Lower Michigan's only national forest, the Huron-Manistee National Forestconsists of nearly 1-million acres of land. Once a pristine white pine forest, the land is recovering well from over-logging during the "green-rush" of the 1800's. Timber from the Midwest helped to build the nation, but a famous fire in Chicago & other factors lead to complete destruction of the area. Like many Midwestern landscapes, Paul Bunyan had wiped it out. Today, there are only a few trees in all of Michigan that even resemble the once magestic white pines. But, the forest is recovering, serving as habitat for animals & activities!
Pere Marquette Rail-Trail, 0.2 miles
Walk, run or ride over the paved trail that's paved from Baldwin to Clare, MI on the old railroad bed. This east-west trail runs along US10 as it crosses rivers, cuts through meadows & winds through forests in the same path that brought people here & lumber out in the 1800's. Visit the Trail Link website or ReedCity.org for information and a map.
Visit the Depot in Reed City & connect to the north-south White Pine Trail at the historic crossing point for the railroads of yesterday. Trains no longer rumble down the tracks - instead, the only bustle & hustle are the bikers, joggers & snowmobilers that frequent the trails today. The Depot in Reed City is great stopping point - with the option of heading off in any direction (north, east, south or west) from the intersection. Where will your adventure take you? Get map of the white pine trail here.
Local X-country & downhill ski resorts are a short drive from Baldwin. Caberfae & Chrystal Mountain are just over the river & through the woods, while Traverse City & Boyne are around the next bend after that. The finest skiing in lower Michigan is right outside!
The PM, as it's called ... is home to the finest trout & steelhead fishing in the world. There's a stretch permitting fly-fishing only & it's open water for steelhead & salmon west of M37, so you can fish 'em all year! Those that prefer the solitude & tranquility of trout fishing, wading through the stream will enjoy the Pere Marquette its scenic landscape.
Tin Cup Trailhead, 9 miles
Motocross & ATV trails pass directly behind the cabin - but the official trailhead is a short drive to the east. There are hundreds of miles of trails connecting all the various communities in the area. Gas up & get on the trails! You can amapof all area trails and get more info a the Lake County website, including sales, rental and repair parts.
Big water to the north, Tippy is action packed with steelhead, trout & salmon. But, hold on - it's big, deap water ... so many prefer to hire a guide & fish this river by boat.
Gambling Casinoes, 50 miles
If you're feeling lucky or just want to take a drive, head to area gambling casinoes operated by local Native Americans. The closest casino is Manistee, but others are within a short drive as well - including Traverse City & even Mt. Pleasant.