The Sunrise Coast Birding Trail incorporates 145 miles along U.S. 23. The trail takes flight at the mouth of the famed AuSable River in Oscoda and wings its way north all along the Lake Huron coast to Mackinaw City.Birders will delight in observing the common, threatened, or endangered birds of Michigan’s coastal and inland locations. The Audubon chapters with the help of Consumers Energy and the Northeast Michigan Council of Governments developed a four-color map showing the route and birding locations. A copy can be downloaded from the trail website
Self-guided tour of Scenic Overlooks for Bald Eagle Viewing
From US-23 in Oscoda, turn at traffic light on River Road in the middle of town. Go west 8 miles to the scenic overlook of Foote Pond. Next, proceed 6 more miles west to Lumberman's Monument overlook. Next, approximately 2 miles further west on River Road is the Canoer's Memorial overlook. Another 0.5 miles is the Iargo Springs overlook. Finally go 1.5 miles west to the end of River Road and turn left onto highway M-65. Go 4 miles to the Westgate overlook, which has two viewing platforms.
In the spring of the year it is possible to witness courtship flights by Bald Eagles. In these displays the mates fly together from opposite directions, grasp talons, and plunge in a spiraling dive towards the water below. With their feet locked together and wings set, the eagles can reach high speeds. More than once, caught up in the moment, the eagles have failed to release their mates and plunged to their deaths.
The AuSable River valley contains 19 active bald eagle nests.
Self-guided Birding at Clark's Marsh
From Oscoda, Michigan, take F-41 north to Skeel Avenue, turn left onto Parimeter Road. Go straight to edge of runway. Continue on pavement and turn left onto forest trail that parallels chainlink fence. Go south ¼ mile to parking area at end of trail.
From the south: go north to Oscoda and go to the second traffic light, which is the intersection with F-41. Go left on F-41 for several blocks to a traffic light at the intersection with Cedar Lake Road. Go right (north) 5.3 miles to the end of Lakewood Shores Golf courses. Turn left (west) on King's Corner Rd. Go 1.2 miles to County Link Elementary School parking lot. Group will drive to Humes Marsh from there.
Self-guided Birding to Trumpeter Swan Nest
From US-23 in Oscoda, Michigan, turn at traffic light on River Road in the middle of town. Go west 6 miles, just past the village of Foote Site. At the Foote Site Park, go to the west end beyong the boat launch ramp. The swan nest island is in shallow water about 100 yards from shore.
Please do not feed the swans. however, they are curious and seem to be very comfortable around people. Should you invade their space, the male Trumpeter will challenge you.
Self-guided Tour of Tuttle Marsh
From US-23 in Tawas, turn west onto M-55 and go approximately 0.5 miles to Wilber Road and turn right. Go 5 miles north to Galion Road & turn right. Go 0.5 miles to Old US-23 and turn left. Proceed north 1.5 miles to May Road. Turn right onto May Road. Go 0.5 miles to Brooks Road and turn right. Go 0.25 miles on Brooks which turns into Davidson Road. Continue going east on Davidson until the intersection with Tuttle Marsh Road and turn left.
The following 7 miles is a mixture of wetlands and dry uplands. The ponds along both sides of the road contain a variety of wildlife. Once you come to the impoundment, the ponds on the right have the greatest variety of wildlife.
Tawas Beach Road, East Tawas
This is a geographical feature that can be seen and recognized from space with the naked eye! Excellent migrating bird area in spring, great for shore birds as well.
Tawas Bay Shoreline Along US-23. Eagles, swans, and variety of waterfowl. See Purple Martin houses along the highway as well as Chimney Swifts in Tawas City.
Three Mile Beach Park
Corsair Skiing & Hiking Trails
River Road Scenic Overlooks (Bald Eagle viewing)
Tuttle Marsh Wildlife Area In Wilber Township, site of the first Ducks Unlimited project in Michigan.
From your car, view an assortment of songbirds and waterfowl at impounded ponds. Osprey nesting in the area.
Au Sable River &
Au Sable River Mouth Area Along River Road, west of Oscoda and at Lake Huron beach along US -23.
Bald eagle, trumpeter swan and Caspian Tern frequent the area as do other waterfowl and songbirds.
Au Sable Shoreline Park
Oscoda- Au Sable Chamber of Commerce Office, south of the bridge on US -23.
Enclosed bird-viewing platform with a paved walkway down to the shore of Lake Huron.
The Jack Pines @ Rollway Road (Kirtland Warbler nesting area)
Foote Pond West of Oscoda, on River Road.
Numerous species of ducks plus Trumpeter Swans' nest.
Clark's Marsh Foot Site Park (Trumperer Swan Nest) Oscoda, on edge of former U.S. Air Force property, wooded area along ox-bows of Au Sable River, impounded ponds offer a variety of waterfowl and woodland birds.
Sandy Hook Nature Trail
Loon Lake Nature Area M-65 just north of Hale a mile on the left at the Lutheran Camp.
Has a nature trail with a boardwalk connecting Loon Lake to Mud Lake, a boat launch, picnic area, bathroom, and drinking water also available. Loons, Kingfisher and water birds and woodland birds abound in the area.