Mountains, rivers, forests and wildlife make this northern Michigan town a must-see vacation destination for outdoor types.
With skiing, hiking and wildlife spotting, Grayling is an excellent destination for year-round outdoor adventures. The city is located in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula and attracts both nature lovers and thrill seekers.
Canoe or kayak along the AuSable River that runs through the city. The waterway also passes through forests of birch and cedar trees. Try to spot some of the local wildlife such as mink and deer. Nearby is the Manistee River which locals say is even better for wildlife watching.
Take advantage of miles of paved and unpaved trails throughout the Grayling area. Hike through the hills and forested areas of Hartwick Pines State Park. Rent a mountain bike and explore more than 20 miles (32 kilometers) of trails at the Hanson Hills Recreation Area. Autumn is a great time to visit for the colorful foliage. Come back to Hanson during the winter for downhill skiing, snowboarding, tubing and cross-country skiing. Beginners can master skiing or boarding with lessons from the snow sports school.
The hills, valleys, lakes, rivers and forests of northern Michigan offer ample bird-watching opportunities. Book your spot on a guided tour to see Michigan’s rarest bird, the Kirtland warbler. Photograph American bitterns, yellow throats and blue jays on the Dyer Truck Trail.
Get in touch with the region’s past by exploring its historic sites. See artifacts of everyday life from the turn of the 20th century at the Crawford County Historical Museum. Stroll through the Beal Tree Plantation that was planted in 1888. Step inside the Lone Pine School, a one-room log schoolhouse.
For a fun-filled few hours with the family, go to the Grayling Fish Hatchery. Tour the grounds and feed trout in the ponds. For a small fee you can also catch the fish. No fishing license is required.
Grayling is a great place for action and adventure, and there are also plenty of places to unwind such as golf courses, parks and downtown restaurants.