Resort for Nature Lovers near Cross-Country Skiing Trails in Northern Michigan
Houghton Lake is the largest inland lake in Michigan. It’s a puddle compared to the surrounding Great Lakes, but Houghton is appealing on its own terms for its small size and calm atmosphere. And just a few miles away from Houghton Lake you can find Higgins Lake, which is about the same size. Both Higgins and Houghton Lake are set in northern Michigan just 30 minutes from Springbrook Inn, which rests on 5 acres populated by pine trees, deer, porcupines, and foxes. During winter, this part of northern Michigan is a popular spot for ice-fishing; it’s also possible to go snowmobiling and cross-country skiing nearby.
The inn is tailored specifically as a couples retreat. Each guest room has a hot tub, gas fireplace, and king-size bed. Innkeepers Matt and Kathy Grover encourage their guests to get out as much as possible to enjoy nature. They’ve curated an extensive list of local things to do in winter. Just on the property itself, you can stroll past perennial gardens and a Japanese koi fishpond with a waterfall and gazebo.
The inn’s onsite tiki bar, The Frog, is open on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; it frequently hosts trivia nights and tasting events. Stop here to enjoy tropical drinks and Caribbean-style grilled eats such as mahi fingers and chilled jumbo shrimp. Meanwhile, the more upscale East Bay Grille, also open Thursday–Saturday, serves fine cuisine such as Prime steaks, walleye, and veal.
Prudenville, Michigan: Lakeside Small Town Surrounded by White- and Red-Pine Forests
The northern Michigan town of Prudenville edges one side of the 22,000-acre Houghton Lake. Between Houghton Lake and nearby Higgins Lake, there are countless parks and nature areas where you can go cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, or snowshoeing past frozen rivers and pine trees draped in snow.
About 16 miles north of Springbrook Inn is Marguerite Gahagan Nature Preserve, which has a network of hiking and snowshoeing trails threaded through 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.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.