments and River segments found there. Eight segments are identified on our Forest's maps as Alcona Pond, Ausable Semi-Primitive Non-Motorized Area, Loud Pond, Five Channels Pond, Cooke Pond (Sawmill Point), Foote Pond and Lower Ausable. The numbering system (Campsites #1 - #102) presented on Forest maps include letter qualifiers that identify whether the site can be accessed by road "D", by canoe or boat "C" or by a short walk "W". The waters at these campsites have not been checked for hazards. Please remember that you swim and boat at your own risk. Access to the Ausable River from most campsites is difficult due to the height above the water and eroding slopes. Many campsites are located directly adjacent to the waters edge and may be from 5 feet to 300 feet above water. Caution is needed with vehicles, small children and during nighttime activities. While some road improvements to campsites have been made in the form of smoothing and gravelling, we caution that road access to many of the sites is on narrow two-tracks roads and we recommend small "high clearance vehicles". No services are provided. Be prepared to properly dispose of all waste. Enjoying wild lands requires a commitment to preserve them.

Services & Amenities

Within Facility
  • Bird Watching
  • Boat-In Sites
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Lake
  • Lake Front Sites
  • Photography
  • River Access
  • Scenery
  • Sightseeing
  • Wildlife Viewing


Peak Season
May 15 2010 -
Sep 30 2010
WALK TO $10.00
BOAT IN $10.00
Walk In Season
Oct 01 2010 -
Dec 31 2010
WALK TO $0.00
BOAT IN $0.00
Walk In Season
Jan 01 2011 -
May 14 2011
WALK TO $0.00
BOAT IN $0.00
Peak Season
May 15 2011 -
Sep 30 2011
WALK TO $10.00
BOAT IN $10.00

Alerts and Important Information Golden Age, Golden Access, Interagency Senior, and Interagency Access passes are honored for applied fees (50% discount) at these campsites. Reservations are available May 15 - September 30, with the last reservable of September 30, leaving on October 1st at Noon. Your confirmation letter is your permit to camp. Please have the letter with you to present to Forest Service compliance officers upon request. All camping equipment must be placed within 25 feet of the campsite marker post. Most campsite capacity limits are 10 people maximum. Please review the information provided with each campsite as many have person capacity limits of 6 people or less. No ATVs or ORVs are allowed unless they are licensed by the Secretary of State for legal street use. Check-in and check-out times are noon and noon. Campfires are restricted to existing fire pits and must not be left unattended while burning or smoldering. This facility is pack it in - pack it out. There is a limit of 2-wheeled campers at drive-in sites or 3 tents per campsite. There is a 14 day stay limit at any given campsite within any given camping area. No fireworks are allowed. Please don't bring firewood from home to the Huron-Manistee National Forest. Do not unwittingly spread the Emerald Ash Borer, an exotic beetle from Asia. Firewood is available at or near camping facilities. For more information about the Emerald Ash Borer call toll free 1-800-325-0023 or you may go on-line at and

Campground Contact Information

Open From: Jun 17 2010 to Dec 14 2010
Reservation Phone: 877-444-6777
Campground Reservations: Ausable River Camping
Campground Phone: 989-362-8961
Customer Service Phone:888-445-1474
Backcountry Permits Phone: 877-550-6777

Bay City, MI

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Fishing Spots near Ausable River Camping

Five Channels Dam

Tawas City, MI

Five Channels Dam Pond

Tawas City, MI

Buck Creek Pond

East Tawas, MI

Gordon Creek

East Tawas, MI

Cooke Dam Pond

Au Sable, MI

More About Ausable River Camping Campground

Ausable River Camping is a campground located in Bay City, Michigan. This is a US Forest Service campground. All reservations can be made by calling 1-877-444-6777.

To find this campground check the map shown above, or enter -83.62389 latitude, and -83.62389 longitude into your GPS device.

After your camping adventure, be sure to come back and share a review of the campground. And please visit our Michigan Fishing Spots to explore all the the local fishing spots, complete with detailed Michigan fishing reports. Remember to check with the local Fish and Wildlife department to ensure that fishing and hunting are options near here.