Gaylord’s Peaceful Places

Wide open spaces – that’s what so many of us crave. Room to roam and captivating scenery that takes our attention away from our phone, laptop and TV. Gaylord, Michigan is a haven of peaceful places, whether you’re looking to be on the water or dry land

Here are a few of our favorites, along with some hidden gems you may not have heard of:

Big Chub Lake
A short drive past Otsego Lake and a few turns will lead you to Big Chub Lake. With only a scattering of homes along the shoreline and nature greeting you from every angle, Big Chub Lake is a true up north experience. A small boat ramp welcomes fishermen or kayakers to easily launch their vessels and even stand up paddleboards dot the surface of these calm waters.  Deer and bald eagles frequent this forest lake and a charming canal affords you the opportunity to paddle your way to adjoining lakes. 

Sturgeon River Preserve
With the recent addition of a boardwalk at the trailhead, Sturgeon River Preserve offers one of the loveliest sections of universally accessible pathway in our area. Meander along the Sturgeon River for the first stretch of this short but sweet trail, linger at the lookout, then continue along the rustic footpath through forests and small fields. This secluded hike is less than one mile, so don’t be surprised if you circle back for seconds.

Deadman’s Hill Overlook
While most consider Deadman’s Hill Overlook one of the ultimate northern Michigan leaf viewing areas in the fall, it’s equally as lovely in spring and summer. The overlook spans for miles across the Jordan River Valley and is an excellent place to drop a blanket for a picnic. Some are satisfied with the stunning view alone, while others need to get a closer look. The trailhead for the 18-mile Jordan Valley Pathway begins in this area, but you can sample this journey by taking the 3-mile loop into the valley and back. It’s well worth muddy shoes and the climb back uphill at the end.

Irontone Springs
A wooden bridge arching over a gentle stream greets you at Irontone Springs. This quaint park has a large pavilion perfect for picnics and is a little slice of heaven just moments from downtown. Relax beneath pine trees, share a snack at one of the many picnic tables and take a sip of some of the most refreshing water from the bubbling fountain.