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

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Prudenville, Michigan
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Houghton Lake

Prudenville is located at the Southeastern end of Houghton Lake in Roscommon County at the junction of M-55 and M-18. It is primarily a tourist area on the shores Houghton Lake, and has many resorts, restaurants and gift shops. It was founded in 1875 by John Pruden, one of the first to settle in the area.

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

Backus Lake [Wildlife Viewing Area] - Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Roscommon Operations Service Center, (989) 275-5151.  Closest Towns: Prudenville and Roscommon.  From the intersection of M-18 and M-55 just east of Prudenville, drive north on M-18 about 1.5 miles to the junction of M-18 and M-157. Stay on M-18 but turn right (east) at the first road past this intersection. Proceed 3/4 mile to an unmarked intersection and turn left. After another 0.9 miles the road forks. Turn to the left to go to the dam or continue another 1.5 miles to the main lake area.   This shallow lake and the surrounding wetlands are popular with wildlife, and although the site has few improvements, it is popular with summer recreationists, too. Access is limited to foot traffic on the east side of the Backus Lake dam. This foot-access-only helps ensure a quiet, peaceful walk through forestlands, wildlife openings, and along the natural lakeshore. Backus Lake is the southern-most lake in a series of three wetland lakes, all state-owned, along the Backus Creek drainage. The other two wetlands, the Backus Creek Wildlife Flooding and Little Mud Lake, are located just north, and downstream, of one another. These three lakes, all with water levels enhanced by dams, create a wetland complex attractive to many species of wildlife.  Loons nest on Backus Lake and can be best observed in the spring and early summer. Seeing a loon with chicks in the still morning mist is a sight not soon forgotten. The Backus Lake loons are one of only several hundred pairs remaining in the state, so please do not approach or disturb them. The clearcuts and other forest habitats, including nearby managed forest openings, are also great places to view wildlife. Watch and listen for male woodcock performing their unusual courtship displays in these openings in early April. They begin on the ground, calling out a loud, nasal "peeeent." They then launch straight up into the air and emit a chirping sound as they fly tight circles back to the ground, where they start their displays all over again. Coyotes and bobcats are quite common in this area. Look for their tracks along sandy trails. An osprey nesting platform close to the road provides an excellent look at these amazing aerial anglers, and beavers have constructed a lodge of sticks in the lake near the platform. An eagle’s nest is found nearby and these magnificent birds of prey can often be seen soaring in search of food such as fish, ducks, muskrats, even turtles.

Houghton Lake Historical Village and Playhouse, 1601 W. Houghton Lake Drive, Prudenville, MI 48651, Phone:(989) 366-9124. Come and See History come alive in Prudenville, Michigan. There are several historic buildings from the area to enjoy. The General Store is a combined display building and actual store. The store sells goodies reminiscent of yesteryear. As in most towns in early America, the general store is also the site of the local post office. The Edna postal stamp is used during Village Days. Edna was the original name of Prudenville, Michigan. The Village which has 13 historical buildings open includes a school, general store, print shop, blacksmith shop, barber shop, chapel, carriage shop, the Michelson Town Hall, the Homestead, the Sturge Building and a dress shop. During Village Days there are demonstrations of pioneer crafts, children’s games, a story teller and live musical entertainment at the Village and in the Historical Playhouse. The Village is open every Friday and Saturday in the summer, 12-4pm. Tours and special events are welcome - by reservation only. The Playhouse was originally built in 1927, now used for musical presentations, live plays, community events and trade shows. It includes a 6,000 foot wooden dance floor.

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

Booners Food Plot & Watering Hole [Restaurants], 4329 S. Gladwin Rd. (M-18), Prudenville, MI 48651, Phone: (989) 366-4900

Brass Lantern, 729 W. Houghton Lake, PO Box 830, Prudenville, MI 48651, Phone: (989) 366-8312

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

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Bay Breeze Resort Motel, 116 9th Street, PO Box 333, Prudenville, MI 48651, Phone: (989) 366-7721

Breyer's Resort, 117 4th Street, P. O. Box 334, Prudenville, Michigan 48651, Phone:  +1 (989) 366-7672

East Bay Lodge, 125 12th Street, P. O. Box 914, Prudenville, Michigan 48651, Phone: (989) 366-5910

George G Dieterich's Resort, 359 E Houghton Lake Dr, Prudenville, MI 48651, Phone: (989) 366-7655

Lagoona Beach Resort, 632 W Houghton Lake Dr, Prudenville, MI 48651, Phone: (989) 366-5113

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Northern Exposure Resort, 88 W Houghton Lake Dr, Prudenville, MI 48651, Phone: (989) 366-6735

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Riviera Resort, 104 Hillside Ave, Prudenville, MI 48651, Phone: (989) 366-5122

Swiss Inn Lake Resorts, 472 W Houghton Lake Dr, Prudenville, MI 48651, Phone: (989) 366-7881

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

American Legion, 3564 S Reserve Rd, Prudenville, MI 48651, Phone: (989) 366-5334


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

VFW Post 4034, 935 S Loxley Rd, Houghton Lake, MI 48629, Phone: 989) 422-6404

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.

Backus Lake

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White Deer Country Club, 1309 Bright Angel Drive, Prudenville, MI 48651, Phone: (989) 366-5812

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

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George's Barber Shop [Barber Shops], 710 W Houghton Lake Dr., Prudenville, MI 48651, Phone: (989) 366-5875

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

Back in the Woods Antiques, 109 Oakwood Avenue, Prudenville, MI 48651, Phone: (989) 366-8636




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


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