Curtisville was founded by Ebenezer Duncan Curtis when he settled here with his family in 1867. The community provided a labor force for the surrounding lumber camps until around 1910. As timber supplies were exhausted the community gradually changed to a farming community. Several farms were subdivided during the 1940s and 50s to provide vacation home sites. Many down state residents have also built retirement homes and moved here following their retirement. Curtisville is located in the heart of the Huron National Forest and offers outstanding recreational opportunities such as camping, fishing, hunting, hiking and snowmobiling.
Au Sable River [Wildlife Viewing Area] - U.S. Forest Service, Huron National Forest, Mio Ranger District, (989) 826-3252, Huron Shores Ranger District, Oscoda, (989) 739-0728; Consumers Energy. Closest Towns: Grayling, Mio, McKinley, Curtisville, Glennie, Oscoda. There are many access points along the Au Sable River. A good place to begin is the River Road National Scenic Byway. From Oscoda, drive west along River Road as it follows the river to M-65 and the Loud Dam Pond. Many of the Forest Service River Access Areas require a Huron-Manistee vehicle pass to park at the sites. Contact the U.S. Forest Service to inquire about a vehicle pass and for excellent maps of the river. This stretch of the Au Sable River from Grayling to Lake Huron offers breathtaking scenery as well as excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. Panoramic vistas from high bluff overlooks, long wooden boardwalks over spring-fed streams, and miles of quiet, undeveloped shoreline all can be found along this scenic river that flows from Grayling to Oscoda. Consumers Energy owns and operates six hydroelectric dams along the Au Sable between Lake Huron and the town of Mio. Most of the river frontage is Huron National Forest land managed by the U.S. Forest Service or Consumers Energy lands. These lands provide a combination of developed and undeveloped outdoor recreation opportunities. Contact the Forest Service for hiking, canoeing, camping, skiing, and snowmobiling opportunities along the river corridor. Good chance of seeing bald eagles along the river in any season. Eagles hunt for fish and waterfowl in the shallow areas of the river and in the reservoirs formed by the six hydro dams. A successful effort to re-establish native trumpeter swan populations has resulted in excellent opportunities to view the majestic birds on the hydro reservoirs. Deer and wild turkeys are common along the river corridor and in the adjacent woodlands. Watch for them along roadsides at dawn and dusk. While canoeing the river, you may see river otters, mink, beaver, trumpeter swans, mallards and mergansers, and many songbirds. The song of the secretive winter wren, the northern water thrush and the black and white warbler are common along many of the thicker riverbank habitats. The melodious and distinctive songs of these and the many other resident songbirds add to the beauty of a float down this very wild and scenic river." The 23 mile stretch of the river from Mio downstream to the 401 Bridge is a designated National Scenic River. In the river, you may see trout, walleye, pike and bass. Fishing here is excellent. The AuSable may just be the finest brown trout flyfishing east of the Rockies. If that were not enough reason to visit the river, the AuSable is also one of the best canoeing rivers in the Midwest. The Au Sable makes an easy, beautiful float, and there are plenty of canoe liveries available in the area if you do not have your own boat.
Jack Pine Wildlife Viewing Tour [Wildlife Viewing Area] - U.S. Forest Service, Huron National Forest, Mio Ranger District, (989) 826-3252, Huron Shores Ranger District, Oscoda, (989) 739-0728; U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (517) 351-2555. Closest Towns: Mio, Glennie, Curtisville, McKinley, Fairview. You can start at any point along the tour route, but it is recommended to start in Mio and head south on M-33 about 4 miles to Oscoda County Road 604 (Curtisville Road). From there, turn left (east) on Road 604 and follow the special logo signs. It is best, of course, to make sure you have the interpretive brochure with you which has a map of the tour route. Brochures can be obtained from the U.S. Forest Service, Mio Ranger District office, (989) 826-3252. The office is located on the east side of M-33 just north of downtown Mio. The Jack Pine Wildlife Viewing Tour is a 58-mile auto tour loop featuring the federally endangered Kirtland's warbler and other wildlife found in the unique jack pine ecosystem. The tour follows well-maintained county and state roadways and is marked with special road signs designating the tour route. Tour brochures are available at the U.S. Forest Service office in Mio. Restrooms and picnic facilities are available at various interpretive stops along the route. The auto tour goes through a variety of habitats and offers a scenic drive through country where many species of wildlife can be observed. It was designed specifically as a wildlife viewing trail. It provides opportunities to see bald eagles, loons, river otters, beavers, bluebirds, herons, grouse, wild turkeys, and many others. The tour has twelve stops identified with a special logo sign. These sites each have an informative interpretive panel, and include scenic overlooks of the world famous Au Sable River, several of its tributary streams, a picture-postcard lake, and hiking trails. The tour route passes through Huron National Forest lands that are managed for the Kirtland's warbler. Several interpretive stops highlight the successful forest management techniques that are bringing this beautiful songbird back from the brink of extinction. There are many other songbirds that live in these public forest lands, and can be seen or heard at the Kirtland's warbler interpretive sites. Guided tours to see Kirtland's warblers and other wildlife of the jack pine ecosystem are available from mid-May through early July. These tours are popular, so reservations are recommended. The tours are led by the U.S. Forest Service in Mio and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in Grayling (see phone numbers above). Kirtland's warbler nesting areas are closed to public entry during nesting season (may 1 to september 10) to protect these ground-nesting birds. Closed areas are posted with signs. Please do not enter posted areas on foot or drive off public roads.
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Michigan Shore to Shore Riding & Hiking Trail [Equestrian Trails], 5806 E. State Rd., Hale, MI 48739, Phone: (989) 473-3205.. This 400 mile trail is maintained by the Michigan Trail Riders Association (MTRA). For Trail Maps contact the MTRA at Phone: (989) 473-3205.
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