Wide open spaces – that’s what we crave right now. Room to roam and captivating scenery that takes our attention away from our phones, TVs and worries. We all have those favorite places that feel like home – maybe just a block away from your living room or maybe hundreds of miles away.
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 shore 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 paddleboarders 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. Read our full Chain Lakes blog for more information on that adventure!
Sturgeon River Preserve
With the recent addition of a boardwalk at the trailhead, Sturgeon River Preserve is one of the loveliest universally accessible pathways 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 decide to go 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.
Dining is important to everyone, whether you simply need to refuel or you’re looking to reconnect over a meal. Outdoor patio space is on the rise in our Alpine Village and you’ll find spacious seating outside of the Pine Squirrel, Big Buck Brewery, the Summit Grill at the Ridge, Treetops Resort, Otsego Resort and Alpine Tavern, just to name a few.
Wherever your peaceful place may be, we hope it’s as warm and welcoming as Gaylord, Michigan.