Mio is a popular destination for fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and camping. The town is located on Mio Dam Pond and the AuSable River and has several launching/landing locations for kayaks and canoes. The small community has three campgrounds that offer modern and rustic camp sites. Mio is also home to one of the largest Catholic shrines in Michigan, Our Lady of the Woods.
Our Lady of the Woods Shrine
Our Lady of the Woods Shrine is a peaceful location with multiple shrines that honor Our Lady. Father Hubert Rakowski, the first paster of St. Mary Catholic Church in Mio, was inspired to create the shrine, and its ground breaking happened in July 1953. The mountainous, honeycomb structure of Onaway stone was dedicated in September 1955 and features several grottoes and niches that recreate several well-known visions of Our Lady.
The east side of the large structure depicts the story of Our Lady of Lourdes, where Bernadette Soubirous experienced visions of Our Lady over several months during 1858 in Lourdes, France. It also includes shrines for St. Hubert and St. Anne de Beaupre, the patron saint of Canada.
The west side of the mountainous monument has shrines for Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Our Lady of LaSalette, as well as for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Beautiful flowers and landscaping add to the tranquility and majesty of the shrines.
The family shine at Our Lady of the Woods features the Holy Family and St. Anne de Beaupre, the patron saint of Canada. The cave-like shrine includes relics of St. Anne, St. Francis of Assisi and St. Anthony of Padua.
Please see the Our Lady of the Woods Shrine web site
for mass times and gift shop hours.
Kayaking & Canoeing
The AuSable River and Mio Dam Pond are regularly used for canoeing and kayaking. There are a few locations where you can launch and land a boat in the Mio area:
- At the end of Gerber Road, there is a boat launch on Mio Dam Pond. A vault toilet and parking is located nearby. The launch is less than a mile west of the Mio Dam.
- At the end of Pond Drive, in the the Mio Pond State Forest Campground, there is a boat launch on the Mio Dam Pond. The launch is about a quarter of a mile west of the Mio Dam.
- Off of M-33/M-27 on the north side of Mio, the M-33 Access Site provides access to the AuSable River. The launch is a favorite with kayakers. Vault toilets, picnic areas, and parking is located a short distance from the launch area.
- Over 1.5 miles downriver from the M-33 Access Site is Loud's Rest Stop. The small park on McKinley Road has a limited amount of parking and a rustic toilet. A launch/landing area is at the edge of the AuSable River.
Mio Area Trails
start from two locations in Mio. On the west side of town, there is a parking area on the south side of Ryno Road/M-72; on the east side, a parking area is on South River Road. There are miles of snowmobile trails in Oscoda County, and you can travel to Luzerne (approx. 16 miles one-way) and McKinley (approx. 35 miles one-way) from Mio.
The Loud Creek Trail
is favorite with cross-country skiers and can also be used for hiking. The nordic ski trail offers varied terrain and challenging routes. There are seven complete runs that range from 2.2 kilometers to 7 kilometers roundtrip. The total distance of all of the trail routes is over 10 kilometers. The trailhead parking area is on the south side of Cauchy Road, a little over two miles from Mio. No fee is required to use the trails.
The Shore to Shore Trail
stretches over 220 miles in the Lower Peninsula, going from Empire to Oscoda. Part of the trail connects with the Loud Creek Trail, near Mio. It passes through rural, wooded areas and has varied terrain. The dirt/grass trail can be used for hiking and horseback riding. The trail is often used by the Michigan Trail Riders Association.
A half-mile hiking trail
at Mio Pond State Forest Campground meanders along the Mio Dam Pond. The trail offers some nice scenery, especially during the fall when the trees are turning color.
Mio Area Parks
Mio Community Playground
is a small park on 9th Street, not far from the community center. The park has a basketball court, gazebo, and playground. The Oscoda County Community Garden is located at the park and features flowers and vegetable plants.
Mio Pond State Forest Campground
is a large park with two boat launches and a fishing pier on Mio Dam Pond. A dirt hiking trail connects the east and west sides of the park, which is on the north side of Mio Dam Pond. At the end of the northern drive off of Gerber Road, there are picnic areas with an outhouse nearby. The southern drive off of Gerber Road leads to the camping sites which are surrounded by trees and shrubs.
Oscoda County Park
has camp sites for tent camping and for recreational vehicles. The park has picnic shelters, a volleyball court, basketball court, and playground. There is a building with showers and restrooms for campers at the center of the park. A set of wooden stairs on the north side of the park leads to the water's edge of the Mio Dam Pond, where you can fish or possibly land a kayak/canoe (warning: the stairs can be slippery when wet). The park's store and office are near the entrance to the park, along the main drive of the park.
M-33 Access Site
is on the east side of M-33/M-72, along the AuSable River. The small park is a good spot to launch a canoe or kayak. There are a few picnic tables near the parking area, and a dirt path on the west side of the park leads to the AuSable River, where fishermen can cast their lines into the river.
The AuSable River is one of the best fishing rivers in Michigan. It's been designated as a blue ribbon trout stream by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Brown trout, brook trout, smallmouth bass, steelhead, and walleye can be found in the river, and there are places along the river in Mio where you can fish from shore.
A valid fishing license is required to fish on Michigan lakes and waterways, and you can get a Michigan fishing license online through the
Michigan DNR E-License web site
and at bait shops and sporting goods stores.
More About Mio
There are a few stores and restaurants in Mio along M-33 and M-72. Glen's Market, Ace Hardware, Pioneer Family Pharmacy, and Rite Aid Pharmacy are on M-33. McDonald's and Walker's Restaurant are on M-33, and Dairy Ace on M-72 offers ice cream during the summer.
For lodging, Mio Motel is at 415 N Morenci Avenue/M-33 on the north side of Mio, next to McDonald's. There are three campgrounds to choose from in Mio: Mio Pond State Forest Campground
, Mio Pine Acres Cabins Campground
, and Oscoda County Park's campground