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Oscoda County, Michigan facts for kids

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Oscoda County
The rebuilt Oscoda County Courthouse in Mio
Map of Michigan highlighting Oscoda County
Location within the U.S. state of Michigan
Map of the United States highlighting Michigan
Michigan's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Michigan
Founded April 1, 1840 (created)
1881 (organized)
Seat Mio
Largest community Mio
 • Total 572 sq mi (1,480 km2)
 • Land 566 sq mi (1,470 km2)
 • Water 5.9 sq mi (15 km2)  1.0%%
 • Total 8,219
 • Density 15/sq mi (6/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 1st

Oscoda County is a county in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2020 Census, the population was 8,219, making it the least populous county in the Lower Peninsula, and the sixth-least populous county in the entire state. The county seat is Mio, an unincorporated community near the center of the county.


The county was founded in 1840 and organized in 1881. The name is a Henry Schoolcraft neologism thought to be a combination of two Ojibwa words, "ossin" (stone) and "muskoda" (prairie) -- hence 'pebbly prairie.'


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 572 square miles (1,480 km2), of which 566 square miles (1,470 km2) is land and 5.9 square miles (15 km2) (1.0%) is water. Oscoda County is part of Northern Michigan.

Geographic features

  • Mio is situated in the Au Sable River Valley.
  • The County is surrounded by the Huron National Forest and the Rifle River State Recreation Area.
  • The County is part of the Au Sable State Forest, specifically the
    • Grayling FMU (Alcona, Crawford, Oscoda, and northern Iosco counties).
  • Much of the area sits on the "Grayling outwash plain", a unique habitat.
  • The Oscoda County Park offers a good vantage point.

Glaciers shaped the area, creating a unique regional ecosystem. A large portion of the area is the so-called Grayling outwash plain, which consists of broad outwash plain including sandy ice-disintegration ridges; jack pine barrens, some white pine-red pine forest, and northern hardwood forest. Large lakes were created by glacial action.

Major highways

Adjacent counties

National protected area


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 70
1880 467 567.1%
1890 1,904 307.7%
1900 1,468 −22.9%
1910 2,027 38.1%
1920 1,783 −12.0%
1930 1,728 −3.1%
1940 2,543 47.2%
1950 3,134 23.2%
1960 3,447 10.0%
1970 4,726 37.1%
1980 6,858 45.1%
1990 7,842 14.3%
2000 9,418 20.1%
2010 8,640 −8.3%
2020 8,219 −4.9%
US Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2018

As of the 2000 United States Census, 9,418 people, 3,921 households, and 2,717 families resided in the county. The population density was 17 people per square mile (6/km2). There were 8,690 housing units at an average density of 15 per square mile (6/km2). The county's racial makeup was 97.82% White, 0.08% Black or African American, 0.71% Native American, 0.07% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.14% from other races, and 1.16% from two or more races. 0.94% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 30.2% were of German, 12.8% American, 9.6% English, 8.1% Polish, 6.8% French and 6.7% Irish ancestry. 94.1% spoke English, 2.8% German and 1.5% Pennsylvania Dutch as their first language.

There were 3,921 households, out of which 25.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.10% were married couples living together, 7.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.70% were non-families. 26.00% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.85.

The county population contained 23.30% under the age of 18, 5.60% from 18 to 24, 22.80% from 25 to 44, 28.00% from 45 to 64, and 20.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 96.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $28,228, and the median income for a family was $32,225. Males had a median income of $30,013 versus $20,202 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,697. About 10.30% of families and 14.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.40% of those under age 18 and 8.80% of those age 65 or over.


The Michigan Au Sable Valley Railroad is located in Fairview. It is 1/4 scale 16 gauge railroad, that offers rides on a passenger train through the scenic Northern Michigan landscape. It operates in jack pine country during the summer months. Riders travel through parts of the Huron National Forest and overlook the beautiful Comins Creek Valley.

The gorgeous and clean AuSable River flows through Mio and offers some of Michigan’s best fishing and the opportunity to canoe, kayak, and tube. The M-33 Access Cite located off of M-33 on the north side of Mio has a launch area, restrooms, and a picnic area. Kayakers, fishermen, and swimmers can also go to the Mio Dam Pond located at the end of Mio Pond Drive where there is another launch area.

Oscoda County offers snowmobile trails, ATV trails, hiking trails, and cross country skiing trails. Snowmobile and ATV trails are located throughout Luzerne, McKinley, and Mio. In addition to the trails, there is a scramble area at Bull Gap in the Huron National Forest. As for hiking and cross country skiing, the Loud Creek Trail offers 7 different routes with varying difficulty levels. The trail’s total distance is 10 kilometers.

In Fairview, there is a horseback riding ranch and a golf course. Karefree Ranch Boarding Stables offers guided horseback rides through the beautiful, wooded Huron National Forest. The Fairview Hills Golf Club is a well-kept 9-hole golf course located on M-33.

Oscoda County is home to the annual OC Riverfest, which was designed to celebrate Oscoda County's most prize asset, the AuSable River. The OC Riverfest is a weekend full of fun for everyone. Activities range from a children's theatre, a carnival, and live music to a car show, food, vendors, and a beer tent for the adults. Each year the OC Riverfest hosts a 5K River Run. It is located right on the hiking paths looking over the mighty AuSable River. This popular event brings in people from all over the state of Michigan coming to celebrate this most prize asset.

Another attraction that catches people's eyes when they think of Oscoda County, is the Mio Pizza Shop. Many people come for the pizza, but the dots and cheese sticks are the most popular. Some people also may remember it or even come to see it because of the big, pink elephant they have out front of the restaurant. All of these things and many more are all things people can do when visiting the small county of Oscoda.


Census-designated place

  • Mio (county seat)

Unincorporated communities


See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Oscoda para niños

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