OSCODA – If there is one “must see” destination in Iosco County, many will agree it is the River Road National Scenic Byway in Oscoda Township – and more specifically, Lumberman’s Monument and Iargo Springs.
The 22-mile River Road National Scenic Byway extends westward from Lake Huron into the Huron-Manistee National Forests. It parallels the historic Riviere aux Sable (River of Sand).
The U.S. Forest Service says the AuSable River was a major transportation route for floating Michigan’s giant white pine from forest to the sawmill towns on Lake Huron. You can learn more about this lumbering history at Lumbermen’s Monument Visitor Center that sits at the center of the byway.
According the Forest Service website, “lying off of River Road National Scenic Byway, Iargo Springs provides a panoramic view of the AuSable River. Used as a drinking water source since pre-settlement times, dams were constructed on the springs by early loggers before the turn of the century. The dams were useful in diverting water to the logging camps nearby. Most of Cooke Pond was dry land then.
“Europeans have visited the springs for recreation since the 1920s. A trail to the springs was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1934. Early photographs show the dam being repaired and reinforced by the CCC’s. The dams lasted until 1981 when a storm took them out. The site was renovated in 1991.”