Paddling Paradise: Kayaking the Au Sable River in UpNorth Michigan

two couples canoeing the Au Sable River in red canoes

Navigating the Au Sable River and Riverside Retreats

Looking for an exciting new adventure that can be combined with a wonderful bed and breakfast experience? We have the perfect destination and itinerary.

The Au Sable River, winding through the pristine forests of Northern Michigan, beckons adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts alike. As the sun cascades on its crystal-clear waters, kayakers glide along its gentle currents, surrounded by towering pines and the occasional glimpse of wildlife. Welcome to Borchers and the Au Sable River, where every paddle stroke reveals a new vista, and where the rhythm of the river sets the pace for unforgettable escapades.

Girl in a canoe going down a river

History of the Au Sable River

The Au Sable River is one of Michigan’s most popular destinations for kayaking, fishing, and camping. It is also a  significant geographical feature that stretches approximately 138 miles from the Northern Lower Peninsula to Saginaw Bay. Its course weaves through diverse landscapes, offering a fascinating blend of calm stretches and exhilarating rapids. Rising in the Northern Lower Peninsula, the river flows southeastward to its mouth at Lake Huron near the communities of Au Sable and Oscoda. Fishermen are also attracted to these waters as it is renowned to be one of the best brown trout fisheries east of the Rockies. Before European settlement, Native Americans used the river as a travel route. After European settlement, the Au Sable River became a major throughway for floating white pine to sawmills or waiting for barges at Lake Huron ports. In the late 1800s, the river developed into a major recreational fishery due to the discovery of Arctic grayling which is a cool or cold- freshwater species in the same family as salmon, trout and whitefish. In the early 1900’s the lower reaches of the river were harnessed to provide hysroelectric power. Today, the Au Sable is all about adventure, fun, fishing and kayaking.

Paddle, Explore, and Pampering 4-Day Itinerary

Now that you have determined you want to paddle and you want a comfortable place to stay, we have the perfect recommendation. The Borcher’s Au Sable Canoe and Kayak has everything you need for your kayaking adventure. They have many paddle options including canoes, kayaks and paddle boards that you can reserve for the most popular 2 1/2 paddle package or you can decide on multiple paddles that could even include overnight camping. Brochers is conveniently located on the river in Grayling and also offers a top rate bed and breakfast experience just steps away from the Au Sable. The Riverside Bed and Breakfast includes 4 comfortable bed and breakfast rooms, two with river views. Your stay also includes a bountiful homemade breakfast each morning.

Here is a suggested four night Itinerary to enjoy the river, the bed and breakfast and all that the quaint town of Grayling has to offer. It  could be condensed to enjoy in two nights.

Here are the Borchers Trip Options:

  • Most Popular                                                Burton’s-2.5 hours/8miles
  • Best Day Trip                                                Stephan- 4 hours/13 miles
  • Experienced Paddlers-/Scenic                   Wakely- 5.5 Hours/18 miles
  • 2 day Camping Trip                                      McMasters- 8.5 Hours/26 miles
  • 2 day Camping Trip                                      Parmalee- 11 hours/36 miles
  • Additional 5-7 Day Camping trips available

Day 1

  •  Afternoon- Arrive at Borchers and talk wit the team to decide which paddling package and time you would prefer.
  • Evening- Walk to Ray’s Barbecue, Brews and Blues

Day 2

  • Morning- Enjoy a cup of coffee on the porch overlooking the AuSable. Later enjoy a hearty family sytle breakfast. Then, head over to get fitted for your kayak or canoe adventuer. Padle. Padle Padle for 2 1/2 hours.
  • Afternoon- Go grab a burger at Spikes Keg of Nails and afterwards go for a hike in the Harwick Pines State Park and look for the Chapel on the Old Growth Trail
  • Evening- Enjoy a pizza dinner at Bear’s Den Pizzaria in town

Day 3

  • Morning- Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and then head out to Traverse City
  • Afternoon- Visit some of the local wineries and check out the quaint town
  • Evening- Have dinner at one of the many farm-to-table eateries

Day 4

  • Morning- Enjoy your hearty breakfast and then head out for a longer paddle day of four hours on the Au Sable River
  • Afternoon- Relax by the river- you deserve to kick up your feet and to enjoy the views.
  • Evening- Grab a fish taco and glass of local brew from Paddle hard Brewing and afterwards enjoy a movie at the Realto Theater in town

Day 5- Check out from your bed and breakfast room, enjoy breakfast and then head home. You’ll be sure to be talking about your amazing Paddle Paradise and booking your next adventure with Borchers Au Sable Canoe and Kayak with Riverside Bed and Breakfast. 

Brochers AuSable bed and breakfast & Kayaking business
Borchers Au Sable Canoe & Kayak with Riverside B&B

Staying at the Riverside Bed and Breakfast

What a rare opportunity to have your canoe rental being combined with a comfortable and picturesque bed and breakfast stay. Each of the four guests rooms at Borchers has been curated for your comfort. Relax on the wrap around balcony overlooking the beautiful Au Sable River. Awaken to the aroma of fresh brewed coffee and anticipate the full breakfast prepared with you in mind.

Four poster bed with a quilt spread

Make yourself at home! Sit by the fireplace or on the porch while watching the river go by. Enjoy life at a much slower pace and experience what and exciting UpNorth Adventure is all about all while being pampered at a remarkable bed and breakfast.  Each of the rooms include private baths, comfy beds with cable tv. Check out the four different room options here.