Exquisite old cottage, modern fit-up, no cooking, views! Private dock, deck, and waterfront for this cottage. Although very well equipped, its deep-woods character is NOT "just like home".
Buffet service every meal! Please note: participation in the dining plan, not included in rent, is required until the last Sunday in August. Please understand that we can't waive the required Dining Hall fees in season, so don't please don't try to book a stay and then request an exception. Instead, book in early June or late August.
This beautiful, old, renovated, stick-style cottage is at the end of a long, private driveway off a one-lane, private dirt-road winding through old-growth forest with monarch trees. There's nothing but woods and private paths behind it. It overlooks clear and sandy Higgins Lake, rated 'the Sixth Most Beautiful Lake in the World', and , in 2017, voted the No. 1 most beautiful lake in Michigan by those who know lakes. Search for this tenbest list with its aerial graphics of each lake; it's illuminating.
The cottage's 82 feet of lake-frontage includes a private dock and lido on the lake, down some stairs from an overlooking private deck, steps away from the large front-porch. The cottage's deck, dock, lido, side-yard, and lakefront are not shared with anyone but you and your guests while you're staying here.
Life on the Lake:
The cottage is part of a private Association of twenty cottages, each with its own dock, so waterfront features are NOT shared. The Association provides meals at a private table, reserved for your family, in a common Dining Hall --a five-minute walk through the woods. It's perfect for families, as all cooking [except Weds. dinners] and clean-up is provided from June 24 to Aug. 28, so staying here is a true vacation for EVERYONE in the family. [Note: Association rules require that cottage-residents MUST pay for all meals in the buffet-style Dining Hall between June 21 and Aug. 25. This is a separate bill, paid directly to the Dining Hall after your stay [and not included in the rent]. Rates are $33/day for adults, less for kids under 13, and free under 5.] We can't waive these rules, so, instead of booking and then asking us to make an exception, please book out of season if you don't want to pay for the Dining Hall meals.
During the high-season, there is a 6-night minimum (we encourage Sunday to Saturday!). During the off-season, there is only a 4-night minimum. Due to the effort involved in cleaning between guests, we are firm about the minimum stays, so please don't book and then ask for an exception.
The lake is clear and, on this side, shallow with great water for swimming, canoeing, sailing and all water sports. Features of Higgins Lake include an island, drop-offs, springs, sunken islands, a swimming raft [owned by the cottage Association], and the mysterious 'square anchor'. Not far around the shore is a marina, where you can rent motorboats, windsurfers, tubes, kayaks, and all sorts of water toys.
With no traffic, kids run free [supervised near the lake, please] and quickly make friends with lake-side neighbors they meet eating in the Dining Hall.
Life in the Cottage:
The cottage features a beautiful, two-story Living Room [the heart of the cottage] with a lakestone-lined fireplace and large Screen Porch, both facing the lake. [See photos.]
The view is even better from a large, two-level Private Deck right over the lake on a bluff, a few steps from the Screen Porch. A stairway down from the deck leads to a private sunbathing area [the Lido] and a private dock, exclusive to this cottage, where you can swim, nap, and attach boats. [Boats should be moored at anchors off the dock, when not in use.]
A private yard next to the cottage has a many Adirondack chairs and a pad for the outdoor ping-pong table.
A renovated Kitchen with granite counters and new dishes, coffee-equipment, kitchen-tools, and appliances including a dishwasher is open to one side of the Living Room. However, you won't cook much, as you'll enjoy the great food in the Dining Hall [from June through August].
Three Bedrooms are on the first floor:  a Master Suite with king-size bed and a private Bath with shower and two sinks in granite counters;  a back Bedroom with two queen beds and a sink [can sleep four in a pinch]; and  a small Bedroom with a queen bed and a separate entrance to the Porch. A second Bathroom with a claw-foot tub, a shower and two sinks in granite is off the first floor hall, as is a laundry closet with a new washer and dryer.
The second floor is reached from an indoor balcony overlooking the Living Room [and the lake]. Its glass door leads to a knotty-pine Bunk Room with four built-in bunks, which appeal to smaller teenagers and kids [but are short for all but the smallest adults]. The Bunk Room has its own half-bath.
This cottage does not have a TV or a land-line phone. [Recent guests have used their cell phones.] A cable connection provides free, password-protected WIFI. Many guests bring laptops, and some use them to stream their favorite shows and teams.
More to do Outside:
In addition to the buffet meals and a swimming raft, the twenty-cottage Association has a tennis court you can use for free and extensive bird-watching and single-track biking/hiking trails, which you can ride through the endless woods, if you bring or rent bikes.
Nearby activities off the lake include fishing, canoeing and tubing on the calm and beautiful Au Sable River [Rentals available at liveries, or bring your own craft.] and spectacular golf at Forest Dunes, Golf Magazine's No. 2 Public-Access Course in Michigan. Guided bird-watching tours leave regularly from Grayling and almost always spot North America's most endangered warbler, rarely seen [except by those in the know, in this part of Michigan], the very rare Kirtland's Warbler.
Google an aerial photograph to see Higgins Lake in its splendor. The cottage is on the north shore, the least developed and most secluded part of the lake. See the photos.
We have dogs and cats in our families, including small, well-behaved, clean ones] and we would love to bring them to stay at the cottage. However, other family members are allergic to them, so we board them in kennels or with friends, and we require our guests to do the same. Please don't make a reservation and then ask us to make an exception for your pets.