Alcona-Oscoda County
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Birding Alcona-Oscoda County: Hotspots near Mio

 

 

(A) Kirtland’s Warbler Tours ★★

The best way to see a Kirtland’s Warbler is to take a tour. While there are many stands of Jack Pines all over the northern Lower Peninsula, the chance of seeing a Kirtland’s Warbler at one of these places is not very high. The warblers, which require the pines to be of a certain height for nesting, are not easy to find. Another benefit of taking a tour is to support conservation efforts to raise awareness about these endangered birds. The time of year visitors are most likely to see a Kirtland’s Warbler is from the middle of May to the beginning of June.

Fish and Wildlife Service
The Fish and Wildlife Service starts their tours from Crawford County.
Website: goo.gl/xZBWav
Phone: (517) 351-2555
Fee: Free
Directions: Click here

(A) Mio Forest Service Ranger Station
Website: goo.gl/eFWzjb
Phone: (989) 826-3252
Fee: $10 / person
Directions: Click here

 

(B) Mio Pond & Oscoda County Park ★

The campground at Mio Pond & Oscoda County Park provides birders with a place to search the pond’s shoreline for wildlife. Many of Michigan’s bird species can be found nesting near Mio Pond, including Red-headed Woodpeckers, Pine Warblers, and Northern Rough-winged Swallows.

Website: oscodacountymi.com/ocpark | Map: Click here
Directions: Click here

Northern Rough-winged SwallowNorthern Rough-winged Swallow

 

(C) Luzerne Boardwalk ★★

Above the Luzerne Boardwalk, towering cedars overshadow visitors while they walk next to a flowing creek. After visitors reach the end of the wooden pathway, they have a choice to explore several other trails or turn back.

The nature preserve is an ideal place to watch for American Woodcocks in April when they perform their mating rituals. During the summer, Ovenbirds, Black-throated Green Warblers, and Winter Wrens can be seen flying through the forest in search of food for their young.

Website: goo.gl/Yz01SM
Directions: Click here

Black-throated Green WarblerBlack-throated Green Warbler

 

(D) Island Lake Campground ★

Located within the confines of Huron National Forest, Island Lake Campground is a popular camping destination. People come to relax on a secluded beach next to a 58-acre lake. Surrounded by a mixed hardwood forest, Island Lake Campground provides visitors with a chance to see many kinds of woodland birds.

Website: goo.gl/ZBJi2r
Directions: Click here

 

(E) Alcona Park ★★

Alcona Park features six miles of the Au Sable River shoreline and 1,100 acres of the Au Sable River floodplain. The river is a favorite vacation spot for fishermen, who also enjoy visiting the 975-acre Alcona Dam Pond (an impoundment of the Au Sable River). Many kinds of birds can be sighted in the Alcona area, including Trumpeter Swans, Common Goldeneyes, Bald Eagles, and Bonaparte’s Gulls.

The park consists of two different properties—the west and east primitive sections, located respectively on different sides of Alcona Pond. The GPS points below lead to the eastern side of the park. The western side (44.5807, -83.8298) is accessible from Brodie Road.

Visitors to Alcona Park enjoy a variety of activities, including wildlife viewing and swimming. Canoeing is especially popular because of the Au Sable River's reputation as the best canoeing river in the Midwest. There are 450 campsites available, and cabins for rent, as well.

Website: alconapark.com | Map: Click here
Directions: Click here

Trumpeter SwanTrumpeter Swan

 

(F) Harrisville State Park ★★

Heavily wooded, 107-acre Harrisville State Park is located on the shores of Lake Huron. One of the park’s highlights is the Cedar Run Nature Trail, which leads birders on a 2-mile jaunt through the forest. Another attraction is the recently paved Alcona Heritage Route Multi-use Trail, which runs from the park all the way to Harrisville.

The park is an important migratory stop for warblers. During the spring, over a dozen different species can be found in one day. Other birds commonly seen at the park include thrushes, vireos, sparrows, woodpeckers, wrens, and nuthatches. Many duck species can be spotted offshore, as well.

Website: michigan.gov/harrisville | Map: Click here
Fees: Recreation Passport required ($11 resident, $31.10 non-resident)
Directions: Click here

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(G) Sturgeon Point State Park ★★

A mile-long reef submerged off the coast of Sturgeon Point State Park calms Lake Huron’s swells and provides shelter for migrating ducks. In May, warblers can be found near the lighthouse area while sandpipers eat mollusks on the beach. The park, which consists of 76 acres, and is mostly undeveloped. However, it does offer a lighthouse and a museum for visitors to enjoy. Sturgeon Point State Park does not require a Michigan recreational passport for entrance.

Website: goo.gl/frj9CP
Phone: (989) 727-4703
Directions: Click here

 

(H) Negwegon State Park ★★

Featuring only the barest amenities, Negwegon State Park is mostly frequently visited by backpackers and hunters. When touring the park, drive carefully since some of the roads are inaccessible after inclement weather. The large wilderness area provides a quiet place of refuge for many species of birds. Look for Red-shouldered Hawks, which nest locally every year.

After visiting the park, drive a short distance south and check the Black River for ducks. The river’s mouth is an especially productive spot to search for waterfowl during the winter months.

Website: michigan.gov/negwegon | Map: Click here
Phone: (989) 724-5126
Fees: Recreation Passport required ($11 resident, $31.10 non-resident)
Directions: Click here

Negwegon State ParkNegwegon State Park