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U.S. Forest Service

Eastern Region Viewing Area


Swallowtail caterpillar on butterfly milkweed. Swallowtail caterpillar on butterfly milkweed. Photo by Sierra Patterson.

Big bluestem on the banks over the Au Sable River. Big bluestem on the banks over the Au Sable River, Cooke Pond. Photo by Sierra Patterson.

Blazing Star at Lumberman’s Monument Pollinator Garden. Blazing Star at Lumberman’s Monument Pollinator Garden. Photo courtesy of Delynn Lovelace.

Lumberman’s Monument Visitor Center

Region: Eastern Region

Forest: Huron-Manistee National Forests

District: Huron Shores Ranger District

Description: The Lumberman’s Monument Visitor Center is a popular destination for visitors throughout the summer for its breathtaking overlooks of the Au Sable River and thorough historical information of the 19th and 20th century logging operations of Michigan. However, visitors of the Monument are also privy to some fantastic native plants of Northeastern Michigan, blooming from through May into August.

Wildflower Viewing: There are three different native plant and pollinator gardens planted at the Monument and maintained by the Master Gardeners of Iosco County. Interpretive signs discuss the importance and need for conserving our pollinators communities. Cardinal flower, a hummingbird pollinated plant, and butterfly milkweed bloom vibrantly in July. The nature trail itself takes you past native vines, such as American bittersweet and Virginia creeper, as well as some woodland shade plants like wild lily-of-the-valley, Solomon-seal, and jack-in-the-pulpit, that bloom early in the spring. The trail ends with a spectacular view across Cooke Dam Pond on the Au Sable River.

Safety First: The trail is acceptable for all ages and hiking levels. There is little to no steepness in the trail, though comfortable shoes should be worn to prevent injury. If someone is interested in a more rigorous workout, they can climb the 272 stairs down to the Au Sable River’s edge! Drinking fountains and restrooms are on site. The Visitor Center is closed November to April, but the grounds are open year round.

Directions: Lumberman’s Monument is located in Oscoda Township, Michigan. It is at the junction of River and Monument Roads, 15 miles west of Oscoda, and 12.25 miles North of Tawas.

  • From Tawas: From M-55 turn right onto Wilber Road, go 1.25 miles north to Monument Road; and continue on Monument Road for 11 miles to River Road.
  • From Oscoda: Travel 15 miles west along River Road.

Ownership and Management: USDA Forest Service, Huron-Manistee National Forest, Huron Shores Ranger District.

Nearest Town: Tawas, Oscoda, Hale, Glennie Michigan.

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