Not many have heard of Oscoda and if this is your case, I hope this article will reveal a new weekend destination for you and your friends.
Situated along the shores of Lake Huron and the beautiful Au Sable River, Oscoda is a township in Iosco County, located in the northeastern part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. With a population of about 700 residents, Oscoda is renowned for its excellent fishing opportunities, particularly for trout.
Once home to the Wurtsmith Air Force Base, it played a significant role during the Cold War era. After its closure in 1993, the base has been transformed into the Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport and is now utilized for civilian aviation.
Let’s dive together and see what you can do in Oscoda, Michigan, and how you can make your trip an unforgettable experience.
Things to Do in Oscoda, MI
1. Explore the Lumberman’s Monument
Prepare to be awestruck as you venture into the majestic realm of Lumberman’s Monument. This towering tribute to the timber industry stands tall amidst the pristine beauty of nature, inviting tourists to delve into the rich history and lore of the lumbering era.
As you approach the monument, you’ll be greeted by a grand sight—a magnificent statue depicting a hardworking lumberjack, paying homage to those who labored tirelessly in the forest.
Explore the surrounding trails that wind through lush forests, offering glimpses of serene river views and lush greenery. Immerse yourself in the stories of the past as you learn about the challenges and triumphs of the lumbering pioneers through informative exhibits and interpretive displays.
2. Learn about the area’s rich history through exhibits and artifacts at the Oscoda Historical Museum
From meticulously preserved artifacts to interactive exhibits, every corner of the museum beckons you to uncover the secrets and treasures hidden within. Immerse yourself in the narratives of pioneers, Native American tribes, lumberjacks, and military heroes who have all played a significant role in shaping Oscoda’s history.
Marvel at the authentic artifacts that offer glimpses into daily life, industries, and events that have shaped the community.
3. Explore the vast hunting grounds and forests surrounding Oscoda
As you traverse the rugged terrain, a sense of adventure will wash over you, drawing you deeper into the heart of this natural wonderland. Whether you’re an avid hunter, a passionate hiker, or simply seeking solace in the great outdoors, the hunting grounds and forests surrounding Oscoda offer an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Embrace the thrill of the chase as you track elusive game, or find tranquility in the simple act of wandering amidst the towering trees.
4. Visit the Lumberman’s Memorial Day Festival
This lively event brings together locals and visitors alike to honor the hardworking lumberjacks and their contributions to the community.
Witness awe-inspiring lumberjack demonstrations as skilled professionals showcase their incredible strength and agility through log rolling, axe throwing, and tree climbing competitions.
5. Relax at Oscoda Beach Park
Oscoda Beach Park provides ample space for beachgoers to spread out, play in the water, or simply lounge under the warm sun.
The park also features a boardwalk that extends along the beach, providing a scenic pathway for leisurely walks, jogging, or enjoying breathtaking sunsets. Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the park’s proximity to the Au Sable River, offering opportunities for fishing, boating, and exploring the river’s tranquil beauty.
6. Visit the Au Sable River
The Au Sable River is a majestic waterway that winds its way through the beautiful landscapes of Michigan. Renowned for its natural beauty and recreational opportunities, the river offers a diverse range of experiences for outdoor enthusiasts. Flowing for approximately 138 miles, the Au Sable River is a haven for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and wildlife watching. Anglers flock to its crystal-clear waters in search of trout, including the renowned Au Sable River brown trout, which attracts fishing enthusiasts from far and wide.
7. Take a scenic hike to the Iargo Springs observation deck
Embark on a captivating adventure through nature as you hike to the Iargo Springs observation deck in Oscoda, Michigan. This scenic hike takes you on a journey through lush forests, winding trails, and breathtaking landscapes, culminating in a mesmerizing view from the observation deck.
The observation deck perched atop the bluff provides a panoramic view of the sprawling landscape below. From this vantage point, you can feast your eyes on the lush greenery, the winding river, and the distant horizons stretching as far as the eye can see. It’s a perfect spot to pause, reflect, and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.
8. Discover the scenic Corsair Hiking Trail
Picture yourself meandering along the winding paths, enveloped by a symphony of nature’s wonders. As you delve deeper into this wilderness haven, a sense of tranquility washes over you, as if time itself slows down to match your leisurely pace.
The Corsair Hiking Trail beckons to both seasoned hikers and nature enthusiasts alike, promising an unforgettable journey of self-discovery and exploration.
9. Explore the Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport
The story of Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport is woven with history and resilience. Nestled in the picturesque town of Oscoda, Michigan, this airport has witnessed the ebb and flow of time, adapting and evolving to serve the needs of its community.
Originally established as a military base in the early 1920s, the airport played a vital role during World War II, serving as a training ground for B-52 bomber crews. Its strategic location along the shores of Lake Huron made it an ideal site for military operations. However, as the world shifted its focus in the post-war era, the base underwent a transformation.
10. Attend the AuSable River Canoe Marathon
Known as “The World’s Toughest Spectator Race,” this grueling 120-mile overnight canoe race along the AuSable River in northern Michigan is a true test of endurance, skill, and teamwork.
For spectators, the AuSable River Canoe Marathon offers a unique opportunity to witness the raw power and excitement of a world-class canoe race. As the canoes race by, you can feel the energy in the air, fueled by the adrenaline of the participants and the enthusiastic support of the crowd.
11. Explore Huron-Manistee National Forests
Huron-Manistee National Forests are a true natural gem. Hiking enthusiasts can explore a vast network of trails, ranging from easy strolls to challenging multi-day hikes.
Water lovers can enjoy canoeing, kayaking, and fishing in the numerous lakes and rivers that dot the landscape.
12. Indulge in delicious seafood at the various restaurants and eateries in Oscoda
When it comes to satisfying your taste buds in Oscoda, prepare yourself for a culinary adventure like no other.
First up is “Flavors of Oscoda,” a local gem that captures the essence of the town’s culinary scene. With its warm and inviting ambiance, this family-owned establishment serves up a delightful fusion of flavors. From comforting classics to innovative dishes, their menu is a gastronomic journey that will tantalize your senses. Don’t miss their signature seafood creations, which showcase the freshest catches from the nearby waters.
13. Take a scenic drive along River Road Scenic Byway
Buckle up, fellow adventurers, because driving on the River Road Scenic Byway is like entering a gateway to nature’s most breathtaking spectacle. Prepare to have your eyes widened, your jaws dropped, and your heart stolen by the sheer magnificence of this scenic wonderland.
Picture this: lush forests stretching as far as the eye can see, their vibrant hues embracing the road like a painter’s masterpiece. The gentle curves of the byway guide you through a symphony of colors, as if Mother Nature herself decided to show off her artistic skills.
14. Go birdwatching at Tawas Point State Park
Tawas Point State Park is a birdwatcher’s paradise. Among the notable birds you may encounter are warblers, including the vibrant Blackburnian warbler, the striking black-and-white warbler, and the melodious American redstart. Other migratory birds that frequent the area include thrushes, vireos, flycatchers, and sparrows.
15. Visit the Wurtsmith Air Museum
Featuring a variety of vintage planes that once flew at Wurtsmith Air Force Base, here you can marvel at iconic aircraft such as the B-52 Stratofortress, KC-135 Stratotanker, F-106 Delta Dart, and many others. These impressive aircraft serve as a testament to the military aviation heritage of the region.
Wurtsmith Air Museum provides a unique opportunity to explore and learn about the history of the air base and its impact on the local community.
In conclusion, Oscoda, MI is the ultimate destination for an epic adventure! Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, thrill-seeker, or just looking for a fun-filled getaway, this place has it all.
Imagine spending your days basking in the sun on the sandy beaches of Oscoda Beach Park, building sandcastles, and splashing in the crystal-clear waters of Lake Huron. The beach volleyball courts are perfect for a friendly match with your pals or for making new friends.
Start planning your trip to Oscoda today and get ready to make memories that will make you smile for years to come!