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Au Sable River Getaway

Bedrooms 1
Half Baths1
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 - 3 nights


Half Baths
Minimum Stay
2 - 3 nights

About the property

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.

More Details

Bill Semion
Member since: 2011
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
February 20, 2017

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 Michigan

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.


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(7 traveler reviews)

Au Sable River Getaway
average rating of 4.857143 based on 7 reviews

A Comfortable Slice of Northwoods Paradise

  • 5 of 5

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

St Joe

  • Submitted: May 30, 2015
  • Stayed: May 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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1 0
Madison Heights, Mi.

Exceptional vacation at Au Sable River Getaway

  • 5 of 5

We recently enjoyed a relaxing and refreshing stay at the River House. We loved the house and especially the exterior surroundings. We visited the small town of Roscommon which had several nice restaurants. There was so much to do in the area. (canoeing, golf, hiking etc.) We were sad that we had to leave the river, birds and comfortable house. This is definitely on our list of favorite rentals. We will return.

  • Submitted: May 30, 2015
  • Stayed: May 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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2 0
Reading, MI

A Special Place!

  • 5 of 5

We stayed in this rental October 2012 and the only thing wrong was that we started our trip here, then went on to tent camp for 3 days after - we had been spoiled and it was freezing! lol! We had a great time here, hot tub was great, cooked some amazing meals, river was beautiful, slept like logs and stayed nice and cozy by the fire. It was a last minute planned trip and the owner was so helpful and quick to respond, thank you!

  • Submitted: Jan 7, 2015
  • Stayed: Sep 2014
  • Source: HomeAway
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2 0

Super Relaxing..Or Not!

  • 5 of 5

This was my second time in 2014 at the River House after coming up to ski in February. Although we had some rainy weather, hiking Mason Tract, Marl Lake and the nursery trails at Higgins provided both exercise and fun! The kitchen is very well equipped, and the ambiance of the Au Sable right outside the door make staying at the house for meals very appealing. We spent an evening around the fire pit, and enjoyed the starry skies another night from the hot tub. There are quite a variety of both active and relaxing options here next to Roscommon, and I feel like this property was a rare find!

  • Submitted: Sep 28, 2014
  • Stayed: Sep 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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3 0
Bloomfield, MI

Couldn't have been better

  • 5 of 5

We stayed in early March for a weekend. The cabin is perfect for a serene getaway. Overlooking a river, it is scenic and peaceful. It is obvious that the homeowner is passionate about this house and takes great care of it. Not only was it stocked with essentials such as dishes and cleaning supplies, it had an iPod music system, DVD player with surround sound, books and magazines, and other amenities to make us feel like we were at home. The home features a hot tub, loft bedroom, three season (enclosed) patio room, and fire pit. The area is great, and only a couple miles from the small town of Roscommon. It is well-kept and a great value. We highly recommend this cabin, and we'll certainly be back again.

  • Submitted: Mar 11, 2013
  • Stayed: Feb 2013
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks much!! I am happy you had a good time, and that you enjoyed the house as much as I.
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4 0
Walker, Michigan

Wonderful Romantic Getaway

  • 5 of 5

My wife and I were looking for a place close enough to get to and return from since we were leaving kids at home, but remote enough to feel like we were away. This was the perfect place for a little time away from the kids. The cottage is beautiful with some nice touches of sophistication that made it that much nicer: wonderful kitchen, elegant fixtures, comfortable and refined furnishings. It was a place where we could bring the kids--had the space, but where we were glad to be alone. The setting is extraordinary with wildlife steps from the door. In fact, the birds will let you know if you ignore them. Lots of windows and light to enjoy the view. The river is exquisite. We tubed down and also enjoyed wonderful walks through the woods on the Mason Tract and at South Higgins Lake Park at Marl Lake. The hot tub was also a nice addition.

Most of all, Bill was so helpful and easy to work with. He genuinely wants his guests to have the best time they can and has gone out of his way to provide a place where they can do so. We will be back.

  • Submitted: Sep 22, 2012
  • Stayed: Jul 2012
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks much for your kind words! Bill
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3 0


Nearest Airport
11 Miles
Houghton Lake (Traverse City, 60)
Nearest Barpub
3 Miles
Jack's Place
Nearest Golf
4 Miles
Forest Dunes, and lots of others in the area
Nearest Motorway
6 Miles
I-75 exit 239 or US 127 Higgins Lake
Nearest Restaurant
4 Miles
Nearest Beach
7 Miles
Higgins Lake State Parks North and South

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

Roscommon House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
Nov 1 2016 - Mar 1 2017
2 night minimum stay
Mar 2 2017 - May 1 2017
2 night minimum stay
Early Summer
May 2 2017 - May 31 2017
2 night minimum stay
Jun 1 2017 - Jul 1 2017
3 night minimum stay
Jul 5 2017 - Oct 31 2017
2 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay

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.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.
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Roscommon House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
  • Housekeeper Optional
Location Type:
  • Golf Course Front ...
  • Rural ...
  • Water View ...
  • Waterfront ...
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Fireplace ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Mobile Phone ...
  • Parking ...
  • Parking Off Street ...
  • Parking for RV/Boat/Trailer
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet ...
  • Wood Fireplace ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Bathroom 1 -
    Bathroom 2 -
  • 1.5. Bathroom features shower and one-person Jacuzzi tub. Other upstairs has sink and toilet.
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 6
  • I like to hold the occupancy To six; Queen size Beds (2) In master bedroom and loft; three other inflatable queen-size beds also available. This house comfortably sleeps three couples if you also include the queen futon in the living room or one of the queen inflatables. It can currently sleep up to seven individually, total. Twin or Single Beds (1) futon in loft, Sleep Sofa or Futons (1) One queen futon in living room next to fireplace, and one 'college style' futon in the loft along with the queen bed plus inflatable queen beds (3).
  • Books ...
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Music Library ...
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Video Library ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Ski & Snowboard ...
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • children welcome
  • limited accessibility ...
  • non smoking only ...
Pool / Spa:
  • Hot Tub ...
  • jetted tub ...
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • library
  • museums
  • restaurants
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • outlet shopping
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cross country skiing
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • rafting
  • sailing
  • skiing
  • snowboarding
  • snowmobiling
  • swimming
  • water skiing
  • water tubing
Two log beds, lower bedroom features 8-foot doorwall for viewing wildlife, enclosed front porch, 175 feet of river frontage with woods, cedar bridge crosses pond out front to reach river, trout fishing and kayaking. Please ask about pets. House must be left vacuumed of pet hair and droppings must be picked up and disposed of.

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