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.
Captain Lee Robinson spent his childhood fishing Alabama’s inshore waters for trout, redfish, flounder and tripletail. His passionate pastime turned into a career—now a USCG-licensed boat captain with 15 years of fishing experience, Lee leads fishing trips for Mobile Bay Charters through the same shallow waters where he spent his youth. At the helm of his 24-foot Pathfinder, powered by a Yamaha 300-horsepower engine rather than a chariot of seahorses, he takes passengers to prime fishing spots in waters from Mobile Bay to Orange Beach.
Drawing on the latest work in sports psychology, the coaches at Zonifi clinic enrich the three main components of a high-school athlete's mental performance: energy, attitude, and focus. During drills and exercises, they present strategies for generating and conserving stamina, maintaining a positive outlook, limiting distractions, and staying clearheaded under pressure.
A nonprofit movie house, The Harbor Theater offers cinefiles a welcome reprieve from stale screen fillers by stocking its theater with rich, artistic, and fresh independent and foreign films. Sharpen subtitle-reading skills by catching an upcoming screening of The Illusionist (coming soon), an animated feature from the French filmmakers behind The Triplets of Belleville. Or brush up on American history with Made in Dageham, a period drama exploring sexual discrimination during a 1968 walkout at the Ford Dageham plant.
For four decades, Buckley’s Mountainside Canoes has sent visitors paddling through the calm currents of the Chippewa River, winding through miles of natural forestland in Sylvan Solace, Deerfield, and Meridian Park. The river’s clear, unpolluted waters stretch before paddlers during trips that range anywhere from one to seven hours. Maintaining its longstanding tradition of keeping the river clean, Buckley’s equips paddlers with debris bags so they can snag rubbish along the way, if they choose.
The Central Michigan Skydivers experience begins with a basic safety training and the delivery of chicken scratch on a few important waivers. Once you're outfitted in safety gear and a requisite Motörhead T-shirt, you'll climb up to 11,000 feet in one of the company's skyclimbing machines. Securely strapped to one of Central Michigan Skydivers' human-eagle Tandem Masters—who have a combined experience of 20,000+ jumps and 50+ years—you'll plunge and free fall for 35–45 seconds before opening the safety blanket to float the rest of the way back to landlubbing life. Depending on your adrenaline-seeking style, your human backpack will happily help you descend in crazy spins and flips or uncomplicated serenity. Any airy route you choose will finish with a landing in front of any friends, family, and as-yet-unwooed potential prom dates gathered in the spectators' area.
Hockey pucks clack from stick to stick and soccer balls soar past goalkeepers inside Cedar Rock Skating Academy, where athletes are welcome to showcase competition spirits year-round. A full-size hockey rink—outfitted with NHL–style dasher boards and glass—hosts games throughout the year, including youth leagues and 40-and-over leagues. During summer months, inline hockey pits wheeled warriors against each other, and during winter, soccer players can show off fancy footwork on the academy’s indoor field.
In addition to its game spaces, the facility also boasts eight locker rooms, a concession stand, and a pro shop, as well as full-length bleachers, which seat spectators and scouts hoping to discover the next star zamboni operator.