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The unincorporated village of Au Train, Michigan is at Au Train Bay in Lake Superior, in the mid-northern Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is part of Au Train Township, in Alger County.

The community is served primarily by M-28, which connects the village with Rock River and Christmas, with the city of Munising about eleven miles to the east. Au Train-Forest Lake Road (Arbutus Street), also known as County Road H-03, runs south of Au Train, passing by Au Train Lake, and connecting the village with Dixon and M-94.

The Au Train River is a 16.8-mile-long river that begins at the outlet of Cleveland Cliffs Basin, flowing north through the Hiawatha National Forest, passing between Paulson Lake and Au Train Lake, emptying into Lake Superior at the village of Au Train.

Given its location on Lake Superior, the unique features of the Au Train River, and its proximity to the Hiawatha National Forest, it is no surprise that tourism and outdoor recreation are a large part of the community's economy. Locally, recreational opportunities are a significant asset to the community. There are several resorts and lodges in the area, many of which are used seasonally.

In the 1880s, the Au Train River served as a major logging run, transporting millions of board-feet of pine each year. Today, the river carries families in canoes and paddleboats from the resorts that line the shores of Au Train Lake, including a one-mile stretch that is a Class III/IV section of whitewater.

The 830-acre Au Train Lake is the largest inland lake in the area, and it has an average depth of 12-feet, with a maximum depth of 30-feet.

On the south shore of Au Train Lake, and adjacent to Buck Bay and Buck Bay Creek, in a heavily wooded area, Au Train Campground features thirty-six combined tent and RV sites, with drinking water and vault toilets spaced throughout the campground.

The Au Train Songbird Trail is a three-mile path that winds through uplands and forest, along a stream corridor, a bog, and a platform overlooking the lake and the surrounding wetlands, popular among birdwatchers in May and June.

Situated at Scott Falls Park, also known as Harold Rathfoot Roadside Park, Scott Falls is visible from the road. The Face in the Rock, a carving created by a French voyager in 1820, can be seen from the park. It is a tribute to a Chippewa warrior who was the only survivor of a tragic battle with the Sioux.

A bit larger, Au Train Falls is a few miles south of the village, near the intersection of M-94 and CR H-03. The upper falls are a large ramp about forty feet high, while the lower falls is a short walk down the road, and is a drop of fewer than ten feet. Several springs empty into the gorge opposite the falls.

Situated along M-28, Au Train Beach is a popular swimming site that features warm water and sandy beaches during the summer months.

Roughly paralleling M-28 in Au Train, using an old railroad grade, the Marquette-Manistique Trail is a snowmobile trail that is open to off-road vehicles.

The Au Train River Bridge is a medium-scale steel bridge that was built in 1921 to extend Wolkoff Road over the Au Train River about a half-mile east of the village. Currently, the bridge is restricted to pedestrian and snowmobile traffic. The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.

Built for Charles Paulson in 1883, the Paulson House was used as a schoolroom in the early 1900s. After being vacant for several years, it has been restored and repurposed as a museum. It is listed on both the National Register of Historic Places, as well as the state equivalent.

In the 1800s, the river carried so much sand into the lake here that a shoal was formed, over which voyagers would drag their canoes as a short cut. In French, "drag" is "trainerant" and that became the basis for the name of the river, lake, township, and village. Old maps listed the river as Train River, the Au coming later.

In 1856, William Cameron began coming to the area to hunt and trap, then a Mr. Whittley built a sawmill there. In the 1870s, logging began in earnest, and the village grew up around the logging operations and mills.

The Detroit, Mackinaw & Marquette Railroad established a station at Au Trail in 1882, and a post office was opened on March 22, 1883, with Edward L. Small as the first postmaster. When Alger County was separated from Schoolcraft County in 1885, Au Train was named the county seat. However, growth was gradual and never extended beyond the limits of the village today. The county seat was moved to Munising in 1901. The village was mostly destroyed by fire in the early 1900s and was only partially rebuilt. It now serves largely as a resort village. Many of its residents are retired, and few residents work in the township.

The focus of this category is on the unincorporated community of Au Train, its businesses and organizations.

 

 

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