Guide 2015 cover

With lakes, rivers, forests and rolling hills, we are proud of Otsego County, a true four seasons play land. Up North Now 2014 will help uncover all the reasons to live or play in “God’s country.”

Whether you’re wanting to know what’s going on in the way of night life entertainment and festivals, looking to take advantage of the great outdoors or deciding on a service club to join, we’ve compiled that information — and lots more — to help you do just that.

Keep Gaylord Now as a handy resource at home and at work, but if you should be caught without it, know that you can access this wealth of information at our Gaylord Herald Times Web site,

The city of Gaylord was incorporated in March 1922. Since then, it has become a regional business and recreation hub. The city operates under a home-rule city charter, as a council-manager government.

Many communities throughout Northern Michigan hold weekly, free concerts during the summer months. These family-friendly venues offer a chance to take advantage of the great music and warm breezes of summer.

The natural beauty of Northern Michigan has been an inspiration for visual artists, authors and musicians for many years.
Area communities have unique ways to appreciate artists with museums, festivals and educational opportunities to celebrate every season.

The Otsego County Community Center and Otsego County Sportsplex host a number of indoor leagues, and the Alpine Soccer Complex provides fun outdoors.

The Community Center and Sportsplex offer schedules at and, respectively.

Plenty of programs are packed into the Otsego County Library, which provides award-winning services to all residents from the central library in Gaylord and branches in Johannesburg and Vanderbilt. The library received the State Librarian’s Excellence Award for exemplary public service in 2003 and underwent a refreshing remodel in the spring of 2010.

As the community grows, Otsego Memorial Hospital (OMH) expands as well, providing essential facilities and medical services to meet the demands of a growing population.

OMH is a progressive, fully accredited primary care facility serving Otsego and surrounding counties.

Serving more than 1,500 inpatients and more than 110,000 outpatients per year, OMH also employs and affiliates with more than 100 medical practitioners, bringing a broad spectrum of health care services to the communities served.

The city of Gaylord was incorporated in March 1922. Since then, it has become a regional business and recreation hub. The city operates under a home-rule city charter, as a council-manager government.

City offices are located in a 25,663-square-foot facility on the east end of town at Main and North Oak streets. The building, topped with a 73-foot spire and clock tower, was finished in the spring of 2008 and also houses council chambers, the Gaylord Police Department and its garage. Photos of scenery in and around Gaylord adorn the building’s hallways and training rooms.

Gaylord developed an Alpine motif in the 1960s, lending a unique charm to the city, which has come to be known also as the “Alpine Village.” The residents of the city adopted Pontresina, Switzerland, in 1965, as Gaylord’s sister city, and the citizens of Switzerland sent Gaylord a boulder from the Swiss Alps in 1989, which now stands at the northwest corner of the Otsego County Building lawn.

Gaylord’s Downtown Development Authority completed a $2-million streetscape project in 1995, enhancing the city’s Alpine theme with stylish downtown lighting, parks, partially bricked pathways, benches and trees. In recent years, numerous downtown-area businesses have invested their own money with state grants to update their façades, keeping the Alpine look fresh and welcoming.

Another DDA project, the Pavilion on Court, hosts farmers markets, concerts, antique markets, car shows and more, and is a central gathering area during Gaylord’s annual Alpenfest and Alpenfrost. The Pavilion was recently renovated to include retractable canvas panels and radiant infrared heaters. This will allow the structure to be used later in the season for events such as the downtown farmers market.

Looking for wildlife? Check out Gaylord’s elk park, located at the Department of Public Works at the end of Seventh Street. Viewing is also available at the end of Grandview Boulevard.

Other parks located within the city include Aspen Park, which offers miles of paved and non-paved trails, the City of Gaylord Ramp Park on South Wisconsin Avenue, Doumas Park at Fourth Street and Maple Avenue, Freel Park on Huron Street, Joseph N. Hale Park on South Otsego Avenue and Second Street and tiny Claude Shannon Park on Main Street.


The county of Otsego was established by the Michigan Legislature in 1840 at a time when the area was still frequented by American Indians on the shores of Otsego Lake. In 1843, the state Legislature changed the name of the county to Otsego, and in the last 150 years or so, the area located on the 45th parallel has grown into a hub of activity and new enterprise.

Although the word “Otsego” is derived from an Iroquoian word “Okkudo,” the exact meaning of this word is disputed. By some accounts, “Okkudo” means “clear waters,” while others contend the original word meant “sickly” or “stomach pains.”

Though no evidence remains, it is believed there once was an Indian village on the southern shore of Otsego Lake. Until the late 1860s, Otsego County remained a vast, unpopulated wilderness, save for the occasional visiting trapper.

In 1868, pioneer A.A. Dwight braved the elements, and the unknown, and brought a crew of men north to Otsego, constructing log cabins along Crooked Lake, now known as Manuka Lake.

Continued hardships drove the men from the area, but the spring of 1869 found Charles S. Brink and a crew of 14 men clearing acreage for farming. Brink’s wife, Jane, was the first white woman in the county. Brink and his men embarked on a serious lumbering operation, including the building of many dams in the area and commencing log drives down the AuSable River.

Those early lumbering days gave way to post-Civil War homesteading, the birth of Otsego Lake Village, and the eventual construction of a lumber mill, homes, businesses, a library, town hall, a school and a Methodist church. In 1875, the small community of Otsego Lake was established as the county seat, but within two years, the county seat was moved north to Gaylord.

The county encompasses the townships of Bagley, Charlton, Chester, Corwith, Dover, Elmira, Hayes, Livingston, Otsego Lake, the city of Gaylord and the villages of Waters, Elmira, Vanderbilt and Johannesburg, which have remained as the primary communities in the county.

Through the years, Otsego County has attracted numerous businesses and industries and today boasts hundreds of business establishments to support its growing population.

The county also has become well known as a popular four-season vacation spot, annually attracting thousands to the area for golfing, swimming, boating, skiing, snowmobiling, fishing and hunting.

Located in the heart of the Northern Lower Peninsula, Otsego County is home to the headwaters of five renowned trout streams — the Black, Pigeon, Sturgeon, Manistee and AuSable rivers — drawing fly and spinning anglers for trout season which begins on the last Saturday of April and continues well into the fall.

Spring also brings out morels, the prized fungus sought by mushroom lovers across Michigan and border states.

Summer is prime time for golfing the area’s many courses, camping at Otsego Lake County Park and Otsego Lake State Park, swimming at many beaches, fishing and boating numerous inland lakes and hiking miles of trails in the Pigeon River Country State Forest or the Groen Nature Preserve near Johannesburg.

Fall is the season for sportsmen and sportswomen. Thousands of acres of state land hold abundant small game, upland birds, turkey and deer, and Otsego County is a central location for Northern Michigan’s herd of 1,000 wild elk, which can sometimes be spotted while cruising back roads.

Winter brings an abundance of snow, and skiers and snowboarders will find plenty of runs and terrain parks at Treetops Resort and Otsego Club & Resort.

Gaylord is the Otsego County seat and boasts the county’s shopping and entertainment hub, but the communities of Vanderbilt, Elmira, Johannesburg and Waters also offer unique places to shop and dine.

From the chilly waters of the rivers that flow through the area to the many lakes to the miles of untainted forest area, Otsego County represents not only clear waters, but comfortable living and community pride

Through all seasons, there’s plenty of shops, restaurants, accommodations and meeting facilities to fulfill the vacationer or visitor. Visit the county Web site at

Public Transportation
Senior Services

General Resources (A-L)

AARP, 309 N. Washington Square, Ste. 110, Lansing MI 48922; 866-227-7448; fax 517-482-2794;

AIDS Hotline, 800-872-2437

Alcoholics Anonymous, 114 S. Center Ave., Ste. 103, Gaylord; 732-0085

Alpine Alten Zimmer Apartments, 120 Grandview Blvd., Gaylord; 732-1885

American Cancer Society, 525 W. 14th St., Ste. 5, Traverse City, MI 49684; 800-227-2345 (24-hour emergency) or 231-947-0860;

American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, 2966 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-578-6800; fax 313-578-6811;

American Red Cross, 2350 Mitchell Park Drive, Petoskey; 231-348-7666; fax 231-348-7661

ARC Michigan, a state organization on developmental disabilities, 1325 S. Washington Ave., Lansing; 800-292-7851;

Arthritis Foundation, 1050 Wilshire Drive, Ste. 302, Troy, MI 48084-1564; 248-649-2891

Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division, P.O. Box 30213, Lansing, MI 48909; 517-241-3771; toll-free 877-765-8388;

Autism Society of Michigan, 2178 Commons Parkway, Okomos MI 48864; 517-822-2800, toll-free 800-223-6722, fax 517-822-2816;

Better Business Bureau of Western Michigan, 2627 East Beltine Ave. SE, Ste. 320, Grand Rapids; 616-774-8236, toll-free 800-684-3222;

Boys Town National Hotline, 13940 Gutowski Road, Boys Town, NE 68010; 800-448-3000; fax 402-498-1875

Cancer Society’s Road for Recovery transportation service, 800-227-2345

Catholic Human Services, 2090 West M-32, Ste. B, Gaylord; 732-6761; fax 732-6763

Child & Family Services of Northeast Michigan, 1044 US-23 North Alpena, MI 49707; 989-354-8089

Child Find of America Inc., P.O. Box 277, New Paltz, NY 12561; 800-426-5678, fax 845-883-6614;

Children Special Health Services, Pat Borowiak, 95 Livingston Blvd., Gaylord; 732-1794

Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan, 5455 Corporate Drive Ste. 306, Troy; 248-530-3000; fax 248-530-3041

Citizens for Better Care, Nancy Turner, 1609 Park Drive, P.O. Box 5946, Traverse City, MI, 49686; 231-947-2504

Community Mediation Services, 116 E. Fifth St., Gaylord; 732-1576

Crossroads Industries, a nonprofit charity that puts mentally and physically challenged people to work, 2464 Silver Fox Trail, Gaylord; 732-1233

Crossroads Ministries, Inc./New Life Pregnancy Resource Center, P.O. Box 790, 705 S. Otsego Ave., Gaylord; 732-1626

DB-LINK (National information clearinghouse on children who are deaf/blind), CMU, Sloan 105, Mount Pleasant; 888-758-0508;

Easter Seals-Michigan Inc., 4065 Saladin Drive SE, Grand Rapids; 616-942-2081; fax 616-942-5932;

Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan, 20300 Civic Center Drive, Ste. 250, Southfield, MI 48076; 800-377-6226; fax 248-351-2101;

Federal Tax Assistance, 800-829-1040

First Call For Help, 116 E. Fifth St., Gaylord; 732-8929, fax 731-2677

Goodwill Industries, 1361 Pineview Drive, Gaylord; 705-1747

GreenPath Debt Solutions, 440 West Main St., Ste. C, Gaylord; 732-2260; 800-550-1961

Habitat for Humanity Restore, 1384 W. Main St., Gaylord; 731-4506

Habitat for Humanity, 1384 W. Main St., Gaylord; 732-6070

Harbor Hall inc., substance abuse patient facility, 520 N. Main St. Cheboygan; 231-597-9235

Hospice of Michigan, Cathy Klemish, 830 S. Otsego Ave., Gaylord; 732-2151, or 888-247-5701

Insurance Information Hotline, 334 Townsend St., Lansing; 517-371-2880

Kidney Foundation of Michigan, 1169 Oak Valley Drive, Ann Arbor; 800-482-1455; fax 734-222-9801

Legal Services of Northern Michigan, 1349 S. Otsego Ave., Unit 7B, Gaylord; 888-645-9993; 705-1067; fax 705-7178

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General Resources (M-Z)

Make-A-Wish Foundation, 648 Monroe Ave. NW, Ste. 104, Grand Rapids; 877-631-9474; fax 616-363-5415

Michigan Association for Children with Emotional Disorders, 30233 Southfield Road, Ste. 219, Southfield; 248-433-2200; fax 248-433-2299;

Michigan Association for Deaf, Hearing and Speech Services, 586-778-4188

Michigan Commission for the Blind, 209 W. First St., Gaylord; 732-2448

Michigan Council on Crime & Delinquency, 1000 W. St. Joseph, Ste 400, Lansing; 517-482-4161

Michigan Dept. of Labor and Economic Growth; 608 W. Allegan St., Lansing; 517-373-3332

Michigan Dyslexia Institute (Northern Michigan Center), 681 East Lake St., Harbor Springs; 231-526-9282

Michigan Economic Development Corp., 300 N. Washington Square, Lansing; 888-522-0103

Michigan League for Human Services, 1223 Turner St., Ste. G-1, Lansing; 517-487-5436; fax 517-371-4546

Michigan Rehabilitation Services, 1165 Elkview, Lower Level, Ste 4, P.O. Box 1306, Gaylord; 732-6433

Michigan Small Business Development Center, 665 Johnson St., Alpena; 800-562-4808

MSU Cooperative Extension (Otsego County), 800 Livingston Blvd., Ste. 4A-2 Gaylord; 731-0272

Multiple Sclerosis Society Michigan Chapter Inc., 21311 Civic Center Drive, Southfield; 248-351-2190

Muscular Dystrophy Association, 1605 Concentric Blvd., Ste. 3, Saginaw MI 48604; 989-771-9612

Narcotics Anonymous, 800-230-4085

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Hotline, 800-843-5678

North Country Community Mental Health, 800 Livingston Blvd., Ste. 2B, Gaylord; 732-7558; 24-hour crisis line 800-442-7315

Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency Inc., 2375 Gordon Road, Alpena; 989-356-3474; 866-484-7077

Northern Michigan Substance Abuse Services, 2090 W. M-32, Ste. C, Gaylord; 800-686-0749, fax 731-3437

Organ Transplant Support Group of Northern Michigan, Bev Cherwinski, 6962 Cherwinski Road, Vanderbilt; 983-4188;

Otsego County Animal Control, 256 Fairview Road, Gaylord; 705-7632

Otsego County Commission on Aging, 120 Grandview Blvd., Gaylord; 732-1122;

Otsego County Community Foundation, 123 W. Main St., Gaylord; 731-0597;

Otsego County Conservation District, 800 Livingston Blvd., Suite 4A, Gaylord; 732-4021

Otsego County EMS, P.O. Box 642, Gaylord; 732-9085

Otsego County Fair Board, P.O. Box 500, Gaylord; 732-3811

Otsego County Food Pantry, 116 E. Fifth St., Gaylord; 732-8929

Otsego County Housing Committee, 225 W. Main St., Gaylord, Room 213; 731-7570

Otsego County United Way, 116 E. Fifth St., Gaylord; 732-8929

Otsego County Veteran’s Affairs, 225 W. Main St., Room 213, Gaylord; 731-7575

Otsego Haus Adult Day Care Service, Chris Holewinski, 95 Livingston Blvd., Gaylord; 732-4121; fax 732-9662

Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), 116 E. Fifth St., Gaylord; 732-6232

Ronald McDonald House, 1323 Cedar St., Grand Rapids; 800-776-1300, fax 616-776-0368

Salvation Army, 919 S. Otsego Ave., United Way Building, Gaylord; 731-5959

Services for the Developmentally Disabled, 800 Livingston Blvd., Ste. 2B, Gaylord; 732-6292

Social Security Administration, 308 State St., Ste. 8, Petoskey; 231-347-0692

United Cerebral Palsy Association of Michigan, 3496 Lake Lansing Road, Ste. 170, East Lansing; 800-828-2714

Victim/Witness Assistance Program, (Otsego County prosecutor’s office), 800 Livingston Blvd., Ste. 3-D, Gaylord; 731-7430

Volunteer Center of Otsego County, 116 E. Fifth St., Box 7, Gaylord; 705-8584

Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan Inc., 423 Porter St., Petoskey; 231-347-0067

Yellow Ribbon Suicide Crisis Hotline (national), 800-SUICIDE (800-784-2433)

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Public Transportation

Gaylord Regional Airport, 1100 Aero Drive, Gaylord; 732-6521. About 14,000 planes utilize the 6,600-by-150-foot runway each year;

Otsego County Bus System; dispatch, 732-6224, ext. 1; transportation manager, Theron Higgins, 731-1204 ext. 2. Hours: 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, call 732-6224, ext. 1; 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturday, call 614-6109. If possible, reserve your ride two hours in advance. Rides may be scheduled in advance for doctor’s appointments, etc.

Straits Regional Ride: While Otsego County is no longer part of it, it’s possible for riders to connect to the Straits Regional Ride for transportation in Cheboygan, Emmet and Presque Isle counties. For scheduling, call 231-597-9262

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Senior Services

Otsego County is home to a growing older adult population served by a host of local organizations. Key to these is the Otsego County Commission on Aging (OCCOA).

The mission of the OCCOA is promoting the independence and well-being of older adults of Otsego County and supporting family caregivers. This is accomplished by providing a diverse range of services that target nutritional, wellness, educational and social needs. The agency does this by employing both a professional, caring staff and enlisting the help of a volunteer corps, while diligently developing public and private funds to support the work of the agency in a proactive, progressive and cost-efficient manner.

OCCOA services include congregate and home-delivered meals, in-home services, adult day services, transportation to medical appointments, social and educational programs, volunteer opportunities and information and assistance with referrals.

OCCOA also serves as a host site for the Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program, which helps beneficiaries understand benefits and coverage.

For information on OCCOA services call 732-1122 or visit the OCCOA Web site at

Other groups providing assistance to older adults include:

Aspen Ridge Retirement Village is an assisted living facility that also offers Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Call 705-2500.

Dept. of Human Services offers services to older adults in the areas of independent living, adult protection and adult community placements. Call 732-1702.

The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) meets the needs of seniors through meaningful volunteer opportunities. Call 732-6232.

The Gaylord Lions Club’s primary mission is to help the blind, though the group also devotes time to projects that benefit senior citizens. To learn more, call 732-7840.

Otsego County Bus System provides rides at reduced prices to seniors. Call 732-6224.

Other services and assistance available for area seniors are provided by:

Commission for the Blind, 732-2448

District Health Dept., 731-0961

Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program, 800-803-7174

AARP Legislative Information Line, 800-826-8683

Legal Hotline for Michigan Seniors, 800-347-LAWS (5297)

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4-H Youth, MSU Extension, Bethany Prykucki, 800 Livingston Blvd., Ste. 4A-2, Gaylord, 731-0272

Alpenfest, special events coordinator, Tiffany Larson, P.O. Box 513, Gaylord, 732-6333

American Cancer Society, 877-499-4673 (Traverse City), 800-227-2345 (national office)

American Legion Post No. 198, 786-3525

Beta Sigma Phi, Preceptor Gamma Xi Chapter, Barb Kaly, 702 W. Sheldon St., Gaylord, 732-5901

Boy Scouts, Scenic Trails Council, president Patrick Parker, Web site:

Edelweiss Garden Club, Joan Collick, Web site:, 732-5792

Elks Lodge No. 2544, Joe Hojna, 116 Grandview Blvd., P.O. Box 520, Gaylord, 732-2793

Fraternal Order of Police, Stefan Crane, P.O. Box 1062, Gaylord, 732-1777

Friends of the Library, 700 S. Otsego Ave., Gaylord, 732-5841

Gaylord Area Council for the Arts, Community Arts Center, 125 E. Main St., P.O. Box 249, Gaylord, 732-3242

Gaylord Athletic Boosters Club, Athletic Director Christian Wilson, P.O. Box 682, Gaylord, 705-3033

Gaylord Chamber Orchestra, Community Arts Center, 125 E. Main St., P.O. Box 249, Gaylord, 732-3242

Gaylord Choir Boosters, Gaylord High School, Christopher Hodges, 731-0969

Gaylord Community Productions, Al and Sandy Glasby, P.O. Box 4011, Gaylord, 231-546-3889, or Charlie Bono, 350-9286

Gaylord Education Association, Lisa Moskal-Watson, 90 Livingston Blvd., Gaylord, 731-0969

Gaylord High School Band Department, Pat Jarve (GHS), 90 Livingston Blvd., Gaylord, 731-0969, ext. 1251

Gaylord Little League, Annaliese Koronka, 732-8444

Gaylord Music Boosters, Pat Jarve, 90 Livingston Blvd., Gaylord, 731-0969, ext. 1251

Gaylord Soccer League, Matt Deisig, P.O. Box 1147, Gaylord, Web site:, 939-7779

Girl Scouts, Michigan Shore to Shore Council, 231-947-7354, Traverse City, Web site:

Greater Otsego Area Sports Hall of Fame, Tom Johnson, 585-6179

Guardian Gals, Abby Hamilton 989-390-5749, P.O. Box 1149, Gaylord

Headwaters Land Conservancy, 110 S. Elm St., Gaylord, 731-0573

Gaylord Kiwanis Club, Lynn Kellner (732-6374, ext. 5) or Matt Barresi (732-4218)

Knights of Columbus, P.O. Box 99, Gaylord, 732-2651

Gaylord Lions Club, Mary Weitzel, P.O. Box 285, Gaylord, 732-2559

Masonic Lodge No. 366, Corey Schram, 4376 Montmorency Ave. Lewiston, 989-619-6695

Military Order of Purple Heart, Louis Tebbe, P.O. Box 976, Gaylord, 732-2020

Michigan Northern Lights Sweet Adelines International women’s barber shop chorus, Cathy Cherup, 732-1676

Northern Squares Dance Club, P.O. Box 122, Waters, 732-5949

Northland Sportsmen’s Club, Tim Schmidt, 1592 Old Alba Road, P.O. Box 34, Gaylord, 989-217-0946

Otsego County Historical Society, Stacey Jo Schiller, Otsego County Historical Museum, 732-4568

Otsego County Hockey Association, call Otsego County Sportsplex at 731-3546 for information

Otsego County Democratic Party, Robert Mammel, P.O. Box 540, Gaylord, 732-8397 or 370-0310

Otsego County Republican Committee, Robert Huta,, Web site:

Otsego Lake Association, Nick Florian, 731-3357,

Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), Peter Amar, 116 E. Fifth St., Gaylord, 732-6232

Rotary Club of Gaylord, Marilyn Kaczanowski, P.O. Box 1084, Gaylord, Web site:

St. Mary Cathedral Athletic Association, 732-5801 (school)

St. Mary Cathedral Players, 321 N. Otsego Ave., Gaylord, 732-5303

Trout Unlimited, John Walters, P.O. Box 1873, Gaylord, 983-4404

U of M Alumni Club of Gaylord, Tim Harbin, 231-546-4129

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Post No. 1518, 408 W. Main St., Gaylord

Volunteer Center of Otsego County, Jennifer Paffi, 116 E. Fifth St., Gaylord, 705-8584

Waters Business Group, Ed Doss or Ron Schwarz, P.O. Box 25, Waters, 732-0677

Zonta Club, Gaylord Area, Cherie Nutter,, Web


Alpine Village Baptist Church (Southern), Pastor: The Rev. Donn Broeker, 158 N. Townline Road, Gaylord, 732-4602, Sunday worship services at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Bethlehem Lutheran, Pastor: Steven Thiel, 3805 County Road 612, Lewiston, 786-3713, Sunday worship service at 10:30 a.m., Bible class Sunday at 9 a.m. and Wednesday at 10 a.m.

Calvary Baptist Church (Independent), Pastor: The Rev. Jay Chambers, 225 S. Wisconsin Ave., Gaylord, 732-4001, Sunday service at 11 a.m., evening service at 6 p.m., Sunday School at 10 a.m.

Church of Christ, Minister: Mark Sherfield, 1760 S. Otsego Ave., Gaylord, 732-2821, Sunday worship services at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Community of Christ, Pastor: Matthew Kinsinger, 220 S. Center Ave., Gaylord, 732-7072, Sunday worship service at 11 a.m.

First United Methodist Church, Pastor: The Rev. John E. Naile, 215 S. Center Ave., Gaylord, 732-5380, Sunday worship services at 8 and 10:30 a.m.

Friendship Church (Christian Reformed), Pastor: The Rev. Steven Datema, 415 N. Ohio Ave., Gaylord, 732-3621,, Sunday worship service at 10 a.m.

CrossPoint Church, Pastor: The Rev. Steven Hawkins, 1499 M-32 East, Gaylord, 732-9202,, Sunday worship services at 10 a.m.

Gaylord Evangelical Free Church, Senior Pastor: The Rev. Scott Distler, 1649 M-32 East, Gaylord, 732-2647,, Sunday contemporary worship services at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., classic worship service at 9 a.m.

Gaylord Family Fellowship (Free Methodist), Pastor: The Rev. Adam Wolfgang, 848 Schreur St., Gaylord, 732-7727, Sunday worship service 10:30 a.m., Sunday school 9:30 a.m.

Gaylord Seventh-Day Adventist, Pastor: Robert Quillin, 206 W. Fifth St., Gaylord, 705-1755, Saturday worship service at 11 a.m.

Grace Baptist Church, Pastor: The Rev. Jon Jenkins, 232 S. Townline Road, Gaylord, 732-5676,, Sunday worship services at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.; Wednesday worship service at 7 p.m.

Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, Pastor: The Rev. James Bearss, 8075 Lincoln St., Vanderbilt, 732-5448, Sunday Mass at 10 a.m.

Jehovah’s Witnesses, Kingdom Hall, 11829 Old 27 North, Vanderbilt, 983-4343, Sunday meetings at 10 a.m.

Johannesburg Christian Church, Pastor: The Rev. Scott Scheer, 10722 E. M-32, Johannesburg, 705-7456, Sunday worship service at 10 a.m.

LifeChurch, Pastor: The Rev. Steve Scheer, 115 E. Main St., Gaylord, 731-5433, Sunday worship service at 10 a.m.

Life Tabernacle Apostolic Church, Pastor: The Rev. Wayne Hammonds, 2622 M-32 West, Gaylord, 732-9435, Sunday service at 1 p.m.

Mount Hope Church, Pastor: The Revs. Norm and Barb Oberlin, 1672 M-32 East, Gaylord, 732-4245,, Sunday worship services at 10:30 a.m.

Our Savior Evangelical Lutheran Church, Pastor: The Rev. John Cook, 553 S. Court Ave., Gaylord, 732-0475, Sunday worship service at 8:45 a.m., Sunday School at 10 a.m.

Peace Lutheran Church E.L.C.A., Pastor: The Rev. Thomas Mammoser, 3703 Old 27 S., Gaylord, 732-1991,, Sunday Holy Communion, 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Pigeon River Baptist Church, Pastor: Allen Ballard, 7887 Mill St., Vanderbilt, 350-6200, Sunday worship service at 11 a.m.

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Pastor: The Rev. Pam Lynch, M-32 and Hayes Road, Gaylord, 732-4163, Sunday worship service at 10 a.m., Bible studies Thursday at noon.

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Pastor: The Rev. Laurence Sergott, 3060 W. Casey St., Lewiston, 786-2235, Saturday Mass at 4:30 p.m. and Sunday Mass at 8:30 a.m.

St. Mary Cathedral, Pastor: The Rev. James Bearss, 606 N. Ohio Ave., Gaylord, 732-5448,, Saturday Mass at 5 p.m.; Sunday Masses at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Weekday Mass at 7 a.m. Monday-Friday.

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, Pastor: The Rev. James Bearss, M-32 West, Elmira, 732-5448, Saturday Mass at 7 p.m.

Temple B’nai Israel (Reformed Jewish), 505 Michigan, Petoskey, MI 49770, (231) 347-8740,, call for service times.

Trinity Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod), Pastor: The Rev. Todd Brunworth, 1354 S. Otsego Ave., Gaylord, 732-4816, Sunday worship service at 9 a.m., Bible study Sunday at 8 a.m., and Sunday school at 10:15 a.m.

Vanderbilt Community Church, Pastor: John Bifoss, 455 W. Main St., Vanderbilt, 983-3421, Sunday school at 9:45 a.m.; Sunday worship service at 11 a.m.

Centers and Ministries

Crossroads Ministries and New Life Pregnancy Resource Center, P.O. Box 790, Gaylord; 705 S. Otsego Ave., Gaylord, 732-1626, New Life Pregnancy Resource Center is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Diocese of Gaylord Pastoral Center, The Most Rev. Bernard A. Hebda, Bishop of Gaylord, 611 W. North St., Gaylord, 732-5448,

Big Ticket Festival, 829 W. Main St., Ste. G, Gaylord, MI 49735, 989-731-2808,

Song of the Morning Yoga Retreat Center, 9607 Sturgeon Valley Road, Vanderbilt, 983-4107,

WBLW - 88.1 FM, a ministry of Grace Baptist Church, PO Box 177, Gaylord, 705-7464 or 800-485-1910,

WPHN - 90.5, The Promise FM, contemporary Christian radio, M-32 East, P.O. Box 695, Gaylord, 1-800-545-8857,

Baraga Broadcasting Radio Network - 92.1 FM, Gaylord, Catholic radio for Northern Michigan, P.O. Box 1109, Indian River, 231-238-8500,


GuitarStampede Saloon
3885 Old 27 South, Gaylord, 705-7100,
Live bands most Saturdays. Hosts mostly local cover bands with some regional acts and dinner specials year round.

Railside Bar and Grill
501 Underwood Ave., Elmira, 231-546-3248, Railside Bar on Facebook
Live entertainment some Saturdays, featuring a variety of contemporary music. No cover most nights.

Short’s Brewery
121 N. Bridge St., Bellaire, 231-533-6622,
Live bands Fridays and Saturdays, featuring local and regional acts performing roots, acoustic and fusion musicians. Short’s also has special events with multiple bands and dance lessons on Tuesdays.

Elkhorn Grill
8294 Mill St., Vanderbilt, 983-3550
Karaoke most weekends and live entertainment many Saturdays.

Redwood Steak House
4965 Salling Ave., Lewiston, 786-4600,
Sneaky Peat and comedian/musician Mike Ridley perform regularly on Saturdays.

Ole Barn
6811 M-72 West, Grayling, 344-1760
Features music most Fridays and Saturdays with rock ‘n’ roll cover bands and alternative rock originals.

Aten Place
03492 Old Mackinaw Trail, Boyne Falls, 231-549-2076,
Concerts at the Aten Place barn take place in July and August with a mix of folk, celtic, bluegrass and alternative fusion music.

Lakes of the North Clubhouse
Off Mancelona Road south of Gaylord, 231-585-6000,
Lakes of the North hosts the Friends of Music performance series, offering family-friendly entertainment, June-August. Regional and nationally known musicians perform jazz, ragtime, dixieland and more.

Blacklight Lounge
1200 Gornick Ave., Gaylord, 732-3574,
Inside the Gaylord Bowling Center, the Blacklight Lounge hosts local bands throughout the year as well as a dance party every Saturday night with DJ.

Dhaseleer Events Barn
15794 Paddock Road, Charlevoix, 231-675-7768,
The events barn hosts the annual Black Cat Concert Series, featuring regional and national musicians performing bluegrass, roots and acoustic music.

BS & Co.
12946 S. Straits Highway, Wolverine, 231-525-8737,
Seasonal destination features live music Saturdays during peak winter time and bike nights during the summer. Hosts mostly rock ‘n’ roll cover bands.

Blissfest Music Organization
Sponsors many special concerts throughout the year. Most are held at the Crooked Tree Arts Center in Petoskey.

Freshwater Art Gallery
217 S. Lake St., Boyne City, 231-582-2588,
Featuring statewide and regional acts performing a variety of folk, blues, bluegrass and contemporary alternative bands.


The Cookies
Genre: Classic pop
Location: Gaylord
A collection of young musicians with an appreciation for feel-good tunes, The Cookies can be found at venues all over Northern Michigan performing classics from Motown, pop from the 1960s-1980s and a few modern surprises thrown in for good measure.

Exit 282
Genre: Rock and progressive rock covers
Location: Gaylord
Homegrown band from Gaylord performs a progressive rock review plus classic and modern dance rock for all ages. Can be seen at Rascal Jakk’s, Vanderbilt, Stampede Saloon and various other venues throughout Northern Michigan

Jelly Roll Blues Band
Genre: Blues
Location: Harbor Springs
Fans of contemporary blues will enjoy this band that plays throughout the tip of the mitten.

Genre: Rock ‘n’ roll covers
Location: Northern Michigan
Covering modern and late classic rock songs from Guns n’ Roses to Sublime, see the band perform frequently at the Keg Bar in Waters, Mauldoon’s Saloon in Wolverine and the Stampede Saloon in Gaylord.

Boyne River RemedyBoyne River Remedy
Genre: Rock, folk, chorus
Location: Boyne City
Boyne River Remedy plays classic and modern rock covers mixed with some not-so classic rock sounding originals, incorporating hand drums and multiple vocal harmonies for a unique sound. See them perform at Short’s Brewery in Bellaire or Railside Bar and Grill in Elmira.

Hipps and Ricco
Genre: Acoustic
Location: Boyne City
The two-man band, Hipps and Ricco, can be seen frequently around the Boyne Highlands slopes and at Short’s Brewery in Bellaire.

Jeff and Sue Cult of TwoJeff and Sue Cult of Two
Genre: Contemporary
Location: Northern Michigan
Jeff and Sue Cult of Two entertain with a Spanish feel and can be found performing in the clubs of Treetops and other resorts in the area.

Mike Ridley
Genre: Comedic satire
Location: Indian River
Part comedian, part musician, Mike Ridley has been making audiences tap their toes and laugh out loud since the 1980s. Ridley can be seen regularly at Redwood Steak House
in Lewiston and the Thunder Bay Resort in Hillman.



JUNE 12-14, Nor-East'r Art & Music Festival, Mio, features folk, bluegrass, blues, celtic,and other bands on three stages, drum kiva, workshops, kids activities including guitar give aways, art vendors and more;

JUNE 20, Spirit of the Woods Folk Festival, Brethren, several regional bands put their own spin on traditional folk music;

JUNE 25-27, Big Ticket Festival, Gaylord, national Christian acts including Newsboys, Chris Tomlin, and Toby Mac, along with extreme sports demonstrations and more;

Big Ticket JUNE 25-28, Electric Forest Festival, Rothbury, eclectic lineup of traditional and modern musicians;

JULY 10-12, Blissfest, Harbor Springs, roots and traditional music with state, regional and national bands;

JULY 16-18, Beaver Island Music Festival, 20-plus bands as well as kids activities and open mic opportunities;

JULY 31-AUG.1, Northern Michigan Gospel Music Festival, Boyne Falls, (231) 347-1888
Farmfest AUG. 6-9, Farmfest music festival, Johannesburg, folk and bluegrass bands on four stages, drum circles, workshops, kids area, vendors and more;

AUG. 28-30, Blues by the Bay, near downtown East Tawas;

SEPT 4-7Grand Hotel Labor Day Jazz Weekend, Mackinac Island; />
SEPT. 11-13, Wheatland Music Festival, Remus, features blues, folk, bluegrass acts ranging from local bands to national acts on two stages;

SEPT. 18-20, Harvest Gathering,sponsered by Earthwork Music, three stages, and more than 50 bands, Lake City;

DEC. 19, Winter Solstice Celebration,held at the Emmet County Fairgrounds Community Center, potluck at 6p.m. Music begins at 7p.m, Petoskey;

Music Festivals



Aten Place, Boyne Falls
"Concerts in the Barn," a picturesqueand unique venue that belongs to Bill and Maxine Aten. Concerts are Saturday nights in the summer and feature a variety of music. For information, visit

Music in Mackinaw, Mackinaw City
Mackinaw City hosts concerts every Tuesday and Saturday, late June through August at the amphitheater of Conkling Heritage Park beginning at 8 p.m.

Stroll the Streets, Boyne City
The streets of downtown Boyne City has street corner entertainment, family activities and extended hours for local businesses, Friday nights, June 12 through September 4. Evenings at the Gazebo conterts, 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, late June through mid-August.

Music in the Park, East Jordan
Memorial Park hosts musicians every Friday in July and August. Every Thursday in July, the Jordan Valley Community Band performs at 7 p.m.

Summer Concert Series, Cheboygan
Every Thursday from late June through August in downtown Cheboygan, beginning at 7 p.m.

Charlevoix Concert Series, Charlevoix
Odmark Park Pavilion is the site of a concert series every Thursday from late June through August.

Concerts in the Park, Alpena
True North Radio Network sponsors this series of bands from June through August at Alpena’s Bay View Park Bandshell.


Youth Soccer Skating

The Otsego County Community Center and Otsego County Sportsplex host a number of indoor leagues, and the Alpine Soccer Complex provides fun outdoors.

The Community Center and Sportsplex offer schedules at and, respectively.

• Hockey. The Otsego County Hockey Association holds fall, winter and spring leagues for all ages, with tournaments from January through March at the Otsego County Sportsplex. For more information, visit or the hockey league’s Web site at The Gaylord Area Men’s Hockey League, run by area volunteers, is held at the Sportsplex. Fall, winter and spring sessions are available in 2013. Games are non-checking and open to players 18 and older. Call the Sportsplex at 731-3546 for more information.

• Kayaking. The Kayak Club helps fine tune skills from the winter through the spring at the Sportsplex. Cost is $10 per visit or use a $40 punch card for five visits. Call 731-3546.

• Learn to Skate Program. Call the Sportsplex at 731-3546 or visit its Web site for session dates and times.

Bike• Open swim/skate. Open swim/skate times are available at the Sportsplex. Cost is $2.50 ($3.50 for out-of-county residents) for children under 17; $3 for adults ($4 for out-of-county residents); $2 for seniors ($3 for out-of-county residents; $8.50 per family ($10.50 for out-of-county residents); and skate rental is $3. Call the Sportsplex at 731-3546.

• Pickleball. The Sportsplex has pickleball for adults. Adult in-county fee is $3 and $2 for seniors. Call 731-3546 to reserve court times or to get more information.

• Swimming. The Gaylord Gators, a youth competitive swim club, meets at the Sportsplex with sessions from October through December, then January through March. Call Jennifer Hope at 231-516-4072. Aqua Fit, water exercise for all ages, is held year-round; call the Sportsplex at 731-3546. Swim lessons are held at the Sportsplex year-round at $55 per child per session in Otsego County, and $65 for out-of-county residents. Save $10 by signing up more than a week early. Each session is comprised of eight classes; call the Sportsplex at 731-3546.

• Walking. Keep Movin’ at the ‘Plex, held year-round at the Sportsplex, offers walking incentives for all ages. Participants use the walking track around the ice rink (1/8 of a mile) or the outdoors Energy Outlet (1/4 of a mile). For more information, call 731-3546.

• Winter Driving Range. $5 drop-in golf, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Participants are asked to bring their own clubs. Call for times at 731-3546.

• Yoga. The Sportsplex offers yoga instruction for all levels of experience, including introductory courses and multilevel fit yoga. For times and dates, visit the Sportsplex’s Web site at or call 731-3546.

• Cycling. For cyclers of all experience levels, the Sportsplex boasts spinning classes for fitness and training. For more information, visit or call 731-3546.

• Karate. Wednesday nights at the Sportsplex. Contact instructor Kevin Thayer at 989-619-0714.

• Volleyball. 4-member ladies’ league Thursday evenings February through May at Otsego County Community Center, 732-6521. Adult open volleyball offered Thursday evenings when league games are not taking place.

• Open gym. Offered for school students from 3 to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at Community Center, 732-6521.

• Pick-up basketball. For adults 18 and up, Monday and Wednesday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m., at Community Center, 732-6521.

• Other Community Center activities. Bumper pool, billiards, pop-a-shot basketball, foosball, pingpong. Outdoor activities include tennis, basketball and horseshoes. Call 732-6521.

Get out

• Louis M. Groen Nature Preserve, 2043 Gingell Road, Johannesburg. Features hiking, mountain biking and cross-country skiing on a number of trails.

• Aspen Park, at the end of Commerce Boulevard, Gaylord. Year-round park featuring paved and unpaved trails winding through 100 acres of woods. Also has tennis courts. Park is open 6 a.m.-11 p.m. daily. Trail lights are on daily from 6 to 8 a.m. and again from 5 to 11 p.m.




Plenty of programs are packed into the Otsego County Library, which provides award-winning services to all residents from the central library in Gaylord and branches in Johannesburg and Vanderbilt. The library received the State Librarian’s Excellence Award for exemplary public service in 2003 and underwent a refreshing remodel in the spring of 2010.

In 2012, the library received the “highest satisfaction rating” in Otsego County’s Quality of Life survey.

Library patrons can access a collection of more than 81,000 books, videos, music CDs, audio books, large-print titles, government documents, newspapers and popular magazines, as well as a wide range of research materials. In late 2010, the library completed the enormous effort of digitizing the past 100 years of the Gaylord Herald Times and has made the readable images available to the public.

For the technologically savvy, the library has e-book and magazine programs for portable device users.

High-speed Internet access along with standard office applications are available on public access computers. Everything is free with a local library card. Library materials may also be reserved.

The library in Gaylord is open seven days a week. From home, school or office, users may view their account, renew or reserve titles and use databases that cannot be found free on the Internet.

Research assistance, early literacy programs, Tween Time, Teen Try-It, summer reading clubs, class tours, computer classes and informational programs are among the many activities the library staff offers throughout the year for all ages. Fax transmissions, laminating and copy services also are available for a small fee.

Library users may access more than 26 million items from libraries around the state through the Michigan Electronic Library Catalog. With an Otsego County Library card, county residents may order materials owned by participating public and university libraries and have it delivered at no cost to their hometown library.

Otsego County Library, headquarters: 700 S. Otsego Ave., Gaylord, 732-5841, fax 732-9401; Maureen Derenzy, director; hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.; email:,

Vanderbilt Branch: Corwith Township Hall, 8170 Mill St., Vanderbilt; 983-3600; Rita Tubbs, branch manager; hours: Monday, 3-7 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 1-5 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Johannesburg Branch Library: Charlton Township Office Building, 10900 M-32 E., Johannesburg; 732-3928; Vickie Hoecherl, branch manager; hours: Monday, 2-6 p.m.; Tuesday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 1-5 p.m.


HospitalAs the community grows, Otsego Memorial Hospital (OMH) expands as well, providing essential facilities and medical services to meet the demands of a growing population.

OMH is a progressive, fully accredited primary care facility serving Otsego and surrounding counties.

Serving more than 1,500 inpatients and more than 110,000 outpatients per year, OMH also employs and affiliates with more than 100 medical practitioners, bringing a broad spectrum of health care services to the communities served.

OMH is the largest employer in the community with more than 530 employees.

The hospital is located at 825 N. Center Ave. in Gaylord and may be reached at 731-2100.

OMH Services and Components

Mamm• Acute Care Hospital

• Birthing Center

• McReynolds Hall — Skilled nursing home facility offering a home-like atmosphere for residents with highly skilled and trained professional caregivers.

• OMH Radiology Department

• OMH Rehabilitation Services Department

• OMH MedCare Walk-In Clinic — Located at 1996 Walden Drive. Open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends and holidays. MedCare is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

• OMH Association — Members elect the Otsego Memorial Hospital board of directors and determine the bylaws which govern the facility. All residents of the OMH service area are eligible to join the organization. For more information, call 731-2216.

• OMH Auxiliary — A corps of volunteers supporting the hospital and McReynolds Hall, the auxiliary operates the Pink Awning Gift Shop, delivers gifts and flowers to patients and conducts fundraisers each year, yielding annual donations to the hospital. For information, call 731-2409.

• OMH Foundation — Raises money to support Otsego Memorial Hospital and its patients.

• OMH Medical Group — Gaylord — The OMH Professional Medical Building houses the multi-specialty OMH Medical Group providing primary care, general surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics and pediatrics to the region. For information about providers affiliated with OMH, call physician referral at 731-2300. Appointments with providers may be made by calling:

• Family Practice, 731-7860

• General Surgery, 731-7987

• Internal & Integrative Medicine, 731-7870

• Obstetrics & Gynecology, 731-2105

• Pediatrics, 731-7930

• OMH N’Orthopedics — Office locations: 2147 Professional Drive, Gaylord (off McCoy Road), 732-1753; 1200 N. Down River Road, Grayling, 348-2966

• OMH Specialty Center — Specialty medical care located in the lower level of the Gaylord Family Practice Associates Building east of Gaylord on M-32.

• Oncology & Infusion Therapy Center — Located at 701 N. Otsego Ave. and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. For information, call 731-7760.

• OMH Medical Group — Lewiston — Located at 3040 Bourn St., Lewiston (at Mitchelson Avenue and Bourn Street). The clinic is open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. to noon. For more information, call 786-4877.

• OMH Medical Group — Indian River — Located at 3696 S. Straits Highway, Indian River. The clinic is open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. For more information, call 231-238-0581.

• OMH Medical Group ­— Boyne Valley — Located at 2572 US-131 North. The walk-in clinic is open Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m., and weekends, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. It is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. For more information, call 731-7700.

Other Medical Providers

• Northwest Michigan Community Health Agency, 95 Livingston Blvd., Gaylord; 800-432-4121, or 732-1794

Serving Otsego, Antrim, Charlevoix and Emmet counties, the health department offers screening for breast and cervical cancer, children’s special health care services, dental care, family planning, HIV counseling and testing, immunizations, maternal child health services, WIC and home health care services.

• Hospice of Michigan, 830 S. Otsego Ave., Gaylord; 732-2151 or 888-247-5701

Hospice of Michigan is a nonprofit organization that provides hospice care to people who are living with a life-limiting illness, including pediatric hospice care, as well as support to those who care for them. Hospice provides care to all patients who meet criteria, regardless of age, diagnosis or the ability to pay. Hospice serves Otsego and 11 surrounding counties.

Contact Cathy Klemish, regional director service operations, interim operations manager.


The natural beauty of Northern Michigan has been an inspiration for visual artists, authors and musicians for many years. Area communities have unique ways to appreciate artists with museums, festivals and educational opportunities to celebrate every season.

Visual and Performing Arts

Gaylord Area Council for the Arts (GACA)

Community Arts Center, 125 E. Main St.

Juried and nonjuried exhibits throughout the year as well as artist receptions. Permanent retail space with member pieces for sale. Open Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and Saturday 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Upcoming events:

Feb. 4-28: Black and White with a Bit of Red Exhibit
March 4-May 2: Juried Photography Exhibit
May 6-June 30: Wood/Functional Art Exhibit
July 8-Aug. 29: Winners Invitational Exhibit

Bobbie Inglehart

Gaylord Community Productions

P.O. Box 4011, Gaylord

Presents various theatrical productions throughout the year, gathering talent from around Gaylord. Since 1995 the group has brought a small slice of Broadway to the area.

This summer, GCP is featuring, “Hello Dolly,” Aug. 7-10. Volunteers interested in taking part in any phase of production can contact Al Glasby at 231-546-3889.


Gaylord area students

Throughout the year talented students showcase their skills. GACA hosts visual art exhibits highlighting elementary and high school student work. The St. Mary Cathedral Players and the Gaylord High School Drama Club present theatrical productions.

Gaylord Community Orchestra

c/o Gaylord Community Music School, 111 S. Court Ave., Suite 300.

The Gaylord Community Orchestra, under the direction of Jim Van Eizenga, presents orchestral music concerts each season, with programs that everyone can enjoy.

Jordan River Arts Council
301 Main St., East Jordan

Member exhibits, workshops, receptions and gatherings. Open daily, 1-4 p.m., during exhibits only or holiday sales periods. Occasional studio space available.

Boyne Arts Collective
210 Lake St., Boyne City

Gallery with member works, seminars and workshops. As part of South Boyne district (SOBO), the group also supports music and dance lessons and live entertainment.

Jan Kellogg

Crooked Tree Arts Center
461 E. Mitchell St., Petoskey

Full schedule of educational programs for adults and children, ongoing exhibits and a yearlong performing arts series featuring dance companies and musicians.

Charlevoix Circle of Arts
09 Clinton St., Charlevoix
Juried and nonjuried exhibits, gift shop and classes for adults and children.

Cheboygan Opera House and Area Arts Council
403 N. Huron St., Cheboygan
231-627-5432; box office, 231-627-5841
Hosts year-round performances of orchestral and solo musicians, ballets as well as dance lessons and art workshops.

Kirtland Center for the Performing Arts
10775 N. Saint Helen Road, Roscommon
Regional and national acts throughout the year, including musicians, comedians, dance companies.

Parkside Arts Council
P.O. Box 163, Bellaire
Unique artist collective in Bellaire features traveling studio space, film events, educational opportunities and group critiques with other artists.

Institute for Sustainable Living, Art and Natural Design (ISLAND)
5870 Cottage Drive, Bellaire
ISLAND combines fine arts, natural design, architecture, community planning and farming and preserving techniques with an emphasis on being ecologically responsible. Based out of Bellaire, the group offers workshops, movie screenings and artist residency programs.

Gateway Gallery

620 E. Main St., Vanderbilt, 983-2199

Features works by local artists. Hosts acoustic music open mic at 2 p.m. the second Sunday of each month and poetry readings at 6 p.m. the third Friday of each month. Open Monday and Thursday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, 12:30-6 p.m.


Recreational Opportunities


Elk Viewing
Fall Color Tours
Hiking & Backpacking
Horseback Riding
Mountain Biking
Mushroom Picking
Off-Road/ATV Trails
Recreational Facilities
Skiing, Snowboarding & Tubing
Water Sports
Other Opportunities

Nestled among 80 lakes, rivers and streams, with a unique location on the 45th parallel, Otsego County offers outdoor recreation for vacationers and year-round residents alike.

Boasting nearly 100 miles of groomed snowmobile trails, downhill and cross-country skiing, year-round fishing, hiking, a limestone surfaced bike trail, elk viewing and numerous parks, Otsego County is an ideal vacation destination during all four seasons.

An average of 150 inches of snowfall each year and unspoiled wilderness also make the Gaylord area — the heart of Northern Michigan — a multi-seasonal playground for a variety of family recreational opportunities.

To contact the Gaylord Area Convention & Tourism Bureau, call 732-6333. Or call the Gaylord Information Center at 732-4000 or 800-345-8621. Also an excellent source for area recreation information is the Department of Natural Resources, 732-3541.


Plenty of opportunities exist for campers in Otsego County, whether it’s a spot to roll out a sleeping bag under the stars, or a place to pitch a tent and have a campfire.

• Beaver Creek Resort, located at 5004 W. Otsego Lake Drive, just five miles southwest of downtown Gaylord, offers a clubhouse with an indoor pool, Jacuzzi and sauna, waterslide, miniature golf course, log cabins and 63 RV campsites; reservations required; 732-2459.

• Big Bear Lake State Forest Campground, located at Bear Lake Drive in Vienna Corners, offers 30 campsites. No reservations required; 732-3541.

• Elk Hill Trail Camp is 14.5 miles east of Vanderbilt via Sturgeon Valley Road and Twin Lakes Road in the Pigeon River Country State Forest. There are 10 campsites located on the north-south spur of the Shore-to-Shore Horseback Trail, available on a first-come, first-served basis; plus fishing and hiking; 983-4101.

• Gaylord KOA, located at 5101 Campfires Parkway in Michaywé, Gaylord, offers 100 reservation-required campsites nestled in 70 acres of birch, aspen and pine; 939-8723.

• Headwaters Camping and Cabins is located at 11687 Headwaters Court in Waters and offers 89 sites and five cabin rentals. Facilities include showers, electricity, dump, picnic area and fishing; 705-2066.

• Johnson’s Crossing State Forest Trail Camp near Johannesburg is designed for equestrian campers, but all are welcome. For group reservations, call 989-983-4101.

• The Otsego County Park has 80 sites available to campers on 27 acres. Minimum reservations of two nights are required; maximum stay is 15 nights. Call 731-6448 for reservations.

• The Otsego Lake State Park has 155 sites and one mini-cabin for use on 62 acres. Camping fees require a motor vehicle permit, which can be used at any Michigan state park. For reservations, call 800-44-PARKS; or register online at

• Pickerel Lake State Forest Campground, 10 miles east of Vanderbilt via Sturgeon Valley Road and Pickerel Lake Road in the Pigeon River Country State Forest. There are 41 rustic campsites available. Offers swimming, fishing, boating and hiking on trails. An old Civilian Conservation Corps historic site is nearby; 983-4101.

• Pigeon Bridge State Forest Campground, 10 miles east of Vanderbilt via Sturgeon Valley Road in the Pigeon River Country State Forest. Ten rustic campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis; fishing and hiking are offered; 983-4101.

• Pigeon River Campground, 14 miles east of Vanderbilt via Sturgeon Valley Road and Twin Lakes Road in the Pigeon River Country State Forest. Features 19 rustic campsites available on a first-come, first-served basis; plus fishing and hiking; 983-4101.

• Pigeon River Country State Forest, about 13 miles east of Vanderbilt on Twin Lakes Road, forest headquarters (visitor’s information) is located at 9966 Twin Lakes Road, Vanderbilt. More than 105,000 acres; seven rustic campgrounds; boat access; trout fishing in the Pigeon, Sturgeon and Black rivers; swimming areas; 60 miles of designated hiking and backpacking trails; 27 miles of horse trails and one trail camp; picnic areas; and elk-herd viewing areas. Includes the Green Timbers special use area of 6,300 acres with five miles of Sturgeon River frontage, which is closed to all motor vehicles to provide prime wildlife habitat and quiet recreation.

• Round Lake State Forest Campground, 14 miles southeast of Vanderbilt via Sturgeon Valley Road and Round Lake Road in the Pigeon River Country State Forest. Ten campsites are offered on a first-come, first-served basis; fishing and hiking are available; 983-4101.

• Town Corner Lake State Forest Campground has 12 secluded sites, plus facilities for boating, swimming, fishing, mountain biking and hiking. For details, contact the DNR district headquarters at 732-3541.

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Elk Viewing

Michigan’s native elk population disappeared around 1875, but rebounded after seven elk were released near Wolverine in 1918. The Pigeon River Country State Forest, about 13 miles east of Vanderbilt on Sturgeon Valley Road, is the heart of Michigan’s elk range, which is home to an estimated 1,000 animals.

The best time for viewing elk is early morning and late evening, especially in the spring (April 15-May 15) and fall (Sept. 10-Oct. 10). Elk-viewing areas have been established where the ground has been seeded with rye, alfalfa, buckwheat and clover to draw the elk, deer and turkeys into open areas.

Elk have been sighted on Fontinalis Road, about three miles north of Sturgeon Valley Road near the Cheboygan County line where a small parking area and a field have been cleared by the DNR; at an elk-viewing area (with DNR signs indicating the location) on East Sturgeon Valley Road, about eight miles east of Vanderbilt; and about 0.4 miles north of the intersection of Osmun Road and Clark Bridge Road in the Pigeon River Country State Forest. Chances of seeing elk are increased by remaining at or near designated parking areas.

Detailed maps of various other elk-viewing sites are available at the DNR District Office, 1732 M-32 West, Gaylord; 732-3541.

In Gaylord, the elk/deer enclosure off Grandview Boulevard and Elkview behind Kmart is a popular draw, enabling people to get an up-close look at the animals.
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Fall Color Tours

The rolling countryside of Otsego County is ablaze with color during Mother Nature’s autumn color extravaganza. The area usually hits its peak of color in early to mid-October. Hikers, motorists, horseback riders and mountain bikers travel along many picturesque scenic pathways in the area. The Gaylord Information Center at 125 S. Otsego Ave., Gaylord, 732-4000, can provide various maps and directions for many popular routes.
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FishingAnglers can find great fishing across Otsego County year-round. The county’s largest water body, Otsego Lake, receives regular DNR stockings of walleye, providing for a popular fishery during summer and winter months. Otsego Lake is also home to sturgeon, which can be legally sought by tag holders as a sport fish from mid-July through mid-March. Tags are available at the DNR field office, M-32 West, Gaylord, or at any fishing license dealer.

Other sought after species such as northern pike, perch, largemouth and smallmouth bass, panfish and the occasional muskellunge can be found in Otsego Lake and across the rest of the county.

Otsego County is home to significant portions of the state’s best-known trout rivers: Black River, AuSable River, Pigeon River, Sturgeon River and Manistee River. Also, many area lakes are stocked with rainbow trout and splake (a brook trout/lake trout hybrid).

For more information on seasons, regulations and current license fees, pick up a guide at the DNR Operations Center office, 1732 M-32 West , Gaylord, 732-3541; or at license dealers around the county.
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TreetopsThe Gaylord Golf Mecca and the greens of 21 courses continue to beckon golfers of all playing levels to their links.

In 1987, a group of golf courses in the Gaylord area joined forces to increase their marketing power and promote the Gaylord area as a premier golf destination. That concept — the Gaylord Golf Mecca — has succeeded in becoming one of the largest cooperative golf organizations in Michigan.

Boasting 17 championship courses, five resort destinations, 20 hotel properties and numerous awards from golf magazines and organizations, the Gaylord Golf Mecca provides plenty of great quality golf to match every style of play. For further details, call the Gaylord Information Center at 732-4000.

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Hiking & Backpacking

Groen Nature PreserveTrails abound in Otsego County affording hikers and backpackers of every skill and age level an opportunity to see, hear, smell, touch and even taste nature in all its beauty. The area is lush with pathways for hiking enthusiasts, and all are free to use with no trail passes required.

Several marked trails exist in the state forest areas of the county as well as within the city limits:

• Aspen Park, 1.8 miles of paved trails in mostly wooded and some open areas; beaver pond rests along the trail, as well as elk and deer viewing in the elk park; off Commerce Boulevard in Gaylord.

• Shingle Mill Pathway, 14 miles of flat to very hilly terrain; shorter loops also available; in Pigeon River Country State Forest.

• High Country Pathway, 80-plus miles of flat to very hilly terrain; in Pigeon River Country State Forest.

• Pine Baron Pathway, about eight miles, flat terrain; shorter loops available; on Lone Pine Road off Old Alba Road.

• Big Bear Lake Pathway, two-plus miles of flat to rolling terrain; in southeast Otsego County on Little Bear Lake Road off of Meridian Line Road.

• Pickerel Lake Pathway, two miles of gently rolling terrain; in Pigeon River Country State Forest.

• Louis M. Groen Nature Preserve, hiking on a variety of trails of varying lengths. Maintained by Otsego County Parks and Recreation; near Johannesburg on Gingell Road.

There are also many marked and paved trails in the parks at Otsego Lake and Aspen Park. Detailed maps are available at the DNR District Office, 1732 M-32 West, Gaylord, 732-3541, or at the Gaylord Information Center, 125 S. Otsego Ave., Gaylord, 732-4000.

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Horseback Riding

Riders on horseback are welcome on two-tracks, forest roads or non-hiking trails.

• The Pigeon River Country State Forest offers horse trails and one trail camp.

• Also, 54 miles of trails run through Otsego County countryside as part of the Northern Spur of the Michigan Shore-to-Shore riding and hiking trail.

The following stable offers guided trail rides, featuring the best of Northern Michigan landscape:

• Liberty Valley Ranch, 4301 Hayes Tower Road, Gaylord; 731-0149

Further information is available at the Gaylord Information Center, 732-4000.

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Otsego County is home to a wide variety of wildlife, and hunters often pursue deer, bear, turkeys and numerous small game species. Licenses, as well as specific information on season dates, limits and rules are available from the DNR at its district office at 1732 M-32 West, Gaylord; 732-3541.

The Northland Sportsmen’s Club near Gaylord has a members-only range with covered firing line and offers skeet, trap and five-stand shotgun shooting, as well as indoor pistol shooting, for members and nonmembers throughout the week and all year long. The club invites deer hunters to its range during the week leading up to rifle deer season for its annual sight-in. Range officials will assist shooters in sighting their guns. The club is located at 1542 Old Alba Road (corner of Old Alba and West Otsego Lake Drive). Visit

The 118,000-acre Pigeon River Country State Forest is the most contiguous piece of state-owned public land in the Lower Peninsula and is a popular destination for hunters of all sorts of game. It is also home to Michigan’s wild elk herd of about 1,000 animals, and hunting seasons every fall and winter lead to the harvest of about 300 animals annually.
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Mountain Biking

BikingBicycling enthusiasts — novices or veterans — can experience all that is Northern Michigan along one of the many trails suited for mountain biking in Otsego County.

Some of the many trails worth exploring are:

• Gaylord to Cheboygan Rails-to-Trails, a distance of 62 miles, accessible in Gaylord from Fairview Road near the soccer complex. Portions of the trail are constantly being improved for ease of use. For more Rails-to-Trails information go to:

• Pine Baron Pathway, situated in the Mackinaw State Forest and only six miles from the heart of Gaylord. To reach it, take Otsego Lake Drive west to Old Alba Road, continue westbound to Lone Pine Road, then northbound to the trailhead. This system of gently rolling to flat terrain has four short loops, which average two miles each.

• High Country Pathway with detailed guides available through the Pigeon River Country Forest’s Visitor Center, P.O. Box 122, Gaylord, MI 49734. The guidebook includes detailed maps, descriptions of trees and points of interest and also includes information about the campgrounds.

• Shingle Mill Pathway, 10 miles east of Vanderbilt on Sturgeon Valley Road in the Pigeon River Country State Forest. This pathway offers six-, 10- and 11-mile loops on rolling to hilly terrain.

Maps showing your location are posted at each intersection along the trail; maps also are available at the Forest Visitor’s Center, 983-4101, and at the DNR office on M-32 just west of Gaylord, 732-3541

• Aspen Park Pathway, a 1.7-mile lighted trail system located inside the Gaylord’s mostly forested 100-acre Aspen Park just east of South Otsego Avenue at the end of Commerce Boulevard. There are also a great deal of unpaved trails, making it a perfect location for the more daring mountain biker. One path along the paved trail winds past Gaylord’s fenced elk herd, while a path along the unpaved trail can take an explorer to a small pond. Map kiosks along the trails provide adventurers with a guide to their scenic travels.

• Louis M. Groen Nature Preserve, mountain biking on a variety of trails of varying lengths. Maintained by Otsego County Parks and Recreation; near Johannesburg on Gingell Road.

For those who enjoy mountain biking, the North Chapter of the Michigan Mountain Bike Association holds the Michigan Bike Festival in September at Hanson Hills Recreation Area in Grayling. For more information on the Michigan Mountain Bike Association, visit
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Mushroom picking

In May, the morel mushroom brings flocks of tourists to Northern Michigan forests each year. Black morels appear in early May and are followed by the rarer white morels in mid- to late May. Morels grow best in warm, wet conditions.

They may be found near stumps of dead elms, oak trees, beech-maple forests and old orchards. Mushroom hunters are advised to learn the characteristics of true (nonpoisonous) and false (poisonous) morels.

Pickers are reminded to respect private property. Any questions can be directed to the DNR at 732-3541.

The MSU Extension office has a brochure available to help identify morels. Call 731-0272 for more information.

On May 11, Lewiston will again host its Morel Mushroom Festival with arts and crafts.
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Off-Road & All-Terrain Vehicle Trails

Otsego County and the surrounding area hold several off-road (ORV) and all-terrain (ATV) vehicle trails open to licensed operators.

Start at the trailhead on Old State and Turtle Lake roads for Big Bear Trail, a 14.5-mile loop, and the Crapo Creek Trail, a 17.5-mile loop. Both trails are for ORVs less than 50 inches wide (most ATVs and trail bikes).

Also meandering around and west of Crapo Creek Trail is a route for ORVs of all sizes. Just north of the Otsego County line is the Tomahawk Trail (for ORVs less than 50 inches wide); the Tomahawk A, B and C trails are 36.8-, 17- and 40-mile loops, respectively. Included in the trail system are a few routes for ORVs of all sizes. Sections of the Michigan Cross Country Cycle Trail run through the area.

Other trails in counties neighboring Otsego include the Frederic Trail (Crawford County), Kalkaska Trail (Kalkaska, Antrim and Crawford counties), Atlanta Trail (Montmorency County), Red Bridge and Bummer’s Roost trails (Presque Isle and Cheboygan counties), and Hunt Creek Loop and Mio Trail (Montmorency and Oscoda counties).

An Otsego County ORV ordinance now allows ORV operators to ride on a majority of its county-maintained roads. The complete ordinance and ORV route maps may be viewed at the county Web site by visiting

For specific maps and licensing requirements, contact the DNR at 1732 M-32 West in Gaylord; call 732-3541; or visit


The headwaters of the fastest river in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula start right here in Otsego County. Not “whitewater,” but the Sturgeon River is exciting and challenging with its quick current, numerous sharp turns and narrow passages. The crystal-clear spring-fed water has an average depth of 3 feet and winds its way through beautiful state forest. You can canoe, kayak, raft or tube on different sections of the river — something to please every age, skill and adventure level!

The following outfitter offers self-guided canoe, kayak, raft or tube trips spring through fall, and even guided raft trips in the winter. They also shuttle private equipment and can provide current river conditions:

• Big Bear Adventures, 4271 S. Straits Highway, Indian River; 231-238-8181.

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Recreational Facilities

• Otsego County Community Center — 315 S. Center Ave., 732-6521. Hours vary. The center is often reserved for various activities, such as sports leagues. Patrons should call ahead or visit,, to determine if it is available.

Indoor activities include regulation basketball (six baskets), ping-pong, pool, bumper pool, hockey, tennis, volleyball, two small meeting rooms, television and study room and foosball tables.

Outdoors are two basketball, two tennis, two shuffleboard, two volleyball courts and four new, regulation-size horseshoe courts, as well as picnic tables and a small playground.

• Otsego County Sportsplex — The county’s $4.5-million Sportsplex opened in March 1996 and is located at 1250 Gornick Ave. off South Wisconsin Avenue, 731-3546. The building is generally open all week, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.

Facilities include an NHL-sized indoor ice and hockey arena; a regulation-sized, six-lane lap pool, 3 1/2 feet to 12 feet deep; and a leisure wading pool, zero-depth sloping to 3 feet deep, with Jacuzzi jets at one end. A 25-foot water slide is also included. There are also activity rooms that host fitness and dance classes and pickleball.

The pool, ice arena and activity rooms are available for rental. During daylight hours, the facility’s Energy Outlet Park and outdoor fitness and playground area is open.

A schedule of the public ice and pool sessions, hockey leagues, and skating and swimming lessons, together with pricing information, is available at the Sportsplex and online at

• Libke Fields on VanTyle Road, just west of the Gaylord Regional Airport — a multipurpose area that hosts softball, flag football and soccer, when not reserved. Call 732-6521 for reservations.

• Aspen Park, Commerce Boulevard east of South Otsego Avenue — 100 acres of fields and forests; includes tennis courts, paved hiking trails, biking trails and a pop vending machine. Lighted and groomed cross-country ski trails are available.

• George Doumas Memorial Park, corner of South Maple and Fourth streets in Gaylord — picnic areas and gazebo, grills, playground and restrooms.

• Freel Memorial Park, at East Huron Street and North Oak Avenue in Gaylord — picnic shelter, grills, playground and restrooms

• Hale Park, South Otsego Avenue and West Second Street — picnic pavilion and landscaping.

• Frank Wilkinson Memorial (Irontone Springs) Roadside Park, off Old 27 North, between Vanderbilt and Gaylord — covered picnic area, grills and natural spring drinking fountain. Call 732-6521 for reservations

• Ramp park on Wisconsin Avenue — features ramps for in-line skaters, skateboarders and BMX bikes; picnic tables, too

• Wah Wah Soo County Park, on the northeast side of Otsego Lake, off Old 27 South — grills and picnicking with a buoyed swim area

• Gaylord Discovery Center, 931 S. Otsego Ave., Gaylord, activities designed to foster creativity and social behavior in children. For hours of operation, visit or call 748-4050.

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Skiing, snowboarding, tubing

With snowfall averaging 150 inches a year in the Gaylord area, skiing — both downhill and cross-country — is a main attraction.

• Aspen Park, a 100-acre park east of South Otsego Avenue on Commerce Boulevard in Gaylord, offers a 1.7-mile trail system.

• Buttles Road Pathway, four miles north of Lewiston, offers a 10k trail for cross-country skiing.

• Forbush Corner, just off I-75, near Frederic, features 37k of cross-country trails.

• Garland Resort, south of Lewiston on County Road 489, features 40k of groomed cross-country ski trails.

• Hartwick Pines State Park, northeast of Grayling on M-93 (Hartwick Pines Road), offers three trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing: 12k, 8k and 4.9k, with guided tours throughout the season

• Lakes of the North, 13 miles west of Gaylord, has 20k of trails for cross-country skiers.

• Louis M. Groen Nature Preserve, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on a variety of trails. Maintained by Otsego County Parks and Recreation; near Johannesburg on Gingell Road.

• Michaywé, located six miles southeast of Gaylord, off Charles Brink Road, has 20k of cross-country ski trails.

• Springbrook Pathway on Chandler Road, 13 miles northwest of Gaylord, offers three loops of cross-country skiing on 10k of trails.

• The Pine Baron Pathway, via Old Alba Road and Lone Pine Road, is an easy 14K cross-country ski trail groomed by the DNR.

• The Shingle Mill Pathway is an ungroomed, but popular, cross-country ski trail in the Pigeon River Country State Forest. It is located 10 minutes east of Vanderbilt on Sturgeon Valley Road and has loops of 1.25, 6, 10 and 11 miles. For maps, stop by the DNR District Office at 1732 M-32 West in Gaylord, or call 732-3541.

• Treetops Resort, off Wilkinson Road, offers 23 downhill runs, a half-pipe snowboard run and tubing runs. Call 888-TREETOPS.

• Warner Creek Pathway is located on M-32, three miles west of Elmira; one loop of cross-country skiing on an 8k trail.

• Wildwood Hills Pathway, 22 miles north of Gaylord on Wildwood Road, off Old 27, offers 16k of cross-country skiing on hilly trails.

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Over the years, Gaylord has earned the title of snowmobile mecca.

The North Branch Trail begins at Mama Leone’s Restaurant, 2583 S. Otsego Ave., in Gaylord and links up to a network of trails in Northern Michigan such as the Blue Bear Trail, the Jordan Valley Trail, the Roll Trail and the Lovells Trail. The system offers opportunities for long distance or daily loops.

A staging area behind Big Boy, 1352 W. Main St., in Gaylord has parking available for 30 vehicles.

The Gaylord Area Snowmobile Trails Council grooms about 90 miles of trail in all directions from Gaylord. Those trails funnel into neighboring Antrim, Cheboygan, Montmorency and Crawford counties.

The DNR District Office, 1732 M-32 West, Gaylord; 732-3541, has detailed trip planning maps. Maps are also available at the Gaylord Information Center, 125 S. Otsego, Gaylord; 732-4000.
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Water Sports

Otsego County is dotted with nearly 100 pristine lakes — most of them small and shallow, but many of the larger lakes are ringed with summer cottages, undisturbed marshland and wooded scenery.

Located only a short distance from the shops and streets of downtown Gaylord is Otsego Lake. The county’s largest and most popular lake, it’s enjoyed by visitors and local residents alike. Nearly five miles in length and about one mile across at its widest point, Otsego Lake has the added attractions of a concrete boat ramp for day use at the Otsego Lake County Park and two major shoreline campground parks: Otsego Lake State Park, 732-5485, and Otsego Lake County Park, 731-6448.

For visitors interested in fishing and boating, gravel ramps suitable for small- and medium-size boats are available on Big, Bradford, Big Bass, Big Bear, Emerald and Heart Lakes. For recreational users, there are ramps for canoes and car-top boats on Dixon, Manuka, Lake 27, Opal, Otsego, Pickerel, Round, Marjory and West Twin Lakes. More information can be found at

Otsego County’s beaches are perfect locations to beat the heat. With literally miles of public waters for swimmers and boaters to cool off in, Otsego County can keep the fun going as the temperatures rise.

• Big Bear Lake — off Meridian Line Road

• Big Lake — off Big Lake Road

• Lake 27 — off West Martin Lake Road

• Otsego Lake County Park — off West Otsego Lake Drive

• Otsego Lake State Park — off Old 27 South

• Thumb Lake — off Thumb Lake Road in Vanderbilt

• Wah-Wah-Soo — off Old 27 South on Otsego Lake

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Other Recreation Opportunities in Northern Michigan

Hiking• Hanson Hills Recreation Area, 7601 Old Lake Road in Grayling has disc golf and mountain biking during the summer and downhill and cross-country skiing in the winter. Hanson Hills also has a number of educational opportunities for children with courses on skiing, archery, cheerleading and more. For information, contact Grayling Recreation Authority at 888-876-2196.

• Hartwick Pines State Park, off exit 259, north of Grayling is home to 9,672 acres of state forest land. Park features include a Visitor Center complete with a logging museum, seven miles of hiking trails, 15 miles of cross-country skiing trails, 100 modern campsites and opportunities for hunting, fishing and boating.

• Grass River Natural Area, located off the Alden Highway between Alden and Bellaire, has more than 1,443 acres of protected wetlands and uplands, offering hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing opportunities traversing more than seven miles of trails and boardwalks in Antrim County.

During the spring, summer and fall months, Grass River holds more than 80 classes and events for children and adults. Visit starting in March or call 231-533-8314.


Gaylord continues to be a favorite place to shop for people all around Northern Michigan.

And why not? The Alpine Village has much to offer, whatever a person’s shopping needs may be.

Downtown Gaylord continues to offer a little bit of something for everyone.

Looking for something for those who like to use their imagination? Saturn Booksellers, Genie Hobby, Tools to Teach and the Book Nook provide an assortment of books, games and other activities which make for great gifts. All are right downtown and within a short walking distance of each other.

Looking for a nice place to eat while shopping? There’s perennial favorites such as Diana’s Delights, Arlene’s Diner, Big Bear Deli, the more casual Coney Island Cafe, the popular Alpine Tavern and The Bearded Dogg offer a wide variety of eating selections and experiences. Or for those needing just a quick snack, there’s Sugar Me Sweet.

There’s the Alpine Chocolat Haus sure to delight with delectable goodies. Delphine’s Quilt Shop and Quilter’s Biz provide great gifts for those who delight in creating crafts and those wishing to make crafts as gifts.

Great Rooms in downtown Gaylord features furniture at great low prices. Numerous gift shops like Do South, the Old Spud Warehouse, Glenda’s Flowers and Gifts, Woolybuggers and others can be found up and down Main Street.

Pet lovers will discover lots of goodies for their furry, finny or feathery companions at stores like Funky Fish and Friends, Wags to Wiskers and Pet Supplies Plus.

Clothing shops still provide shoppers with all their clothing needs. Stores like the Freckled Frog Boutique, Country Casuals, Solli’s Casual Wear and Venus in Blue Jeans welcome shoppers with their unique apparel.

For those who like to spend more time outside, there are stores like Jay’s Sporting Goods, which is preparing to enter the old Kmart building this year, and Webster’s Golf Ski downtown.

The Gaylord area is also home to a number of unique resale shops that can be found downtown and elsewhere, carrying everything from clothing to home goods to books. Seams Like New, located on Main Street, is a coffee shop and upscale consignment store with a cause. A division of Crossroads Industries, a nonprofit organization that creates jobs and opportunities for people with disabilities, this business not only houses a top-notch coffee bar but also boasts a cool and cozy atmosphere.

The Salvation Army Store, Habitat For Humanity ReStore and Goodwill retail and donation center are also great places to check out for the resale shoppers.

There is also plenty of namebrand shopping to go around — especially when heading west on M-32. The Edelweiss Village Shopping Center features Walmart and Lowe’s, as well as a number of other stores.

Popular craft store Hobby Lobby has made its entrance in the plaza that already features Big Lots and Dunham’s Sports.

Nearby is both Home Depot, Family Farm and Home, ABC Warehouse and MC Sports. Also, Art Van Furniture opened a Gaylord location in 2014 at 2090 W. M-32. Heading father west on M-32 is the Alpine Crossings shopping plaza, which in 2013 added Ulta Beauty to its collection of stores that also includes Kohl’s, T.J. Maxx and Office Max.

Across the street is Meijer and the popular Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant.

These and many other established boutiques, specialty shops, restaurants and watering holes have all had a hand in increasing Otsego County’s standing as a shopping mecca for all Northern Michigan.

Points of InterestOtsego County Historical Society Museum, 320 W. Main St., Gaylord; 732-4568. The museum exhibits various historical items from the area and offers maps for historical tours. Open May 24 through Oct. 31 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. During holiday season, open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

Elk Park, at the end of Grandview Boulevard in Gaylord. Penned-in elk and deer are a popular draw.

Pontresina Swiss Stone, South Otsego Avenue at Main Street. A 1-ton boulder from the Swiss Alps, a gift from Gaylord’s sister city, Pontresina, Switzerland, sits on the county building lawn.

Cannon, South Otsego Avenue at Main Street. Right near the Pontresina Stone is one of 26 cannons used on Admiral Farrogut’s flagship, Hartford, which fought in the Civil War battles of New Orleans, Vicksburg, Port Huron and Mobile Bay. The gun was placed on the lawn and dedicated July 4, 1905.

The Gaylord Car. The vintage vehicle was built here in 1911 and is housed in the new Gaylord Area Information Center, 319 W. Main St., Gaylord.

Mount Carmel Centre, North Otsego Avenue and Mitchell Street, Gaylord. This building has been a Gaylord landmark since 1901. Formerly St. Mary Cathedral.

World’s Largest Ice Tree. During the winter, watch the “tree” grow on the county building lawn.

First Congregational Church, 218 W. Second St., Gaylord, is a historical site.

Call of the Wild, 850 S. Wisconsin Ave., Gaylord. Features wildlife displays, miniature golf and go-carts.

Louis M. Groen Nature Preserve, 2043 Gingell Road, Johannesburg. Features hiking, mountain biking and cross-country skiing on a number of trails.

Aspen Park, at the end of Commerce Boulevard. Year-round park featuring paved and unpaved trails winding through 100 acres of woods. Also has tennis courts. Park is open 6 a.m.-11 p.m. daily. Trail lights are on daily from 6 to 8 a.m. and again from 5 to 11 p.m.