5 Things to Do This Summer in Grayling
| 2 min read
Situated on the AuSable River, Grayling is a destination for those who love outdoor recreation activities, from canoeing to fishing to hiking. Each summer, this Northern Michigan community hosts the AuSable River Canoe Marathon. Grayling is also home to one of the state’s last old-growth pine forest and a historic fish hatchery.
Hartwick Pines: This is one of Michigan's last stands of majestic old-growth pine forest. Miles of trails offer hikers of all abilities the opportunity to explore the diverse wildlife and forest landscapes. The state park has a year-round, fully accessible visitor center that is a gateway to the towering pine forest and the Hartwick Pines Logging Museum. The exhibit hall inside the visitor center explores Michigan's forests on a journey through time beginning with the Ice Age.
Beal Tree Plantation: This may be the oldest documented tree plantation in North America. Planted in 1888, the purpose of the plantation was to determine how well various trees and shrubs could be established and grown on dry, sandy soils. It features 40 varieties of trees. A wheelchair-accessible interpretive hiking trail lets visitors take self-guided tours.
Au Sable River Canoe Marathon: One of the challenging races that make up the world class Triple Crown of Canoe Racing, this marathon begins in Grayling and ends in Oscoda. Held in July, this 120-mile endurance marathon draws hundreds of participants and thousands of spectators.
Grayling Fish Hatchery: Over 5,000 trout swim in the ponds of this historic fish hatchery. Visitors can watch the water churn as the trout fight for their share of the fish food, which can be purchased for a small donation. The thousands of brook, brown and rainbow trout range from 2 1/2 to 28 inches in length. The hatchery is open on the weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Hanson Hills: This 1,000-acre winter and summer sports park is home to the Michigan Cup Marathon and the Hanson Hills Challenge Races. It's also a popular destination for year-around recreation, with a terrain park, 11 downhill skiing runs, 35 kilometers of cross-country ski trails, snow tubing, biking, softball field, hiking and walking trails, and a new disc golf course.
There’s lots to see and do in Grayling during the summer. Check out the highlights in this video.
Photo credit: Getty Images