In 1964, the trio of Joe Balulis, Bill Kater, and Seth Bidwell hung a shingle that read "Marquette Trails Golf Club" amid the dense forest of Manistee National Forest. The nine-hole golf course was their verdant brainchild and source of nutritional fairway grass, but after three years of joint ownership the triumvirate elected to go their separate ways, leaving the family of Joe Balulis to take over. Joe’s sons would go on to oversee the addition of a back nine that opened in 1985, bringing the overall length to 5,847 yards and par to 70. In 1993 a new clubhouse and a restaurant (The View) opened. Today, the Balulis family invites players to venture through the forest groves with clubs in hand, pursuing their golf balls until they’re in the cups and safe from the course's forest-dwelling co-founders.
If one had to guess at the variables that give Happy's Pizza & Pub its name, one might call out the mirth granted by inventive pizzas, wings, and burgers. Specifically, the chefs make mac n' cheese pizzas, which are a conic hat away from being an entire children's birthday party. Beyond their core specialties, they slake hunger with seafood such as a Cajun perch dinner.
Coyote Crossing Resort nestles into the bordering Manistee National Forest, dusting the landscape with rustic timber dwellings armed with modern amenities. Each two-bedroom unit houses contemporary accouterments such as satellite TV, a full bathroom, and WiFi access, allowing curious kids to learn about nature before dipping their toes into it. Triplicate cooking options keep growling bellies from upsetting the surrounding wildlife, including a fully equipped kitchen, a charcoal grill, and fire rings that yield flame-licked fare. Drawing inspiration from 50 acres of surrounding woodlands, rich wood lines the walls and floors of each cabin. Upon stepping outside, guests will find themselves minutes away from attractions such as the Pine River, Lake Cadillac, and various public beaches.
The northern Michigan town of Prudenville edges one side of the 22,000-acre Houghton Lake. During warmer months, groups flock to the water for jet-skiing and kayaking. Between Houghton Lake and nearby Higgins Lake, there are more than a dozen launch sites for boating; local shops rent out boats for all kinds of trips, whether you want to fish for the lake's abundant bass, brown trout, and walleye fish, or just take a relaxing cruise. The two lakes are also lined with sandy beaches, which have picnic pavilions and waters safe for swimming.About 16 miles north of Springbrook Inn is Marguerite Gahagan Nature Preserve, which is threaded with a network of hiking and biking trails across 60 acres. Signs pop up throughout the trails that tell informative tidbits about the white- and red-pine forest and cedar swamp habitats. A small stream known as Tank Creek also cuts across the preserve, and it's lined with boardwalks and decks that overlook the water. One paved trail is wheelchair accessible.Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.