The Wonders of Hartwick Pines State Park


The Wonders of Hartwick Pines State Park

(The park is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. year round)

Hartwick Pines State Park, in Grayling, MI, is the largest state park in the Lower Peninsula. Covering 9,672 acres of ancient glacial deposits, the park serves as a
reminder to Michigan’s past importance in the pine lumber industry. There is a museum in the park that recreates a logging camp using exhibits, artifacts, and
photographs. A bunkhouse, mess hall, blacksmith shop, camp office, and van (store) give the visitor a sense of what logging camp life was like. There are fabulous trails for recreation for every season:
Hartwick Pines-Weary Legs 7.5 mi, Hiking, Mountain Biking, Cross Country Ski
Hartwick Pines-Deer Run Trail 5 mi, Hiking, Mountain Biking, Cross Country Ski
Hartwick Pines-Aspen Trail 3 mi, Hiking, Mountain Biking, Cross Country Ski
Hartwick Pines-Bright and Glory Lakes Trail .25 mi, Fishing, Hiking, Cross Country Ski
Hartwick Pines-Au Sable River Trail 3 mi, Hiking, Cross Country Ski
Hartwick Pines-Old Growth Forest Trail 1.25 mi, Hiking, Cross Country Ski
Consider spending a night or the weekend at Freshwater Vacation Rentals’ Black Bear Lodge on the Au Sable (sleeps 4) or KP Vista Cottage (sleeps 6), where you can go to relax, have a hot shower and enjoy your favorite hot drink after a day in the park.

The Perfect Fall Drive


fall drive

A 55-mile drive between Cadillac to Traverse City

Michigan has a rich Native American history. This 55 mile trail was used by the Anishnaabe people in the 1200s. They later formed into the Three Fires, consisting of
the Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi Tribes. There is evidence linking the trail, and the native people as far back as 600 BC. The beautiful scenery and prosperous land of Cadillac and Traverse City were enjoyed and harvested many years before highways and industry came along. Old Indian Trail is marked with 33 historic markers, made possible by Milo Petoskey Crosby in the late 1800s, and was later finished by James Comp and Ed Babcock in 1987. 32 of the historic markers are placed alongside roads, making it possible to drive along the majority of the trail. It is not recommended as a hiking trail. The location of all 33 markers can be found at—cadillac-to-traverse-city-952.html

FRESHWATER VACATION RENTALS has cabins and cottages nearby where you can come back to relax after your day drive. Check out Sugarloaf Sweet Retreat:




Fall means apples and apples mean apple cider in Michigan!  From the southern tip of the state near Chicago to the very northern tip of the state near Greenland, MI in the U.P. , cider mills abound.  Starting at Lehman’s Farmhouse, a brewery/distillery/winery located in downtown Buchanan, MI where all products are made on-site using fruits from Lehman’s Orchard to Algomah Acres Honey House Meadery, a “micro-meadery”, producing small batches of artisanal meads, and other mead related beverages such as pyments (mead that is fermented with grape juice) and cysers (mead fermented with apples), you can literally follow the western coast of Michigan, going from cider mill to cider mill.  Freshwater Vacation Rentals has cabins and cottages near many of the mills.  Rent one of our comfy cottages, and then take day trip tours to the local apple orchards/cider mills.  For more information on the location of all the apple orchards, go to:


Seven Million Acres…

Seven MILLION acres of breathtaking autumn brilliance in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula! 
We are right around the corner from fall and the brilliance of color that stretches across Michigan. Nothing is quite as majestic as the Upper Peninsula in fall. The colors, the water, the bridges, the water falls . . . one could go on and on. There are 10 specific tours laid out for the leaf peepers that are worth your time. FRESHWATER VACATION RENTALS has over 30 cabins and cottages in the UP, where you can stay for your weekend – or week – away in fall.

Fall Tour 1 – 105 Miles
Fall Tour 2 – 200 Miles
Fall Tour 3 – 220 Miles
Fall Tour 4 – 165 Miles
Fall Tour 5 – 125 Miles
Fall Tour 6 – 183 Miles
Fall Tour 7 – 100 miles
Fall Tour 8 – 150 Miles
Fall Tour 9 – 90 Miles
Fall Tour 10 – 150 Miles


More more exact information on the fall tour routes please visit:




Are you a cyclist? If so, boy do we have the ride for you! Its called TOUR DA YOOP, EH and it’s a total ride of 1,200 miles in the U.P. You can chose to ride all of it, or only sections. It starts on 8/23 and the last leg is on 9/1. The U.P. is a bikers paradise. Whether it’s mountain, fat bike, cyclocross, road, trike, triathlon or any other form of human powered cycle, the Upper Peninsula has the natural goods to deliver, just show up and ride. One can ride for 100 miles in the UP and sometimes see less than 10 cars. It’s more likely that you’ll see a moose on the side of the road than have a car blast their horn behind you. Before and after your ride, you can stay at various Freshwater Vacation Rentals cottages and cabins near Manistique, Houghton, Marquette, and Sault Ste. Marie to unwind and relax those biking muscles. Check out the Tour Da Yoop, Eh’s website and then go to our website to find the cottages and cabins closest to where you are going to ride. For more information, go to:
8/23 – 1 – Manistique to Escanaba – 91 miles – 1,126 elevation gain
8/24 – 2 – Escanaba to Iron Mountain – 122 miles – 2,845 elevation gain
8/25 – 3 – Iron Mountain to Ironwood – 128 miles – 4,467 elevation gain
8/26 – 4 – Ironwood to Houghton – 125 miles – 4,385 elevation gain
8/27 – 5 – Copper Harbor Loop – 122 miles – 3,929 elevation gain
8/28 – 6 – Houghton to Marquette – 116 miles – 4,562 elevation gain
8/29 – 7 – Marquette to Grand Marais – 108 miles – 2,853 elevation gain
8/30 – 8 – Grand Marais to Sault Ste. Marie – 116 miles – 1,815 elevation gain
8/31 – 9 – Sault Ste. Marie to St. Ignace – 120 miles – 1,570 elevation gain
9/1 – 10 – St. Ignace to Manistique – 104 miles – 1,259 elevation gain