Enjoy the Woods

Horseback Riding | Hunting | Mushroom Hunting in Gaylord | Sleigh Rides

Here are a few of our favorite things to do while visiting the Gaylord Area in addition to the Day Trips, plentiful Hunting options as well as an outstanding Parks system to suit any adventurer!

Horseback Riding

Liberty Valley Ranch

Enjoy a horseback ride in some of the prettiest country in scenic northern Michigan. Beginner, intermediate and advanced trail rides provide a variety of different riding experiences.  Safe guided trail rides for all ages. Families, small groups, individuals as well as hand-led trail rides for younger kids.

Liberty Valley Ranch
4301 Hayes Tower Rd
Gaylord, MI 49735
Phone: 989-731-0149
Driving Directions

Gaylord Equestrian Center 
7000 Hayes Tower Rd
Gaylord, MI  49735
Phone: 989-858-1882
Driving Directions


Northern Michigan is the perfect place to plan your hunt; hunting possibilities in and around the Gaylord area are endless. Our central location, abundance of state land, an active DNR Office and well informed local merchants only enhance your trip.
Seasonal information is available through the DNR.
Hunting Licenses
Hunting Guides 


Mushroom Hunting in Gaylord

Morel Mushroom

If it’s spring and about six weeks after the snow’s melted you’re going to want to be out hunting Morels. To help identify these much sought after delicacies view the available manual below. If you’re ready to get out and hunt; here are some how to hints:

Where: Look in sandy soil, near tall trees-typically elm, ash and poplar trees, sometimes fruit trees (old orchards are awesome), but never under pines. The Pigeon river State Forest is a favorite hunting spot for morel seekers.

When: Morels like things warm and moist (not soggy), so a day following a spring rain improves your odds. Hunt when daytime highs have hovered in the 60’s and nights have gone no lower than the 40’s.

How: Slowly, patiently, carefully. Pinch and twist stem at ground level, leaving the roots and a few whole mushrooms to reproduce again next season.

Tip: Collect morels in a mesh or net sack – an onion bag is perfect. Not only will the holes allow your mushrooms to breathe and keep them from turning to mush, the mushrooms can cast their spores as you hike, hopefully inspiring new growth in new spots.

Identification: Like many mushrooms, morels have lookalikes. Uncertain you’ve got the real McCoy? Have your morels checked at the Otsego County-Michigan State University Extension Office in Gaylord located on the fourth floor of the J.Richard Yuill Alpine Center at 800 Livingston Boulevard, Suite 4A-2, 989-731-0272.

Morel Hunting Guide: If you would like a guided hunt for morels, contact Allan Ballard at ballarda86@gmail.com or 989-350-6200.


May is Morel Month in Michigan.pdf
Don’t Pick Poison!.pdf

Sleigh Rides

Cook Family Farm

Get Out and Enjoy The Snow with A Sleigh Ride!  Horse Drawn Sleigh Rides Glide over the hills and through the woods aboard a horse drawn sleigh ride. Take in the awesomeness and beauty of ringing sleigh bells, crunching from the horse’s hoofs and the peace of a crisp winter day. Enjoy an old fashion winter treat aboard one of our horse drawn sleigh rides. Scott and Eric each own a team of beautifully matched Belgian horses. Bring your family or friends and let us take you through a winter wonderland. To end you ride come back to the country cabin and warm up with a cup of hot chocolate and fresh baked cookies. Call to reserve the date and time for your family, friends, employees or any group. Cook Family Farm at 989-731-1332.

Cook Family Farm
4282 Hayes Tower Rd.
Gaylord, MI 49735
Phone: 989-731-1332
Driving Directions


Sunday 10/22 80%
Rain. Thunder possible. High 72F. Winds SSW at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 80%.