About the property
- Half Baths1
- Minimum Stay2 - 6 nights
House, 1 Bedroom + Loft, 1.5 Baths, (Sleeps up to 6, maximum)
Relax at A Private Riverfront Getaway Only 6 Miles From The Lake
National Geographic Called The World’s 6th Most Beautiful
Welcome to The River House, our 100 percent smoke-free (both inside the house and, sorry, but due to numerous policy violations, all over its grounds), Au Sable riverfront home, for rent to caring, responsible, non-smoking individuals who appreciate the serenity of seeing bald eagles fly, hummingbirds and orioles land at window feeders, deer out the front door and chickadees that eat seeds out of your hands.
Located four miles from downtown Roscommon, six miles from beautiful Higgins Lake (location of two state parks), and just three hours from most of Southeast Michigan, this 1,300-square-foot home is available for select weeks or weekends, or shorter periods. The house sleeps four persons comfortably in a lower bedroom, an upper loft. In addition, two more can sleep on a futon. Inflatable queen beds also is available, so it can accommodate up to six.
Warning: You must like fly fishing for trout out the front door (catch-and-release, please; instruction and wader guiding available), access to nearby Higgins or Houghton Lakes with your boat, renting kayaks and canoes in downtown Roscommon, and the unparalleled beauty of the Mason Wilderness Tract, and campfires under the Milky Way in our fire pit. Grayling and Hartwick Pines State Park are only 15 minutes away., You're only two hours by car from Mackinaw City or Traverse City. Satellite and local TV also are available, as is a four-person hot tub (summer only), and wood-burning fireplace.
Stroll across the pond on our cedar log bridge to enjoy morning coffee beside the river to listen to songbirds and watch as feeding brown and brook trout dimple the water's surface. I usually block June for my own use, but if you are a dedicated fly fisherman, please ask about staying then. You will be very happy.
Mountain bike on forest two-track auto trails with glimpses of wildlife and the Au Sable, or bicycle into downtown Roscommon. Enjoy two beaches at two state parks on Higgins Lake that are perfect for children.
Roscommon features several restaurants (ask for recommendations), a full-service market, bakery, a wine shop that is the best in northern Michigan outside of Traverse City, and even an eight-lane bowling alley. Among the golf courses nearby are the beautiful Forest Dunes, rated by Golf Digest as one of the top 100 public courses in the nation, and the friendly 9-hole Ye Olde Country Club, in existence since the 1920s.
In winter, enjoy cross-country skiing in the incomparable Mason Wilderness Tract, where the snow hangs so deeply it's like entering Narnia through the wardrobe. Other trails are near Grayling and Roscommon. Ski rentals, lessons and trails also are available at Cross-Country Ski Headquarters nearby. Read more at its own website. In summer, bring your bicycle.
A complete list of things to see and do are located in a notebook in my home.
Remember, when booking on any major holiday, holiday rates DO apply. The rate is $175 per night. Otherwise, in general, the rate is $120 per night. Thanks.
Keywords: Cabin, year-round home on the banks of the South Branch of The Au Sable River, four miles from Roscommon, one mile from the famed Mason Wilderness Tract.
- Response rate:
- Response time:
- within a few hours
- Calendar last updated:
- May 23, 2018
About Bill Semion
Bill is an outdoor and travel writer and book author. Denise is retired communications chief of Southeast Michigan's largest parks system. We both love the outdoors and want to share our experience with you by opening this unique home.
Bill Semion purchased this House in 2007
Why Bill Semion chose Roscommon
Bill has spent much of his summer fishing and camping in the region and when the opportunity came to purchase a home on the river he loves in 2007, he jumped at it. Its easy access, three hours from most of Southeast Michigan via I-75 (exit 239), makes it an ideal, easy-to-reach getaway. There is wood walkway leading to the home, making access to the first floor easy for those with disabilities. The home is on one of the eastern United States' best trout streams, and it is a popular canoe/kayak destination as well, with at least three liveries in town offering car spotting and pickup/delivery.
What makes this House unique
Here are a few things to look forward to on your visit: access to three state parks, miles of mountain bike, cross-country ski and hiking trails; brook and brown trout fishing in the famed Au Sable River, kayaking and canoeing, quiet, Narnia-like snowy ski trails, and starry nights you must see to believe in front of a campfire within feet of your front door, or enjoy a glass of wine in the bubbly hot tub while stars glisten overhead. Again, if you are a fly fisherman, I usually block the entire month of June for myself, but if you are a strict catch-release angler, I can be coaxed to vacate for a few days. However you can expect to see me on the river with you.
Pool / Spa
Local Services & Businesses
Sports & Adventure Activities
As described - a great place on the river!
Bill was incredibly helpful and the house was very clean and as described; highly recommend for those looking for a fishing trip.
Nice neat cabin with great view of river and fall colors. Stayed 5 nights and used as a landing point for fly fishing the local rivers. Owner good to work with.
Glad you enjoyed your stay!
Overall it was a good get away. There were something’s that I wasn’t to sure about though. I kinda felt as I was being watched the entire time. Cars parked in the driveway as I arrived and were there the entire time, every time a kayaker went by they slowed down and was being very curious, had 2 guys walk up behind me looking for the owners, a lot of the owners personal belongings all through out the house even down to his tooth brush and mail. No where in the post it says you either clean yourself or hire a cleaner for an additional $70. But the house was kinda dusty, wood all over the yard, grass not cut, flower beds over grown (the fresh herbs were good though). Overall all we had a good time, just would have liked a little bit nicer grounds and not feel like my grandfather was gone for the weekend and he let me hang out at his place.
Hello, Landon. thanks for your review. I guess I was kinda not sure of you, either. I was more than a bit nervous renting to you after we spoke on the phone, as your telephone demeanor did not instill confidence. Fortunately, we returned to find all in good order, thank you.
1) Yes, there was firewood, neatly piled on the west side of the property, and near the fire pit. I also moved a downed tree off the road onto the property the day before you arrived and had not yet had the chance to cut it up. It is now and is stacked with the fire pit wood.
2) I believe we addressed the cleaner issue in emails because I had mistakenly sent all the information to a different email, thanks to VRBO's new methods of communication. I again apologize. If I could have and possibly did, communicate with you through the VRBO site about cleaning, my standard response ALWAYS includes that cleaning choice and I always will.
3) You are the first person to feel "watched" at my home. We left a truck in the woods and a car next to the driveway.We also have a Leisure RV. We were using it. To do so, we had to park our cars. Sorry if you were upset by that. Kayakers enjoy looking at houses they pass on the river. They are not spying on you or anyone else, just enjoying, and perhaps envying, people lucky enough to stay there. We typically wave hello at all kayakers. The South Branch of the Au Sable River is one of the best canoe/kayak rivers in Michigan, due to the Mason Wilderness tract downstream. I have no control over who comes down the river, and who looks at my house or occupants.
4) This is not the suburbs. You're in the forest. I let the grass get longer than 3 inches. I guess if you object to that, I'm sorry. Be glad you're not there in June and July, when wildflowers cover the lawn. I cut it the day you left. It's still long, by the way.
5) Dusty? We vacuumed and cleaned prior to your arrival. I'm sorry we did not meet your standards.
6) Yes, I'm old enough to be your grandfather. I've only run into about 3 people in 6 years of being with VRBO who've given negative reviews. Your review, IMO, was a back-handed compliment, and for the complimentary parts I thank you. I hope that the next house you rent will suit your needs better than mine apparently does.
Early spring, rest and relaxation getaway!
My family enjoyed the privacy and relaxation offered by the River House. We had an amazing time, playing game, cooking and soaking in the views on and surrounding the River House.
Hi I'm glad you had a great time!
This was the peaceful retreat that we needed!
We enjoyed a cup of coffee while watching the birds from the cold room. We even saw a pair of swan float down the river past the house. There's nothing like feeling emmersed in nature for a couple days.
Prior to the trip, Bill made sure he answered any questions we had during a very informative phone conversation. Thank you, Bill, for a tranquil weekend!
Thanks for your kind words!
A Comfortable Slice of Northwoods Paradise
As soon as we walked in we knew we were home.
The open design, tongue and groove stained paneling, way-cute kitchen, the cabinstyle decore (and not over done) endeared us to this retreat on the South Branch of the Au Sable River. Now, if you know anything about the Au Sable, the Holy Waters East of Grayling is the premier fly fishing venue. But if you really know about the Au Sable, the Mason Tract is in fact a great, quiet place to be - fly fishing, kayaking, hiking - quiet being the emphasis. This refreshing retreat is just upstream from the Mason Tract, easy to get to yet wonderfully apart from the bustle of the better know stretches.
One regret, that we did not bring our kayaks with us. It would be so easy to launch from their little dock; then you would have miles of the South Branch to float and fish. Or just slip into your waders and venture out right off shore. We know how good the trout fishing is there (foolish of me to admit, but I won't tell all of the secret places... you can discover them for yourself from this property.)
The amenities were perfect for what we wanted, the ease of relaxing as if at home yet being in a fun place where fixing a fancy meal was a breeze. Throwing a load of clothes in the washer was more than convenient, plenty of space to hang out, read a book, whatever, or enjoy a cup of coffee at the river's edge while a hatch was going on, with the morning sun dancing through the swirling mayflies.
And then there was the outdoor hot tub. After a hard day playing, even in the rain it was the added deliciousness of being at this place.
After, to fall asleep on a comfortable bed with utter quiet and a sweet forest view made each night special. Getting up was difficult. Too comfortable. Completely relaxed. Refreshed.
It was more difficult to leave.
Oh yes, we will be back.
Many more memories to yet be made.
Thank you Bill and Denise for offering your comfortable place for others to delight in, and for making this easy to rent, quickly responding to our inquiries and more than meeting our needs. You have gone beyond.
Tom and Margie
One mile upstream from the famed Mason Wilderness Tract, view eagles, deer and other wildlife out the front door, relax beside the peaceful South Branch of the Au Sable, fly fish for brown and brook trout (catch and release, please), hunt in fall, enjoy cross-country skiing at several nearby trails including the 12-mile-long Mason Tract Trail, ski rentals, lessons and trails available at nearby Cross-Country Ski Headquarters. Other trails are also within a mile or two of the house. Walkers: Local roads near the house make for a good route. Sorry, but due to numerous policy violations, this property and its grounds are now 100 percent smoke-free. After Sept. 30, 2014, pets: please ask. I want to be amenable, however have had many issues with hair, allergies, from other guests unpoliced droppings, etc. You must be courteous with your pet. Thanks! Also, please note that June is generally blocked for my own use, however I do make exceptions for dedicated catch-realease only fishermen. Please ask. Thanks.
Rates & Availability
Additional information about rental rates
General and Special Rates: May-June 1 $120 per night* June 1-30 $140 per night. July 1-Nov. $120 per night,*. Nov-March $150 per night* March-May 1 $115 per night. *Renters must clean the house or pay a $65 cleaning fee. *Major holiday weekends,plus Dec. 24-Jan 1:$175/night.Dept of at least 1 nt.requd. Pls. mail deposit check within 48 hours of booking. From March 1-March 31, stay three nights and pay 110 nightly.