The Grayling area is home to many opportunities for outdoor recreation. The area is best known for its fishing, canoeing, and snowmobiling. There are also many local trails and areas for skiing,biking,and hiking. Mushroom hunting, bird watching and geocaching are other outdoor favorites of the area.
In addition to the numerous (over 40!) lakes in the area, the AuSable and Manistee rivers offer superior trout fishing. We’ve had guests from as far away as Argentina coming to fish the ‘holy waters’ of the AuSable.
If you would like information on fishing the AuSble or Manistee Rivers the guys at the Old Ausable Fly Shop are the ones to talk to. They have both maps of the river and a river report on their website.
If you are looking for a guide to take you out on the river, may we suggest Sam Surre. Sam can be contacted at 989-348-8449 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The AuSable River Canoe Marathon held the last weekend of July. This is the biggest event in Grayling, drawing competitors from all over the world. Book your rooms early! Woodland Motor Lodge has also sponsored a number of teams for this event in the past and look forward to teams this year.
The following businesses rent canoes and kayaks on the AuSable River, also providing drop – off / shuttle service:
The following business rents Canoes and Kayaks on the Manistee River
Biking, Hiking, and Playing in the Woods
Right across the street from our motel is the Koppa Trail. This paved trail starts at the Hartwick Pines State Park, goes right by the Woodland Motor Lodge and extends 6 1/2 miles into town. After 1/2 mile of sidewalks the trail picks up again and continues out of town toward Hanson Hills.
- The Grayling Area Visitors Bureau has a good list of suitable trails in the area.
- Hartwick Pines State Park is less than 5 miles up the road from here. They have several sets of trails for mountain biking and hiking. Don’t miss the hiking trail through the old growth forest!
- The Bicycle Shop, (989) 348-6868, is an excellent bike store full of knowledgeable bikers and Neat Stuff for both mountain and road bikers.
- Hanson Hills is connected to our motel by a paved hiking / biking path. Here is the Hanson Hills Mt. Bike Trail Map . A number of mountain bike, trail runs and endurance runs are hosted at Hanson Hills each summer.
RIDE THE BEAR – Sunday morning, the 100 mile Black Bear Bicycle tour will depart for Oscoda to catch the padddlers as they race in the Weyerhaeuser Au Sable Canoe Marathon.
With all the public land, beautiful scenic areas and fun places to explore, geocaching has taken off in Northern Michigan and all around Grayling. When you look up our zip code, you will find over 3700 different caches to go search for. Stuart and Anna enjoy going out into the woods to find the cache.
Morel Mushroom Hunting
With all the state and federal land available for hunting around here, Crawford County and Northern Lower Michigan is a great place to venture into the woods and search for Mushrooms. Check out our pictures from this year’s find.
Follow any public two-track road in the County (except where signed off-limits) for excellent bird watching. Most of these roads are on state or federal land and open to foot traffic. Many are also open to vehicular traffic. Don’t miss the Kirtland Warbler. For more information visit the Visitor Bureau’s website.
Dozens of beautiful rides within two hours of your Grayling Area Home Base. Every year the Woodland Motor Lodge is the home base for two or three different motorcycle clubs for the weekend. They go out for nice rides and then return to the motel and have a bonfire and a good time.
Grayling is an ideal base for snowmobilers, with many trails and mostly open land. Snowmobilers can ride directly from our motel to the several main trails.
Our Snowmobile Rentals website contains much more information on local snowmobiling, including updated trail condition reports.
Grayling has been called the “Heart of the North”. This sure is true when it comes to Cross Country Skiing. With over 75 km of trails winding through beautiful forest, you could ski a different area every weekend of the winter. An overview of the XC Ski List can be found here.
- Forbush Corners – Forbush has expanded their trail system and added land in the past few years. We heard great reports last winter (2010) from everybody who skied there.
- Hanson Hills – This is a map of the trails. There is also areas for downhill skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and skating.
- Cross Country Ski Shop is located behind the Ramada Inn and is also a full ski shops for sales and rentals.
- Skyline Ski and Country Club offers both downhill and cross country ski areas, lessons, and rentals.
- Cross Country Ski Headquarters
- Hartwick Pines has 18 miles of trails. You don’t want to miss the The Old Growth Trail which winds through the majestic 200-foot-tall pines and past a replica logging camp. Here is a map.
- Mason Tract is one of the most scenic cross country ski trails in the area. Here is a map.