In Gaylord, When the temperature drops,and the snow flies, things really heat up.

Don’t just walk in our winter wonderland. Ski it, float it, fish it, sled it and sail downhill on it. Here’s our ultimate winter checklist:


Winter Essentials

Snowmobile Trail Report>>>

1 Make plans to attend the annual Michigan Snowmobile Festival on Feb. 24. 800-345-8621 or

2 Truly enjoy winter at Gaylord’s Annual Alpenfrost – Frosty 5K, ice skating downtown and other winter fun.

3 Float the not-so-frozen Sturgeon River in a raft. 231-525-6878, or 231-238-8181,  

4 Check in with winter wildlife at Aspen Park. Thanks to the white background, photographing the elk and beaver pond is never better. Take Otsego Avenue south to Commerce Boulevard’s end. 989-732-4060

5 Nab a 55-minute pass for some extreme tubing at Treetops Resort. 888-TREETOPS or visit   

6 Shout “Woo-woo-woo!” all the way to Mackinaw City as you snowmobile the former North Central Michigan Railroad Corridor. 231-348-8280

7 Snowshoe along the Sturgeon River in the super secluded, super quiet, no snowmobiles allowed Green Timbers section of the Pigeon River Country State Forest. See the map at:   

8 Get to the trails…cross country style!  Whether a beginner or expert, you’ll find miles of trails to suit your taste.  Boasting over 180 inches of annual snowfall and heavily wooded rolling terrain, the Gaylord area offers some of the most enjoyable and challenging cross country skiing in Michigan. Visit   for trail maps.

9 Are you an angler that can’t get enough? Cut a hole in the hard stuff and start a great Gaylord winter tradition — drop a line and do some ice fishing on one of the many lakes in Otsego County!  Learn more at:

10 Ride the old fashioned way—in a horse-drawn open sleigh—at the Cook Family Farm. Afterward, warm up inside with hot cocoa. Don’t forget to browse the shop for even more homemade goodness: syrup, jams, jellies, honey, eggs, natural meats and soy candles. Call to schedule your sleigh ride adventure, Cook Family Farm 989-731-1332

Winter Eats

The best-kept dining secrets for a snow day indulgence.

Michaywé Inn the Woods

The hottest place to be on a cold Friday night? Michaywé Inn the Woods—home of the best fish fry
in town. This Gaylord gem features lighter fare, a full bar, the freshest seafood, perfectly prepared steaks and pasta and a pristine view of Lake Michaywé. Best of all? Patrons can take home a sixpack with their homemade pizza.989-939-8800,

Legends on the Hill

There’s good reason this cozy, casual, fireplace-warmed restaurant is a favorite among skiers—
and it’s not just the scenic view of the slope. Rich beginnings, hearty entrees, signature desserts and over 60 different types of beers from around the globe are all what makes this casual eatery a legend among locals. 989-732-6711,

Duck Blind Grille At Otsego Club

Minutes from downtown, yet culinarily a world away, Otsego Club’s Duck Blind Grille is the perfect place to cozy up to Chef Tim’s notable comfort food creations like lobster mac-n-cheese, dry-aged filet mignon with horseradish mashed potatoes, or the crispy calamari with sweet Thai chili sauce and wasabi mayo. All this is supplemented with a stellar wine list. 989-732-5181,

The Snowman Cam

Snow junkies can scope out the fluffy stuff in Gaylord 24 hours a day on, a live feed from a snowbelt backyard that shows the snow as it falls. The weatherman is a snowman. The measurement tools are a dial thermometer and a decorative snow ruler. And you can donate dollars to feed the wildlife that pass into the frame. Past visitors include a black bear, deer, porcupines, raccoons, wild turkey, squirrels, birds and more.

Wake Up Trailside

On the XC Trail

Pine Cone Rentals offers rental houses big and small around the Gaylord region, many of which sit smack dab alongside area XC ski trails. One favorite setting? Around Michaywé’s Pines Course, where 17k await. Check out the options: 866-731-1887,

On the Snowmobile Trail

Party of two? Or just a big party? The Ridge Golf Course and Resort can accommodate your crew with cozy rooms and sprawling townhouses that sit right across from the main feeder trail to both the North Branch and Jordan Valley snowmobile trails. More convenient yet, you can dine at the Summit Grill on site.

On the Downhill Slope

Treetops boasts a mix of hotel rooms and efficiency units with kitchenettes, and they sit mountainside, giving you immediate out-the-door access to 23 downhill runs. 888-treetops or visit

Also in Gaylord, the now public Otsego Club offers skiing for the entire family. Ski in and ski out accommodations with no membership required. 800-752-5510 or visit


Looking for a Winter Adventure?

BigBearP1070422imagemanager.JPGFloat the not-so-frozen Sturgeon River on a guided winter rafting trip beneath snow-covered evergreens. Dress warm and plan on viewing a variety of wildlife.  The best part?  All trips are guided and on this winter adventure, you will not get wet! 

Big Bear Adventures

Sturgeon River Paddesports