Canoe Borchers Ausalbe River Grayling MI
The AuSable River First Class Outfitter

Canoeing & Camping

Canoeing & camping can be a great adventure! We offer a variety of camping trips on the AuSable River. On the Upper AuSable, the camping sites are rustic. On the lower AuSable, camping ranges from rustic to full service.

If you choose to camp & canoe in the Grayling area, but do not want to take your camping gear with you in a canoe, please stay at one of these local campgrounds and take a day trip:

Plan on an average paddling time of 6 hours per day and allow time to enjoy your campsite. The key to a successful trip is to plan ahead.

Know your skill level. For your first camping/canoeing trip, plan on one or two nights on the river. Our Parmalee and Mio canoe trips are great for one or two nights.

Recommended Itinerary

Day Destination

  1. One Whitepine Campground
  2. Two Parmalee - spend another night on the river at the campground or we can pick you up at the end of day two
  3. Three Mio
  4. Four Alcona Dam
  5. Five Loud Dam, 5 Channels Dam, Cooke Dam
  6. Six Foote Dam, Oscoda and Lake Huron


A good camping trip can be the experience of a lifetime. The more prepared you are going into your trip, the more satisfied you will be returning from it.

When preparing for your overnight canoe trip, remember to minimize the weight and volume of your provisions. A heavily loaded canoe will be more difficult to paddle and portage than a moderately loaded one. Leave nonessentials at home.

For the average camper we offer the following for consideration:

  • A good tent with sewn-in floor and screening will provide comfort in cold or foul weather and freedom from insects.
  • Bring a good sleeping bag, as temperatures can vary greatly, even down to freezing along the river. Extremes between night and day are common.
  • Campfires are fun, but for getting a hot meal quickly and keeping work at a minimum, pack a stove.
  • Gear should be in waterproof (or water resistant) containers.
  • Drybags are a good investment. You will be amazed at how often you will use your drybag after you buy it and how many uses you find for it. We recommend a clear drybag or one with a window to easily locate items inside.
  • Other options are plastic utility buckets found at home improvements stores, Rubbermaid containers, and Ziploc has a jumbo ziploc bag on the market. At the very least, use plastic garbage bags of at least 3ml and double wrap your goods.
  • A plastic tarp is also good as an additional safeguard for keeping things dry in the canoe. You will find other uses for it at the campsite.
  • Keep food and garbage in sealed containers to avoid attracting animals to your campsite.

Click here to download a sample click here. It is quite helpful, but not all-inclusive.

Currently at Borchers