There’s no question about it…Northern Michigan summers are pure bliss. If you haven’t experienced one yet, it’s high time to head to Gaylord, Michigan to see what all the fuss is about! So what does the “Alpine Village” have in store for you? Biking
Gaylord is recognized as a top biking destination! The scene here is diverse, from picturesque paved routes to undulating single tracks at Aspen Park, Shingle Mill Pathway and Pine Baron Pathway to the crown jewel of all trails – the North Central State Trail. Newly expanded and now running 73 miles from Waters all the way to Mackinaw City, this former railroad line is covered with a crushed limestone surface. Perfect for families out for an afternoon ride or experienced cyclists looking for a challenge, the North Central State Trail meanders through some of the loveliest countryside in Northern Michigan. Check out the new Gaylord Gateway Trailhead conveniently located downtown! If you’re more of an adrenaline junkie, then you won’t want to miss the 82-mile High Country Pathway. Located in the heart of the Pigeon River Country State Forest, this extensive and rustic trail is recognized as having “Epic” status by the International Mountain Bike Association .
If you lack pedal power but still want to hit the trails, hiking is the way to go! Spend a leisurely afternoon weaving through the trails at Aspen Park. With rolling hills, open fields, plentiful wildlife and a quaint pond, you can lose track of time on these paved and unpaved trails. Those looking for an all-day excursion or even a weekend of backpacking can head for the Jordan Valley Pathway, an 18.8-mile loop with a rustic campground at the halfway point. Be ready for stunning vistas, high ridges and skirting along the banks of the striking Jordan River. If you’re limited on time, venture out on the Deadman’s Hill Loop for a 3-mile taste of this exceptional trail.
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While you’re out enjoying Gaylord’s plentiful trail systems, keep your eyes peeled to catch a glimpse of one of the largest free-roaming elk herds east of the Mississippi. The Pigeon River Country State Forest is home to a herd of over 1,000 of these magnificent animals, and while they are always on the go, there are popular viewing areas they frequent. Exploring Pigeon River country is a great escape, but your schedule may not allow you to spend a day searching for elk. For a guaranteed sighting, head to the City Elk Park, just a few blocks from the downtown district. The City of Gaylord maintains this herd of over 30 animals and they are known for greeting visitors right at the fence. MORE