Over the past few days I had the privilege of leading a group of teens on a retreat, and for one of those days, we were able to spend the day kayaking on the Au Sable River near Roscommon, Michigan.
The south branch of the Au Sable river is one of the most pristine rivers in Michigan and runs through the Huron National forest. In the section we paddled is the Mason Tract which is a section of river which serves as a sort of Mecca for trout fishermen from the region. I can’t even begin to tell you how beautiful this section of river is. You will see many beautiful things in this video, but it doesn’t compare to being there in person. Truly awesome display of creation!
We launched from Paddlebrave Campground and Livery and took out at Smith Bridge. This was right around 16 miles of river and usually takes beginner paddlers about 5-5.5 hours. Just over halfway, we docked at the site of the old Durant Castle for lunch. Do not be confused though. The castle is no longer there. Just the foundation. From what I remember, the castle was built around 1930 and then it burned down a year later. There is a sign at the site with more information.
After lunch, and about 1.5 hours from our pullout, I also walked up to the old Mason Chapel. This chapel was donated by Mr. Mason to serve as a place for inspiration. When you see it in the video, one of the things that was truly inspiring to me was the fact that the place where there would normally be a stained glass window was empty. I don’t know if it was by design or not, but what was so inspiring about it was the fact that behind it was simple, beautiful, forest. In other words, it didn’t need an artist to create the beauty in the stained glass, the artist was God.
Again, if you are ever in the area, I highly recommend this stretch. Although I am not familiar with the other liveries in the area, I have worked with Tom at Paddle Brave on three other occasions and highly recommend his campground and livery. They even have a few cabins and trailers for rent if so desired. Tom is very easy to work with and does a great job in keeping things simple for you.
Check out his site at http://www.paddlebrave.com/
See you outdoors!