Which Michigan River Hosts an Annual 24 Hour Canoe Race?

If you’re an adventure junkie and love canoeing, then you must have heard about the annual 24-hour canoe race that takes place in Michigan. But do you know which Michigan river hosts this exciting event? Let’s find out!

The Au Sable River, located in northern Michigan, is the river that hosts the annual 24-hour canoe race. This thrilling event has been taking place for over 70 years and draws participants from all over the world.

What is the Au Sable River?

The Au Sable River is a beautiful and pristine river that runs through northern Michigan. It stretches for approximately 138 miles and flows into Lake Huron. The river is known for its crystal-clear waters, breathtaking scenery, and excellent fishing opportunities.

The Annual Canoe Race

Every year during the last weekend of July, hundreds of paddlers flock to the small town of Grayling to participate in the Au Sable River Canoe Marathon. This grueling 120-mile race starts at night and lasts for a full 24 hours.

The race begins in Grayling and ends in Oscoda, with paddlers navigating through some of the most challenging rapids along the way. The teams consist of two people – a paddler who sits at the bow and controls the boat’s direction, and a paddler who sits at the stern and provides power.

What Makes This Race So Special?

The Au Sable River Canoe Marathon is no ordinary canoe race – it’s one of the toughest endurance races on earth! Paddlers have to navigate through rough waters, portage around dams, battle sleep deprivation, hunger, fatigue, and above all – stay focused on their goal.

It’s not just about winning or losing; it’s about pushing yourself beyond your limits and experiencing a rush like no other. The camaraderie among participants is also something special – everyone encourages and supports each other, making it a truly unforgettable experience.


If you’re a seasoned paddler looking for a new challenge or just someone who loves adventure, the Au Sable River Canoe Marathon is an event you don’t want to miss. It’s not just about the race; it’s about experiencing the beauty of Michigan’s wilderness and connecting with like-minded individuals who share your passion for canoeing.

So mark your calendars for the last weekend of July and head to Grayling for an unforgettable 24-hour canoe race on the Au Sable River.

Photo of author

Emma Gibson