Elk watching, golfing and hiking are among the top 10 summer activities in Gaylord

GAYLORD – The city of Gaylord and Otsego County has been attracting visitors to enjoy the four seasons of northern Michigan for many years.

Here is a list of attractions that visitors can explore:

1. Gaylord Elk Park

Gaylord is one of the few towns that actively maintains an elk herd and provides public viewing areas for the public to view these animals, which are one of the largest species within the deer family. Under the city’s care, approximately 40 elk can be seen from near Elk’s Lodge off Grandview Boulevard.

The herd extends over an area of ​​108 acres. City employees feed the animals corn, hay, and sugar beets, as well as vitamins. The herd began with three elk when a local nature center closed in the late 1980s.

2. Lake Otsego State Park

Located at 7136 Old US Highway 27 S., the 62-acre park is home to large oak, maple, and pine trees and has campgrounds near the lake. The swimming beach and easily accessible day use area include picnic tables and grills, a floating fishing dock and water volleyball. The popular boat launch offers access to both motorized and non-motorized watercraft.

The beach at Otsego Lake State Park has become popular as visitors and area residents seek a respite from the summer heat.

3. Aspen Park

Aspen Park is a year-round wonderland located at 239 Commerce Blvd. The park contains 100 acres of woodland, paved and unpaved paths, and tennis courts. During the winter, you can enjoy the cross-country ski trails or set off on a pair of snowshoes. If you prefer mountain biking, you can also do it in Aspen Park. Last year, a student at Gaylord High School, Gage Philippy, led a community effort to build a COVID-19 memorial here.

The COVID-19 memorial at Aspen Park in Gaylord.

4. Alpenfest

Held every summer, except in 2020 due to the coronavirus, this festival showcases the city’s Alpine architecture and the sister city’s relationship with Pontresina, Switzerland.

The Alpenfest took over downtown Gaylord’s main street for four days in July, offering food, parade, rides, and entertainment, along with arts and crafts for sale. It also serves as Gaylord’s unofficial annual weekend, when former residents return to enjoy the festivities and meet with family and friends.

5. Otsego County Historical Museum

The museum is located at 320 W. Main St. It is run by the Otsego County Historical Society, founded in 1963 with the goal of bringing together people interested in history, especially the history of Otsego County.

The museum chronicles the history of Otsego County since the 19th century. Changing displays feature artifacts, photos, and memorabilia from the county’s history.

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