Quality of Life

Located in the heart of Northeast Michigan’s Sunrise Side, Iosco County offers residents a well rounded locale to call home.  Residents appreciate the low crime rates, reasonable housing costs, excellent health care facilities, friendly neighbors and numerous seasonal activities.

A Nurturing Educational Environment

Iosco County boasts a solid public school system and offers a wide array of educational and job-training resources.  Four public school districts and two private schools prepare young people for further study at the college or university level, vocational training centers, or for direct entry into the workforce. Iosco County school districts serve 4,033 students, resulting in employment of 238 educators.

To support the connection between a quality education and a productive workforce, the Iosco Regional Educational Service Agency has worked hard to customize their vocational and technical training programs to meet the changing needs of area businesses.

Michigan Works, the local workforce development service center, has been instrumental in working with the local community colleges to develop training programs that will ensure employers are supplied with skilled workers.

The campuses of five different colleges and universities are located within a 60 mile drive.  They include Delta College, Mid-Michigan Community College, Alpena Community College,Kirtland Community College and Saginaw Valley State University.

Helping to Grow a Healthy Community

Iosco County residents, businesses and visitors have the peace of mind that comes with ready access to quality, knowledgeable medical care. St. Joseph Health System, based in Tawas City, has been providing quality health services to Iosco County for over 50 years. The hospital has grown from a small rural hospital to an award-winning, joint commission accredited facility.

As your partners for a healthy community, St. Joseph Health System provides not only timely, cost-effective and convenient preventative care, but also responsive surgical, acute care and emergency room services. From medical staff who maintains a high standard of excellence and education, to committed volunteers and support staff, we are dedicated to meeting the health needs of our community while maintaining a friendly community environment.

In the past four years, St. Joseph Health System built a comprehensive rehabilitation center, a new 46,000 square foot surgery and cardiovascular center, renovated its obstetrics department and completed a new state-of-the-art fourth operating room.

St. Joseph has brought leading technology to the area with its 64-slice Cardiac CT Scanner, one of only a handful in Michigan, its Open Bore MRI and an enhanced digital imaging system. The health system, part of Ascension Health and Seton Cancer Institute, provides award-winning care  at clinics throughout the region, including diverse outpatient services and after hours care at the Oscoda Health Park.

Medical care is also available at the Alcona Health Center, providing services from Alpena General Hospital and at a Veterans Administration clinic, both located at the former base.

Area residents also receive care from five nursing homes and extended care facilities which provide about 320 beds for patients needing “round-the-clock” care. Ambulance service is available throughout the county.

Diverse Outdoor Activities

With 40 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, 260 miles of rivers and streams and nearly 12,000 acres of lakes and ponds, the area is a water paradise.  Lounge, play on miles of sugar sand beaches and fall in love with our beachfront resorts.  The Iosco shoreline has two Great Lakes recreational harbors, numerous marinas and a US Coast Guard Station Tawas station.

Given the location and natural amenities of Iosco County, the area is capable of supporting many types of year-round recreational activities. Outdoor enthusiasts from hikers and bikers to hunters, fishermen and cross-country skiers appreciate the county’s 135,000 acres of forest.  Approximately 60% of the county is held in public ownership (Huron National Forest and State forest lands).  The AuSable River, which has been designated as a Wild and Scenic River by the State, runs across the northern portion of the county.  Several inland lakes in the county have significant resort developments. These cottages are becoming retirement homes for many resorters.

Since 1948 racing enthusiasts have enjoyed Saturday nights at the Whittemore Speedway, known as Michigan’s oldest speedway.   Saturdays from Memorial Day to Labor Day the green flag drops at 7:30 p.m. With grandstands that seat 1,500 in comfort, modern amenities, a concession building, and merchandise booth Whittemore Speedway is the place for fun filled family entertainment.

From the award winning Scottish-style links, to challenging championship golf, to picturesque courses near the water, Iosco County has golf to suite every taste and every level of play. There is no shortage of activities for the adventurer in Iosco County; your opportunities are limited only by your imagination.

The Arts

The county is also home to a vibrant cultural scene of music, art, dance and theater. The area’s history is kept alive at unique museums such as the Iosco County Historical Museum in East Tawas, the Yankee Air Force Museum at the former Wurtsmith Air Museum and a historic lighthouse.  The county is also home to the Sunrise Side Coastal Highway (US23) a nationally designated Heritage Route that takes travelers by spectacular scenic view of Lake Huron.

The Iosco-Arenac District Library comprises branch libraries, offering a full spectrum of services, including Internet access.  The Iosco-Arenac District Library supports five branch libraries in the county.  Each offers a full spectrum of services, including wireless internet access.

Special events, festivals and art fairs are held in the Iosco community throughout the year.


Iosco County is located on the northern end of Saginaw Bay in one of the state’s most popular areas for tourism and recreation.  The major motor vehicle highway access is US 23, making the county easily accessible from I-75 and the urban centers of southern Michigan.  State Highway M55 provides a major east-west route and connects the county with areas such as Houghton Lake, Cadillac and Manistee.  The combination of good highway access and an attractive natural environment have helped to promote tourism as a major economic facet for the local community.

The community has long believed in and recognized the importance of tourism and the extraordinary economic value it brings to all residents of Iosco County.