Enchanted Forest Guide to Northern Michigan
 “Promoting Northern Michigan Businesses & Organizations Since 1997”

Photo-New Presque Isle Lighthouse-250-188
Photo-AuSable River-250x188

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New Presque Isle Lighthouse
Alcona Pond - Au Sable River
Leland’s Fishtown
Tahquamenon Falls in Fall Colors

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Houghton Lake Heights, Michigan
Black & Gray Squirrels & Chipmunks - 300 x 225
Chanterelle Mushrooms - 300 x 225
Sandhill Cranes - 3 - 300 x 225
Male Polyphenmus Moth - 300 x 225
Black & Gray Squirrels & Chipmunks
Chanterelle Mushrooms
Sandhill Cranes
Male Polyphenmus Moth

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ATTRACTIONS:  Amusement Parks, Casinos, Farms & Mills, Historic Sites, Lighthouses, Museums, Planetariums, Tours, Waterfalls, Wineries, and Zoos

Houghton Lake Flats South Unit [Wildlife Viewing Area] - Closest Town: Houghton Lake Heights.   Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Division, Roscommon Operations Service Center, (989) 275-5151.  On M-55, O.7 miles east of US-127 turn north on Old US-27 and drive about 1.9 miles, look for the observation platform and fishing platform, and park on the small paved parking lot on the left (west) side of Old US- 27.    This viewing site is a moderately sized wetland on the west edge of Houghton Lake, Michigan’s largest inland lake. Current water levels were created in the late1950s as part of a mitigation project between Michigan DNR and the Michigan Department of Transportation when the US-27 freeway was built. US-27 on the west and Old US-27 on the east, plus cross dikes between the two roadways, enclose the marsh on four sides, providing water level management. Levels are managed with pumps and control structures to enhance fish and wetland wildlife habitat. Large birds and other wildlife can be viewed easily from both highways. A parking area, an elevated wildlife observation platform, and a fishing deck have been constructed along Old-27. Because of the convenience of the observation platform and on-site parking – and the abundant wildlife – Houghton Lake Flats is an excellent place to watch wildlife, and a great place to stop when you don’t have a lot of time to spend.  This managed wetland area is lush with wetland vegetation and wildlife. A quick stop here almost anytime during the spring, summer, and fall will be rewarded with sightings of osprey, ducks, geese, herons, shorebirds, and marshland songbirds. Great blue herons are common here. The herons have established a nesting colony, called a rookery, just to the north on a nearby wetland. Black terns, an increasingly rare species in Michigan, nest here and may be seen flying low and hovering over the water as they search for food. Several osprey nesting platforms have been installed in the marsh and are used each year by ospreys which benefit from the excellent fishing in Houghton Lake. Several bald eagle nests are located in the vicinity of the Flats and eagles are often observed as well. Muskrats, raccoons, mink, and river otters live here year round. They are seen occasionally, most often at dawn. Use binoculars from your car, from the observation decks, or perhaps even take a stroll on the mowed cross dikes on the north and south ends of the flooding to enjoy one of the best and quickest wildlife viewing stops in mid-Michigan.

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Reedsburg Dead Stream Flooding [Wildlife Viewing Area] - Closest Towns: Merritt, Houghton Lake Heights.  Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Roscommon Operations Service Center, (989) 275-5151.  On M-55, O.7 miles east of US-27 turn north on Old US-27 and drive for 2.5 miles to County Road 300. Turn left (west) and continue 1.5 miles to Michelson Road. Turn right (north) and proceed to the small parking lot at Dead Stream Flooding.  This flooding is one of the largest managed wetlands in the northern Lower Peninsula. There is a state forest campground near the Reedsburg dam on the south end of the flooding. No other developments or improvements are found at this site, but the small boat ramps beckon you to a wonderful wilderness experience.  The flooding is usually teeming with wildlife, and with a short trip upstream in a non-motorized boat you can explore the 30,000-acre Dead Stream Swamp-the largest semi-wilderness area in the Lower Peninsula.  The extensive beds of wild rice that grow in the flooding are very attractive to many kinds of waterfowl in the fall. Species that may be seen here include buffleheads, goldeneyes, wood ducks, Canada geese, black ducks and mallards. Scaup, mergansers, and loons are also seen here in the early spring right after the ice breaks up. Spring is a great time to view waterfowl because many of them are in their colorful breeding plumage. An active bald eagle nest is visible on the opposite shore one of the boat ramps.  Eagle viewing is very good during spring and through mid to late June when young eaglets leave their nest. Several osprey platforms have been placed in the flooding and most of them are used each year by nesting ospreys. Ospreys are very common sightings on the flooding. Please do not attempt to approach the eagle or osprey nests. Muskrats, mink, and river otters also make this area their home, and may be seen by the stealthy observer.

DINING 0UT:  Breweries, Dinner Trains & Cruises, Restaurants, and Wineries


PLACES TO STAY:  Apartments, Bed & Breakfasts, Cabins & Cottages, Condominiums, Historic Inns, Hotels & Motels, Resorts and Vacation Homes

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COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS:  Business, Civic, Clubs, Colleges, Fraternal, Independent Schools, Political, Public Schools, Religious, Social,  Universities, Veteran, etc.

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Michigan Tree Farm System, 501 Norway Street, Grayling, MI 49738, (989) 348-9319

INDOOR & OUTDOOR RECREATION:  Beaches, Biking, Boating, Bowling, Camping, Dog-sledding, Fishing, Golfing, Hiking, Hunting, Kayaking, ORVing, Nature & Parks, Scuba Diving & Snorkling, Skating & Hockey, Skiing, Sports Rentals, Snowmobiling, Snowshoeing.


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SERVICES:  Building, Dental, Personal, Professional, Medical, Real Estate, Rental, Repair, etc.

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SHOPPING:  Antique Shops & Flea Markets, Art & Craft Galleries, Florists, Gift Shops, Outlet Malls, Shopping Centers, Shopping Districts, and Specialty Shops





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Created on Januaray 1, 1997. Last updated on March 07, 2020, Number of pages 775


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