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New exhibit looks at history of Au Sable River

Flickr User Joseph Novak

One of Michigan’s most popular natural destinations, the Au Sable river, has gotten its own exhibit in the Michigan History Museum..

The idea came about several years ago when the museum began obtaining collection items from members of Trout Unlimited.

Trout Unlimited is a group of fishermen from Grayling concerned with the conservation of Michigan rivers and streams. They wanted to improve the aquatic environments, and with that, the fishing.

Tobi Voigt is the community engagement director at the museum.

“Trout Unlimited is a really important story that needs to be told because what they were able to accomplish just in the Au Sable River, has reverberated through the nation and internationally as a great model for conservation of rivers and fishing in general.”

Voigt said this is the first time the museum has integrated virtual reality into an exhibition. Visitors can put on a VR headset and experience a kayak ride down the river.

“We also could not do an exhibit about the Au Sable River without talking about its immensive popularity for recreation. So we talk a lot about some of the resorts along the lake that go back 50, 60, 70, 80 years as well as of course the annual canoe regatta.”

Voigt said the exhibit is expected to remain open through the beginning of next summer.