C’mon, Baby, light my fire.
By Ross Boissoneau | Jan. 13, 2018
Plummeting temperatures tend to leave the less hearty among us housebound. Which is fine, until cabin fever sets in. Before your own four walls drive you to the brink of insanity, drive yourself to a new set of walls to experience winter Up North at its warmest, quaint-est best.
Hundreds of cabins dot the region, from luxurious chalets with soaring wood-clad ceilings to rustic shacks that are perfect for those looking to make winter, at the very least, a best frenemy. Here are a few of our favorite cabin escapes across the area, all equally perfect for staying in as they are for getting out and exploring.
(Note: This is, of course, just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. For more, explore online and consult the tourism or visitors bureau in your favorite part of the north country.)
Camp Pet-O-Se-Ga, Petoskey (pictured)
Bedosagay (Pet-O-Se-Ga), named in honor of the rising sun, was born to the Odawa tribe in 1787. Today, Bedosagay’s name is kept alive throughout the region as “Petoskey” — and as the name of this Emmet County-owned park. Originally constructed in the 1930s, the 300-acre park was acquired by the county in 1992.
If you want to get out, groomed trails are perfect for cross-country skiing and/or snow-shoeing. Choose from several cabin options, though be forewarned: Plumbing is often not an option. We went with Cabin D.
· Two-night minimum
· Accommodates 8–10 people in two-story building
· 1 table, small kitchen, furnace heat, fireplace
· 1 couch (sleeps 2), 10 single beds upstairs
· Rate: $125 nightly, with a $100 deposit.
Call (231) 347-6536 or go to CampPetosega.org.
Boyne Mountain, Boyne Falls
You won’t even know you’re in the midst of the massive Boyne Mountain Resort. Situated in a lightly wooded area, the three- and four-bedroom Mountain Cabins are far enough off the beaten path to provide privacy, yet close to the resort’s amenities. Each cabin includes a full kitchen, dining room, wood-burning fireplace, and — wait for it — a hot tub on the deck. Hey, you can even get special waterpark entrance packages to Avalanche Bay.
Accommodates up to eight people, with a king bed in the master, queen bed in the second bedroom, a queen bed in the loft, and sofa sleeper in living area.
· Wood-burning fireplace
· 3 full baths
· Living room
· 24-hour front desk available from Mountain Grand Lodge and Spa Front Desk
· Ski in/Ski out*, call for lift schedule
· Use of Clock Tower Lodge outdoor heated pool and hot tub
· Use of fitness center at Clock Tower Lodge
Rates vary, depending on time of the year, dates desired, and number of people. Call (855) 688-7024. Go to Boyne.com.
Ellis Lake Resort, Interlochen
Choose from a variety of cabins and rooming options at this resort, originally built in 1939. It’s located 11 miles south of Traverse City and just two miles from Interlochen Center for the Arts, which also means it’s close to the wineries, brewpubs and other amenities of Sleeping Bear, Old Mission Peninsula, and Traverse City.
You can stroll to the lake in the winter, though snowshoeing may be more fun. There’s even an outdoor hot tub surrounded by pines, perfect at nighttime under the stars.
· Fully-equipped kitchen
· Bathrooms with showers.
· Sleeps six: queen bed, a double, and a bunk bed.
Nightly rates are $132; weekly, $750. Call (231) 276-9502; online, go to EllisLakeResort.com.
Horse Farm, Harbor Springs
Located seven miles from downtown Harbor Springs on a small horse farm, this secluded cedar log cabin sits on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. The gas stove in the living room offers ambience and plenty of heat to take the edge of a cold winter day. The location is ideal for day trips to Harbor Springs, Petoskey, even the U.P. Features include a BBQ grill, deck, and for those who can’t unplug, it even has Wi-Fi.
· Accommodates two adults and two children. The upstairs loft has a queen-size bed, bureaus, and a closet, while the living room couch becomes a queen-size pullout.
· Dining area
· Full bathroom
· From $128.40 nightly
Tree House Cabin in Ellsworth
This unique treehouse cabin was handcrafted by the hosts with the help of friends and family. It’s set pondside, surrounded by tall pine trees, on 300 acres of farmland in the midst of a working orchard. The main living space is bathed in natural light from the large windows, making it ideal for stargazing or simply admiring the views. Bonus: Fido is welcome too.
· Hiking Trails
· Gift shop on property with fresh fruit preserves and fruit butter
· Living area includes space and books and TV, all perfect for relaxing.
· Accommodates six, with two bedrooms with queens and a double bed.
From $170 per night. Go here.
Cedars Resort, Central Lake
Choose from one of five two-bedroom log cabins at this resort located on Central Lake in Antrim County. This out-of-the-way resort began when Columbus, Ohio natives Eddie and Almeda Barber began building a vacation cabin for themselves. Each cabin is made from cedar timber taken from the surrounding area. The logs were all hand hewn by Eddie — he even built the cedar cabinets.
Here you can try your hand at skating or ice fishing, and you’re only 30 minutes from four ski resorts. Other nearby attractions are Short’s Brewery in Bellaire and Grass River Natural Area. It’s even pet-friendly.
Each cabin features
· Full-sized living, dining and kitchen areas
· 2 bedrooms (plus a sofa-bed in living room)
· Full bathroom with shower
· Modern kitchen and appliances
· Bedding, cooking and dining utensils
· Heated, with fireplaces in some units
· Cable TV
Occupancy is maximum four adults per cabin. Up to six people allowed if in the same immediate family and two of them are children under age 17. Rates: 2 nights $210–7 nights $510
Call (231) 544-8069. Go to Cedars-Resort.com