Pontoon the Au Sable River on Up North Vacations

A day spent on the Au Sable makes Up North vacations complete.

Why paddle it when you can cruise?

Discover it’s untamed beauty at your own pace.

Whether you’re staying in Rollway Resort’s cabins or lodged elsewhere, we highly recommend the Au Sable pontoon trip experience. A day or more spent on the water is even more relaxing without paddling. You can even backtrack, moving against the current. Imagine being able to revisit a particularly interesting spot at your pleasure.

Better yet, you can spend a day, the weekend, or even a full week getting the full enjoyment of pontoons rented from Rollway Resort. And you can choose your put-in location… on the river or at any of the many lakes within 30 miles of our resort.

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Au Sable River Activities

What can you do with a pontoon on the Au Sable? Obviously, you can enjoy miles of untamed wilderness scenery and all the birds and wildlife that live there. But there’s a whole lot more to look forward to, a highlight of all Up North vacations…


There’s some great places for cooling off and playing in the water along the Au Sable between any two dams. The pontoon allows you to enter and exit the water without finding a landing to beach your boat first.

Cook Outs

Troll, fish, or swim until you get hungry and grill up something yummy to eat.


Spending the weekend or a week camping and exploring the Au Sable makes for popular Up North vacations people have been enjoying for some 70 years. Renting a pontoon as your watercraft makes the trip pretty memorable for all ages.


While it’s best not to leave the river except at landing sites due to the wild terrain and thickness of undercover plants, there’s a lot to discover inside the National Forest’s thousands of acres. Mushrooms to pick in season. Birds to watch. Wild animals to track and watch. Always interesting, sometimes delightful, and commonly educational.


The waters along our stretch of the Au Sable offer excellent trout fishing. You can catch dinner just as easily from a pontoon as you can a row boat!


Au Sable Pontoon Trips

You can choose from 3 sections for your Up North vacation’s pontooning trip that run between two dams.

  • 5 Channel Dam to Loud Dam
  • Lower Cooke Dam to 5 Channels Dam and Sawmill Point
  • Upper Cooke Dam to Foote Dam

Unlike taking a canoe or tube trip, you meet your pontoon at a put-in site and return it to the same spot at the end of your rental period. All the dams have put-in sites. There are other spots along the river you can select too, one being the sand hills below Lumberman’s monument.

If you want to combine pontoon rental for use on the Au Sable and stay at Rollway Resort, you can. Our minimum cabin rental period is 2 days, but you can stay as longer if the reservation calendar allows. The same is true of enjoying the pontoon while visiting Rollway – they boats are best reserved ahead of time to ensure availability during your stay. Please note that adding the pontoon rental fee to your lodging payment is possible with an added fee.

The first map below shows you the locations of all the dams we deliver pontoons to. The second map shows the locations of all the landings and camping sites along the Au Sable. Be sure to stay between Loud and Foote Dams while planning your route.