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Parks, Trails, Attractions,  Historic Spots & More in Grayling, Michigan





The Grayling area is fertile territory for outdoor activities in Northern Michigan. Whether its hiking, biking, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, cross-country skiing, hunting, snowmobiling, or snowshoeing, you'll find plenty of opportunities to go outside and have some fun.

Grayling Area Parks

AuSable Park, near downtown Grayling, is a scenic park with a paved walking trail along the AuSable River, a playground, basketball court, and picnic facilities. The park also has a portage area for canoes and kayaks on the AuSable River.

On the southeast edge of Grayling, near the industrial area, you can find the Beal Plantation Historic Park. The park was formerly farmland owned by Professor William Beal of the Michigan Agricultural College, which is now Michigan State University. No buildings remain, but the descendents of some of the 41 trees that were planted in 1888 are located around the park. A short hiking path through the wooded area has markers along the trail that provide educational information related the nature and the park.

Hartwick Pines State Park is the largest park in the Grayling area and has miles of trails for biking, hiking, and cross-country skiing. Hikers can explore the the Logging Museum located along the Old Growth Trail. The park has acres and acres of woodlands, with White Pines being the most common tree. From the modern campground here, there is a trail to two shimmering lakes, Bright Lake and Glory Lake. Fishing is allowed at Bright Lake and Glory Lake during trout season with an "All Species" fishing license. Trout season opens on last Saturday in April and goes through September 30.

Gaylord Area Trails

Whether it's rugged trails through a White Pine forest, snowmobile routes near back-country roads or street-side bike lanes, Grayling has a wide range of recreational routes.

Hartwick Pines State Park is northeast of downtown Grayling off M-93 and has miles of trails for biking, hiking, and cross-country skiing. The park is open year-round and features a modern campground, fishing lakes, museum, and visitor's center.

The Wayne C Koppa Trail (aka the Grayling Bicycle Turnpike) goes from the entrance of Hartwick Pines State Park to the Grayling city limits, which is about 7 miles. The trail is paved and used bicycling and hiking. Snowmobiling on the trail is NOT allowed.

From the city limits, cyclists can ride along several city streets in Grayling using bike lanes. The bike lake along McClellan Street can take you towards downtown, where there are several stores and a few restaurants. The bike lane on Michigan Street passes the shopping district, the Rialto Theater and Mercy Hospital.

Near downtown Grayling, AuSable Park features a scenic paved trail along the AuSable River that ends at Michigan Street. The park also includes a portage area for canoes and kayaks, a playground, basketball court, and picnic area.

Snowmobiling & Cross-Country Skiing

The chances to get outdoors and enjoy the trails around Grayling don't end when winter arrives. Once inches of snow cover the rolling hills of Crawford County, snowmobilers flock to the numerous trails near Grayling. The snowmobile trail to/from Gaylord is among the most popular.

Other winter activities that you can do include cross-country skiing and snowshoeing at Hartwick Pines State Park.

Kayaking and Canoeing

Snaking its way through Grayling, the AuSable River is an excellent spot to paddle time away. There are several canoe rental shops located near the river on Ingham Street and State Street in Grayling. Each year, paddlers from across the state come to Grayling in July for the AuSable River Canoe Marathon, which goes from Grayling to Oscoda. The race offers cash and prizes for the lucky winners, so some serious paddling goes on during the event.

Fishing

Grayling is favorite spot for fly fishermen, who flock to the to the AuSable River to fish for trout. The 80 mile stretch from Grayling to Oscoda is one of the best areas in the state to catch trout. Trout season opens on last Saturday in April and goes through September 30.

You can fish the AuSable River from shore at AuSable Park and Hartwick Pines State Park. Fishing is also allowed at Bright Lake and Glory Lake within Hartwick Pines State Park during trout season with an "All Species" fishing license.

A valid fishing license is required to fish on Michigan lakes and waterways, and you can get a Michigan fishing license at Old AuSable Fly Shop (200 Ingham Street), Skip's Sport Shop (5765 M-72 West), and other bait shops and sporting goods stores. You can also purchase a license online at the Michigan DNR E-License web site.

More About Grayling

Downtown Grayling has a shopping district, a handful of restaurants, and a movie theater. You'll find more restaurants and stores along Business I-75. For lodging, there are some motels and B&B (bed and breakfast) choices, including the historic Hanson House, which dates back to the late 1880s.







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