Annual family trip returns to beautiful northern Michigan
My family recently went on our annual summer trip. I always love these adventures with everyone. We pick a spot in our beautiful home state to explore and enjoy time together. This year we decided to return to one of our favorite spots – Barothy Lodge in Walhalla.
We went last year to this 320-acre resort on the Pere Marquette River and 20 minutes from Ludington/Lake Michigan. It’s the fourth time we’ve booked our family trip there. And for good reason – it’s relaxing with a seemingly never-ending list of fun activities to do! There are no TVs, limited phone service and no wi-fi. I loved disconnecting from the crazy outside world and simply relaxing with family and nature. And we didn’t have one boring moment – in fact we all wanted to stay longer!
We returned to Chinook, the same three-story log home we rented last summer. It works well for our large family – Justin and I slept on the top floor with a bedroom and full bath; my younger sister and her husband shared a large bedroom on the main level with their 2-year old; my mom and older sister shared a room in the walkout lower level, and the four remaining kids shared a room on the same level, which also included a hot tub room, pool table, full bathroom and washer/dryer. The main level has a full kitchen, living/dining area with a beautiful stone fireplace, and full bath. The two door walls and floor to ceiling windows open to up a large deck overlooking the woods and river. AMAZING! The full kitchen makes it easy to cook so we usually have each family pick a night to provide dinner for everyone. It makes for a varying menu and less work overall.
Chinook is one of 15 lodges that sleeps 2 to 20 people on the property. We like the location of Chinook because it’s the last on the road of cabins, providing a bit of extra privacy and quiet. It’s an easy walk or bike ride to the main part of the property that offers a heated swimming pool, tennis courts, shuffle board courts, large play structure and climbing wall, stocked ponds for fishing, basketball, sand volleyball, a community fire pit and more. Even better is that all the necessary items are provided – fishing poles, bait, tennis rackets and balls, firewood, etc.
I was super excited to play tennis a few times. When I was younger, I took tennis lessons and loved playing. I quit lessons when my parents let me take horseback riding lessons instead but continued to play for fun whenever I could. After my knee/femur replacement I didn’t try to play because I really can’t run around or do anything too impactful. However, my awesome husband is quite good so was able to volley the ball close to me each time and we had several fun games. The kids and men had a blast fishing – all five kids caught a fish, even our little 2-year old niece (with some help from her mom!).
Justin and I brought our bikes so we rode around the property several times and ventured out to the dirt roads for a longer ride one morning. There are miles of hiking trails that wander through Barothy and into the neighboring Manistee National Forest. Our hot tub was a welcome treat at the end of days filled with so much physical activity and fresh air. We played cards, enjoyed adult cocktails and had good conversations after the kids went to bed.
With so much to do at Barothy, we don’t ever like to leave once we arrive. However, we did spend a day at Ludington State Park where we hiked along sand dunes, enjoyed lunch on Hamlin Lake and watched the sunset over Lake Michigan (more on that day trip later!).
This is truly an amazing place to visit. The staff is very attentive and friendly. The property is well-maintained and full of beautiful places to walk, sit and play. It’s the perfect place to enjoy the outdoors without ‘roughing it’ if you don’t want to. If you’re looking for a Michigan getaway for yourself, family or friends, check this place out.