Rules and RegulationsLocal ActivitiesTestimonialsApplication


There are many lakes in which to launch a trailerable boat. Lake Margrethe and Bear Lake are only minutes away from the house. Bear Lake is home to some nice trout while Lake Margrethe is known for it's Walleye population.

For the more adventerous, I suggest a trip to the Chain O' Lakes - less than a one hour drive to the west. This is one on our family's favorite destinations. We launch our 19' bowrider at the Torch River public access. This gives us quick access to either Torch and Clam Lakes to the right or Skegmog and Elk Lakes to the left. Skegmog is a good bass lake while Torch and Elk are good for Lake Trout using downriggers. Also, Torch Lake has a sandbar that is great for swimming or just lounging on your boat and soaking up the rays! Elk Lake is my favorite for swimming and skiing or wakeboarding as the water is not as cold as Torch Lake.

Not too far to the south of Grayling are Houghton and Higgins Lake which are also great boating destinations.

Boats can be rented at Terry's Sport Center Inc. (989) 348-7513
and Fun N Sun (989) 348-2188


The following Canoe Livery on the Manistee River is 2 miles from the house. Rates are reasonable and floats can last from 2.5 hours to several days depending on your needs.

Give Todd or Nick a call to pre-arrange your trip.

Shel-haven Resort & Canoe Livery
P.O. Box 268
Grayling, MI 49738
We are located on the Beautiful Manistee River - Camping Facilities • Friendly and Efficient Service • Weekday Specials • Snacks & Souvenirs - Flowing all the way to Lake Michigan, the Manistee offers great canoeing for both novice and experienced, with 225 miles of beautiful scenery, wildlife, and excellent trout fishing. Look for the A-Frame by the Manistee River on M-72, 8 Miles West of Grayling.

If you prefer to canoe on the AuSable River here are links to Several Canoe Liveries to choose from:

Ray's Canoe & Fly Factory
I-75 Business Loop
Grayling, MI 49738
Tel: (989) 348-5844

Children's Playground

For those of you with little ones, there is a very nice play area just across the street from the Fish Hatchery in Grayling. You will find the equipment well taken maintained. There is a very clean restroom and a covered picnic area as well.

Return to Menu of Events and Attractions

Church Directory

Abundant Life Tabernacle, Grayling
(989) 348-5325

Bear Lake Christian, Kalkaska
(231) 258-6107
(This is the Church Our family attends - It is only 5 Miles from the house
And the people there are very friendly! )

Burning Bush Tabernacle, Grayling
(989) 348-1278

Calvary Baptist Church, Grayling
(989) 348-9920

Free Methodist, Grayling
(989) 348-5362

Grayling Assembly of God
(989) 348-8885

Grayling Baptist Church (affillated with S.B.C.)
(989) 348-2557

Heritage Baptist, Grayling,
(989) 348-5558

Mt. Hope Lutheran (Missouri Synod), Grayling
(989) 348-5921

Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Grayling
(989) 348-8362

St. Francis Episcopal, Grayling
(989) 348-5850

St. John Evangelical Lutheran (ELCA), Grayling
(989) 348-5224

St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, Grayling
(989) 348-7657

Seventh Day Adventist, Grayling
(989) 348-4445

Return to Menu of Events and Attractions

County Library

The Crawford County Library
is located in Grayling at:
201 Plum Street

There is a small courtyard with a pond that makes a great place to sit and read. As much as I enjoy the Manistee and AuSableRivers, sometimes I like to come to this library to peruse the literature, surf the internet, find DVD's and VCR tapes or just sit in the courtyard and listen to the gentle water fall while reading a great mystery, biography or classic tale.

For further information call  (989) 348-9214

Return to Menu of Events and Attractions


Goodale's Bakery has some of the best fudge to be found in Michigan. The tables in the seating area are just right for a family to sit around while having a morning coffee and doughnut. (989) 348-8682


Spike's Keg 'O' Nails
301 N. James St.
P.O. Box 511
Grayling, MI 49738
Monday - Saturday: 10 a.m. - 1:30 a.m.
Sunday: Noon - 1:30 a.m.
Take out until 1:30 a.m.
Call Ahead Ordering!


Grayling Resturant
211 East Michigan
Downtown Grayling
Home of the "Lumberman's Breakfast"
(989) 348-2141

Westside Diner
6301 West M-72
Just West of Downtown Grayling
(989) 334-0710
Be sure to try their Blueberry Pancakes!!!

There are many Fine Dining places just to the north of Grayling in Gaylord, MI. Here is a link to some of them:

Gaylord Area Dining Listings


Elk Viewing

There is a large herd of Elk in Northern Michigan that can be found East of Gaylord. One of the best places to see and photograph Elk, as well as gain some historical information is to be found in Hillman, MI at Thunder Bay Resort. In the Winter you can arrange to take a Sleigh Ride to see the Elk and also enjoy a Gourmet Dinner cooked in wood burning stoves.


AuSable River Canoe Marathon - Michigan's most prestigious and richest Canoeing Event - Over $50,000.00 in Cash and Prizes! For over 50 years this race has attracted people from all over the World. It has traditionally been held the last full weekend in July and starts at Ray's Canoe livery in Grayling, MI and finishes 120 miles later at the AuSable Inn & Finish Line Sports Bar in Oscoda, MI. The racers begin several blocks away from the river and at the sound of the starter pistol they run with their canoes to the river. It's quite a sight to see them throw themselves and their canoes into the river, sometimes flipping over before they even get started. It takes no more than a few minutes for them to be out of sight and the crowd scrambles to their vehicles in order to get to the first check point to see just who has moved into first position. Many of the crowd continues to follow the racers all night long and are there to greet the finishers as they come under the bridge in Oscoda -- in the morning.

For more information contact:
Kate Southard or Steve Southard Publicity Directors
989-348-4425 (Marathon Office)
Steve Southard - Cell Phone w/voice mail 989-370-8840
Kate Southard - Cell Phone w/voice mail 989-464-0857
Race Office FAX 989-348-2618

or click on the link below :

Fall Color Tour

Take a ride along any of the following routes:

County Road 612 between Frederic and Lewiston
Old U.S. 27 from Grayling to Higgins Lake
Four Mile Road
M-72 between Grayling and Fairview

All are know for great color. Peak Season ranges from the second to fourth weekend in October depending on the frost conditions.

Fly Fishing

There are many shops in the area to help you with your fly fishing needs.

For lessons, rods /reels and fly tying supplies try the Fly Factoy in Grayling. Steve Southard will be happy to help you with everything needed to fish either the Manistee or the AuSable.

Gates AuSable Lodge located at 471 Stephan Bridge Road is another place that you will want to stop. Rusty Gates is well known for his knowledge about the AuSable River System and his flyfishing expertise. He was Fly Rod and Reel's "Angler of the Year" in 1995 and is active in The Anglers of the AuSable.

Return to Menu of Events and Attractions


Fox Run golf course is the southern most golf course in the Gaylord Golf Mecca. It is located just south of Grayling in the jack pine forests of northern Michigan. Because it is the southern most course, it's also the first one you come to when traveling north. You would be wise to stop off and play this course before traveling on to the heart of the Mecca


Grayling Country Club
100 Charles St
Grayling, MI 49738
Established in 1924 as a 9-hole course, the Grayling Country Club(GCC)is one of the oldest in Michigan. However, in 1990 a second nine was added to complete the 18-hole track; the original 9-holes now lay scattered among the front and back nines. Nestled along the beautiful AuSable River in downtown Grayling, the GCC is open to the public and offers a complete list of amenities to meet your golfing needs including: putting greens, practice range, practice bunker, chipping green, lessons, bar/lounge, snack bar, complete pro-shop and sandwich menu.


Skyline Ski and Country Club
4020 Skyline Road
Grayling, MI 49738

Black Bear Golf Club
1500 West Alexander Road
Vanderbilt, MI 49795
(866) 983-4441
Located just 40 minutes shy of the Mackinaw Bridge on interstate 75, Black Bear is easily accessible and a founding member of the prestigious GAYLORD GOLF MECCA, which is known to many as the Golfing Mecca of the Mid-West. Several golf packages can be easily coordinated with any lodging facility in Gaylord and all surrounding cities. We understand golfers want a great product at a reasonable price, call one of our courteous professionals to create your dream golf vacation now.



Return to Menu of Events and Attractions


Of course you can always take a walk or hike down the back roads near the house. There is a lovely dirt road that meanders along the river for 10 Miles and ends at the CCC Bridge -One of the best trout fishing spots on the Upper River during the Hex hatch.

Deadman's Hill Overlook

Description: 3.1- mile loop
Directions: Deadman's Hill is located off US-131, 11.5 miles north of Mancelona or 6 miles from the hamlet of Alba. From US-131 turn west onto Deadman's Hill Road and follow it for 2 miles to a parking area at the end.
Notes: The end of Deadman's Hill Road is a loop and includes a small parking area and the trailhead for the Jordan River Pathway, marked by a large trail sign and a box to leave your hiking plans. Before arriving, fill up your water bottles. There are vault toilets at the overlook but no drinking water.

Many, if not all, Cross Country Ski Trails are open to Summer Hiking. Here are a few that make great hiking trails in the Spring, Summer and Fall Seasons.

Mason Tract

Description: 11.5 miles, rolling to slightly hilly terrain, hiking, skiing, camping.
Directions: 15 miles East of Grayling on M-72; 12 miles East of Grayling, South on Chase Bridge Rd. 10 miles to South Branch Au Sable river Bridge.

Note: Biking is prohibited on this trail. If you go early enough in the day you are likely to see deer and other wildlife.

Tisdale Triangle

Description: 10.1 miles, flat terrain, hiking skiing, camping.
Directions: At East end of Tisdale Rd., 5 miles East of Roscommon on M-18.

Red Pine Natural Area

Description: 1.5 miles, level terrain, interpretive foot trail, no camping.
Directions: 8 miles North of St. Helen on F-97 to Sunset Rd., then East 3/4 miles to trail.

Pine Baron

Description: 8.75 miles, flat terrain, hiking, skiing, camping.
Directions: West of Gaylord & South of M-32; West from I-75 at South Gaylord exit 279 on Alba Rd., 2.4 miles to Lone Pine Rd., North to end of road.

Buttles Road

Description: 7 miles, flat to rolling terrain, hiking, skiing, no camping.
Directions: Between Lewiston & M-32 on Buttles Rd., take Buttles Rd. North about 3 miles to parking lot.

Marl Lake Trail

Description: 5.5 miles flat terrain with scenic view of Marl Lake.
Directions: County Rd. 100 across the street from South Higgins Lake State Park

Loud Creek Nordic Ski Club

Description: 10k groomed and wide enough for a skating lane, rugged terrain with long sloping grades and 1/2 mile downhill runs.
Directions: M-33 from Mio South to 14th St, South to Cauchy Rd, then West on Cauchy Rd.

Note: Trail head donations requested.

Wakely Lake Trail

Description: 16.5 miles of hiking trails; the yellow trail is 7 miles, the blue trail 5 miles, the orange trail 4.5 miles.
Directions: M72 east of Grayling 1/4 mile past Wakeley Bridge Road
Notes: Daily Fee. Birdwatchers would be interested in the nesting Loons, Eagles & Great Blue Heron. This is a great little fishing lake too, if you have a canoe and a canoe tote - it's a bit of a walk to the lake. It's Catch and Release only but is teeming with Bass and Bluegills.

Horse Trails

There is a Horse/Hiking Trail that winds from Empire, MI on Lake Michigan to Oscoda on Lake Huron. Access to this trail is at Goose Creek on the Manistee River just a few miles north of the house.

To find out more about this and other Michigan Horse Trails visit the following Link:


For Hunting Licenses and Local Hunting Information, visit:

Skip's Sport Shop

5765 M-72 West
Grayling, MI 49738
Tel. 989-348-7111
Fax. 989-348-7111
E-mail: skips@i2k.net

For a complete line of Sporting Goods try Jay's. Jay's is located in Gaylord, Michigan - approximately 25 miles north of Grayling.

150 Dale Drive
Gaylord, Michigan 49735
989.705.1380 fax

Department of Natural Resources

Public Gamebird Hunting

DNR Hunting Information

Return to Menu of Events and Attractions

Lake Fishing

There are several lakes in the area that are great for fishing. Here are just a few of them:

Lake Margrethe
Species: Rock bass, yellow perch,blue gills, small mouth bass, large mouth bass, tiger muskie, northern pike, walleye

Bear Lake
Species: In addition to bass and perch, Bear Lake has a good supply of trout.

Otsego Lake
Species: Northern pike, large mouth bass, small mouth bass, rock bass, bluegills, yellow perch, pumkinseed sunfish.

Local Attractions

The Grayling Fish Hatchery opens each May, ready to welcome another 35,000 or more visitors. Many of those visitors will toss fish food to the thousands of brook, brown, and rainbow trout which range from 2 1/2 to 28 inches in length. Although it is a county operated facility, no direct tax moneys are allocated, so all operating revenues must come from admission fees and the sale of trout food, placing the future of the hatchery in the hands of its' visitors.

Reprinted from a flyer from
Grayling Recreation Authority, P.O. Box 361, Grayling, MI 49738

The fish hatchery is open from Noon to 6:00pm, Wednesday-Sunday, during the season.
Admission Rates (2018 Season): Family Season Pass - $20.00, Adults: $5.00, Seniors/Military: $4.00, Children (5-12): $3.00, Children (0-4): Free, Fish food: $1.00 per bag.

Hartwick Pines State Park

4216 Ranger Road
Grayling MI 49738
Phone Number: (989) 348-7068
Motor Vehicle Permit Required: Yes
Approximate Size: 9762 (Acres)

For more information checkout this link:
Hartwick Pines State Park


Return to Menu of Events and Attractions


Less than 3 miles from the house is the Blue Bear Trail and access to Michigan's largest snowmobile trail system. It is possible to follow this trail system to Traverse City going West; Alpena or Oscoda, going East; as well as to the Mackinaw Bridge, going North - where your vehicle can be transported across the bridge to the U.P. for even more adventure!

Click on the following link to access the map of the trail system. Note that Lake Margrethe is only 2 Miles East of the house.

Off-Road Trails

Less than 3 miles from the house is the Blue Bear Trail and access to Michigan's largest snowmobile trail system. It is possible to follow this trail system to Traverse City going West; Alpena or Oscoda, going East; as well as to the Mackinaw Bridge, going North - where your vehicle can be transported across the bridge to the U.P. for even more adventure!

Click on the following link to access the map of the trail system. Note that Lake Margrethe is only 2 Miles East of the house.

Return to Menu of Events and Attractions

Shopping and Browsing

Grayling's Mainstreet Shopping District is a great place to spend an afternoon. You will find a little bit of everything! While your in town don't forget to stop at the Crawford County Historical Museum.

Return to Menu of Events and Attractions

Summer Camp for Kids

While your child is at Camp AuSable, an 840 acre Christian youth camp, why not take a break. Our house on the Manistee River is the perfect Retreat.

Manistee River Retreat

Grayling, Michigan 49738

Copyright © 2021, Manistee River Retreat. All rights reserved.

Website Design by Skip Munson
Hosted by Christian Web Host