Enjoy the Woods
Our woodlands offer much more than hiking and biking and truly have something for everyone. A few of our favorite activities include:
Enjoy a horseback ride through some of the prettiest country in scenic northern Michigan. Beginner, intermediate and advanced trail rides provide a variety of different experiences. Safe, guided trail rides are available for all ages, and there are even hand-led trail rides for younger children.
Northern Michigan has endless opportunities when planning your perfect hunting experience. Our central location, abundance of state land, active DNR Office and well informed local merchants only enhance your trip. Seasonal information is available through the DNR.
If it’s springtime and about six weeks after the snow melts, you’re going to want to be out hunting morels. When it’s time to start the hunt for these prized delicacies, follow these helpful hints:
Where: Look in sandy soil, near tall trees (typically elm, ash and poplar, 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 the 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.
To get a better idea of when and where morels are being found, the Michigan DNR has a handy morel tracker map on their website.