The start of the AuSable River Canoe Marathon, is a must see event in northern Michigan. The race starts at 9:00pm in Grayling with teams sprinting with their canoes 4 blocks to the river. The scene as the teams put their canoes into the river is chaotic, exciting and fast. The prime viewing area is the hill across from the start line located on the I-75 Business Loop. The location is easy to identify, because fans start staking out their locations on the hill hours in advance of the race. Get there early to enjoy the pre-race program that includes entertainment and paddler introductions.
Curious about the racing canoes and how the paddlers outfit them for the race? Head over to Peninsular Avenue between Michigan Ave and Ionia St. and you can mingle with the paddlers and support (feeder) teams with their canoes as they line up for the start.
While in Grayling, check out the AuSable River Festival that has a variety of events including live music, food trucks and more. The AuSable River Festival begins the weekend before the Marathon.