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Gaylord Michigan Makes A Great Family Winter Visit

Otsego-Resort-Facebook Otsego Resort overlooking the Sturgeon River Valley.

Located just a snowball throw off I-75, Gaylord, Michigan, has a charming alpine motif that would fit right into the Swiss Alps. There's close to 30 miles of cross country trails, both tracked and untracked, to choose from. Add to that a couple of the Wolverine States top dowhhill ski areas, Treetops and Otsego Resort, and it makes for a top notch family winter getaway.

Treetops is considered one of Michigan’s most family friendly resorts. All lifts converging in one activity filled area at the top makes keeping track of the entire family easy. Located just east of Gaylord along a ridge overlooking the expansive Pigeon River valley. It offers 23 runs, a terrain park, tubing, four chairlifts, a couple of surface tows, cross country trails, snowshoe trails, dog sled rides, ice skating and fat tire snow biking. There are 238 guest rooms, including standard and deluxe hotel rooms and two- and three-bedroom condominiums, all close to the restaurants and lifts.

Otsego Resort has an old world charm that you won’t find anywhere else in the Heartland. The upside-down resort, which opened in 1939, offers 31 trails, four terrain parks, and five chairlifts including a high-speed quad off three peaks that plunge down into the wild, scenic Sturgeon River valley. There’s over six miles of cross country tails meandering down into the valley along the river and additional snowshoe trails. Snowmobile rentals are also available. The resort offers 117 guestrooms, suites and condominiums.

It's impossible to not see elk at Aspen Park, only four blocks from downtown and adjacent to the city elk pen. It contains a herd of more than 30 animals. The park contains about two miles of single-tracked trails, and is lit for night skiing. Trails glide gently through a hemlock forest.

Pine Baron Pathway offers a little over six miles of fairly easy gliding on double tracked trails through mixed pine and hardwood forest, and is located about five miles west of the city off Old Alba Road on Lone Pine Road. There are three loops, each about two miles in length.


Shingle Mill Pathway is located about a half-hour north of Gaylord in the Pigeon River Country State Forest off I-75 east of Vanderbilt. It offers 10 miles of untracked trails, which meander along the swift-flowing Pigeon River and then climbs into highlands overlooking the river valley. I've seen elk while cross country skiing here.

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