On the Straits of Mackinac atop the Northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan, Cheboygan is an outdoor-enthusiast’s haven. The town is situated at the head Cheboygan River, the first body of the Inland Waterway, a 40-mile boater’s dream-come-true.

The Inland Waterway begins with the Cheboygan River, and then Mullett Lake, Indian River, Burt Lake, Crooked River and Crooked Lake. The leisurely route offers several stopping opportunities at restaurants and lovely communities along with way.

If you haven’t had enough boating after your trip, come back to Cheboygan and this time, bring your kayak or canoe where several rivers and lakes attract paddlers of all skill levels.

The second weekend in July is a popular time to do just that for the Waterways Festival, complete with kids activities, competitions, food, drink and music, in downtown Cheboygan. On Saturday a World Championship Wanigan Race is a nod to the days when loggers would build “cooking rafts” on the river.

cheboygan-opera-houseDowntown Cheboygan includes parks to encourage picnics, relaxing and viewing of the boats as they travel Cheboygan River. On the other side, and at your service, a row of quaint businesses ready to serve with shopping, dining and convenience. On the last weekend in July, downtown Cheboygan hosts a Music Festival free to the public. The historic Cheboygan Opera House showcases performances June through Labor Day. The Opera House parking lot hosts a farmers market 8 a.m-1 p.m. Saturdays July through October.

While your boat is taking a rest, you can hit the trails in Cheboygan County. And there are several: The North Central State Trail, the North Easter State Trail and Black Mountain Forest Recreation Area are ready for your bike, your feet or even your snowmobile.

Anglers will be happy whether they are just enjoying time with their family and a road and reel, or on a charter fishing trip into the Straits. Hunters too, will find acres and acres of public land around Cheboygan win which they happen across rabbit, turkey, ducks, deer, black bear and elk.

Need even more time to play outdoors? Cheboygan is home to several campgrounds, beaches, golf courses, even scuba diving to view shipwrecks in the Straits of Mackinac.

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