Highbanks Trail is a 20.4 kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Oscoda, Michigan that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 20.4 km Elevation Gain: 197 m Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

river

views

Camped at Cooke Dam and hiked this trail. The overlooks are beautiful. Once you get to the max elevation it is pretty flat for a good portion

hiking
1 day ago

Great hike, it was about 40 degrees and rainy... we saw 2 separate spots of bear poop along with foot prints so we decided to turn back. If you’re going hiking up here be prepared.

hiking
snow
29 days ago

hiking
5 months ago

A great trail along the river with many opportunities to bush wack to scenic views. Dunes dot the trail and make perfect vistas to take in the late autumn beauty. Lots of color still out there even though it’s past peak. Several sections follow power lines and like all have stated before it’s a bummer. You could potentially bushwhack to the ridge line and former secret trails to avoid such sections but sometimes it can lead you far astray from trail or put you in a possibly dangerous trail situation. If I were going back I would attempt it. Be aware some segments of river are private property. Over all a great fall hike!

hiking
5 months ago

Nice easy dog- friendly trail. Pretty views of river down below. Entering fall weather. Mostly evergreen. Mosses and mushrooms around. Peaceful. Part is along the Consumers power line but mostly on high banks of AuSable. Not a lot of ppl. I saw a family at the steps to the springs and that’s it

This is an overall well maintained and marked trail along the coast of Au Sable river. We started from the Iargo springs side and hiked upto Dune overlook area and about a mile beyond. We descended the dune that was farther into the trail part the main lookout point, and had the river bank to ourselves. My dog loved swimming in the crisp river water as it was a great way to cool off. Giving it 4 stars because of the several sections that go through power lines and close to the road.

hiking
6 months ago

some really nice views from on high. reminded me of Sleeping Bear dunes area because of dunes. You can dsecend and climb the dunes just like Sleeping Bear. On a river! I did not like to have to hike on transmission line ROWs between the better sites but that's life. nice starting point at the Lumbermans Memorial site.

hiking
7 months ago

Great trail that is well marked. Make sure you dont miss the side trails that take you to the views of the water. I hiked this in the beginning of August and the only complaint were the bugs. Beautiful views!

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful!!!

hiking
10 months ago

The highbanks trail has to be one of the best spots in lower Michigan. Some great trails and awesome views and dunes. Everywhere on the hike was a unique view. Plus it is very easy to find and easy access.

hiking
Thu Jan 31 2019

After having my daughter only 6 months before, my husband and myself set out on our first hike in over a year and a half. It was a challenge but we both loved it! Great views, perfect combination of shade and sun. Lots of woods and lots of animals :)

Mon Sep 17 2018

Beautiful wooded hike with great river views.

hiking
Mon Aug 27 2018

Great trail. Spectacular views. Be sure to watch for the little offshoot trails toward the water.

Sun Aug 19 2018

Powerlines and traffic noise, disappointing hike.

hiking
Sun Aug 19 2018

Very pleasant trail. The 4-mile stretch between Iargo Springs and the Lumberman's Monument is quite flat, and very doable for any hiking ability. Most of the trail meanders through the pine forest with occasional views of the Au Sable River. Despite seeing quite a few people at either endpoint of the trail, the trail itself was very lightly trafficked, even on a Saturday afternoon. Downsides of this trail include a stretch following power lines, and reasonably close proximity to a road. I think this trail would be even better in the fall.

bird watching
Sun Aug 12 2018

especially great for birding. saw scarlet tanagers. beautiful trail

Fri Jun 01 2018

Just went there on memorial day and it kicked my ass but loved it. Hope to run it again someday.

hiking
Wed May 02 2018

Camped at Cooke Dam and then hiked. Trail has some very nice overlooks and when you get to the high elevation it is pretty flat for a good while. It did not feel like it was as long as it was

hiking
Sun Apr 01 2018

Beautiful and the dunes were the best part

hiking
Sun Mar 11 2018

I have spent a fair amount of time in this area. It’s a very “doable” hike for just about anyone. That’s the best part. I took my family with me today. We spotted a vehicle so we could just walk it one way. Enough snow on the trail to make things occasionally slippery but not enough to need snowshoes. Very pretty red pines and other lowland boreal forest looking terrain. It’s worth the hike.

hiking
Thu Mar 01 2018

Cool trail that travels along the AuSable River. Trailhead is at Largo Springs and passes through Canoer’s Memorial and Lumbermans Monument. 6.4 miles one way. Great dune views near end.

hiking
Thu Sep 28 2017

One of the most scenic lower Michigan hikes you can do. Run down the dunes to the river and back up again.

hiking
Wed Aug 16 2017

Miles of hiking along the AuSable River with some gorgeous views. I'm ready to go back this year to spot all the fall colors (maybe even make time for a canoe trip on the river). One of the best hiking trails to represent my hometown. ❤❤❤❤

Tue Apr 04 2017

Been running and training on this trail for years. Just challenging enough to keep it tough but gentle enough to keep it fun.

running
Thu Jun 23 2016

Ran this trail from Iargo Springs to Lumber Mans Monument. Total distance from Iargo to Lumber Mans is only 3.6 Miles. Not sure how these are mapped out since I keep reading conflicting distances. Even the trail head map put up by the forest service was wrong distance wise. Otherwise a great trail and good for a quick 5k or 10k (turn around at Lumber Mans and head back to Iargo)

hiking
Sun Jun 19 2016

I hike this trail in every season as it is a favorite. Iargo Springs is a great place to get a cardio workout on the stairs and cool off in the shade, them off to the canoers memorial and lumberman's monument. The view along the AuSable is gorgeous!

hiking
Sat Sep 26 2015

Nice hike from lumbers monument to Iargo springs. The trail goes mostly along the river through the woods. The only down side are the parts where you walk under the power lines. We went down the stairs at Iargo springs and at the monument. It's absolutely worth it. Nice views. Total distance is about 8-9 miles going to and back.

Mon May 26 2014

We hiked this trail today. Confused about the actual distance. Also, did the stairs at Lumberman's Monument..272. We live in Oscoda and love these trails!

running
Sat Aug 17 2013

Love this trail... Beautiful scenic look-outs along the Au Sable, sandy parts and a few climbs make a nice challenge. Went Iargo to Lumberman's with a loop around Lumberman's and back. The best part... There's never anyone on this trail! :-)

hiking
Fri Dec 28 2012

Fun hike. Hiked from lumbers monument to iargo springs about 10 mi there and back. Pretty sure this trails open year round since we just hiked it late December.

hiking
Fri Aug 10 2012

Good hike. Definitely check out vista point. Some of the time you are following power lines.

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