Exit 254 (Grayling) if you’re heading North and Exit 259 (Hartwick Pines Road) if you’re heading South are the I-75 exits for Grayling, MI. If you’ve traveled from Southeast Michigan to the Traverse City area, you’ve also likely traveled through Grayling. Grayling is unique in its exit structure because you can only exit going North at the 254 exit and can only return onto the freeway heading south at this exit. It is one of the business loop exits in Michigan.
Grayling is where most northbound traffic heading for the Traverse City area will pick up I-72 for the Western trip away from I-75. There are several hotels and lodges in Grayling that offer a nice place to break up any long road trips or vacations. Grayling and the surrounding Crawford County is an outdoor paradise. Approximately 70% of the land in Crawford County is government owned and allows public access to partake in outdoor activities to satisfy a wide range of sportsmen and sportswomen.
Summer activities include camping, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, biking, and golfing. The AuSable River and the Manistee River offer the best locations for canoeing and kayaking. The places to see to get fitted up for a river trip are Borcher’s or Penrod’s right on the business loop.
Winter activities include hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, sledding, and nearby skiing. The trails here are plentiful and provide miles of trails to explore. When the snow is deep, the town is well prepared to accommodate winter sports enthusiasts.
Hartwick Pines State Park is something everyone should experience. The old growth white pine forest includes trees over 120 feet tall which shows visitors what these trees looked like before logging began in Michigan. Wellington Farm, USA is a 60-acre museum that portrays life from the Great Depression era. A Blacksmith Shop, Carpenter Shop, Saw Mill, Grist Mill, and Barnyard are all part of the park.
There is a 50’s diner on Michigan Avenue called Dawson and Stevens Classic 50’s Diner that includes a soda fountain and over 10,000 pieces of Coca Cola Memorabilia in their Bottle-Cap Museum. Definitely adds a unique option for visitors.
Don’t forget to include a stop at Paddle Hard Brewing downtown, also on Michigan Avenue. The micro brews here are worth the stop and for the wine drinkers in your group, they are connected to a winery and art gallery that are both worth a visit.
As you can see, Grayling has lots to offer all year long. This city truly represents Northern Michigan’s year round hospitality.