Recreational opportunities abound in County

Gee, might it be the long trip in to work today, dodging this car and that truck as they slid off of icy US127, or was it just a desperate longing on my part to be back in Florida? Whatever drove me to this column, I’m not sure, but my thoughts have turned to all the great recreational opportunities we have in Clare County.

When the snow, ice and cold clear, we all ought to take advantage of a few of the nice amenities our county has to offer. Here’s a few:

-Downtown Clare is a gem. The venerable and historical Doherty Hotel remains a destination spot for many vacationers, particularly golfers. Just down the street Cops and Doughnuts, a bakery owned by Clare City cops,  is usually on most visitors’ short list of places to see.

-The Amish farms and businesses are peculiarly interesting to many of us. Colonville General Store and others offer great bargains, that you won’t find at other stores. In June, Clare is hosting Horse Progress Days, a nationwide festival organized by Amish everywhere- and it is expected to be attended by thousands.

-Clare County is home to several golf courses. Eagle Glen in Farwell rivals the most upscale northern Michigan courses, in this authors opinion. Snowsnake and Tamaracks are not far behind.

-There’s an abundance of off-road vehicle (ORV) activity. Moto Mania, a relatively new facility in Harrison, offers several tracks for bikes, quads, ORV’s, etc. Down the road Rock and Valleys offers challenges for 4 x 4 vehicles.

-Canoeing enthusiasts will have a blast in the Muskegon River. Duggan’s Canoe Livery on M-61 offers a number of options for those that would like to spend a warm summer day in the water.

-Harrison is dotted with a plethora of campgrounds, for all types of campers. Right in town is Wilson State Park situated on the banks of Budd Lake.

-The new zipline at Snow Snake is one of my favorite activities. It’s awesome zipping down the line, above the ground. It’s a rush, young and old, can take part in. The Snow Snake zipline is actually a series of ziplines. In other words its like a golf course. You zip down one area, hike to the next, zip down that etc. etc. so you experience a variety of terrain and sights.

-Let us not forget the lakes. Harrison is proud of its moniker- 20 lakes in 20 minutes. And it’s no lie. Budd Lake, Long Lake, and Cranberry Lake are the notables, but there are many others that provide excellent fishing holes. Farwell and surrounding areas has nearly as many lakes as well.

-Beyond recreation, however, are the many festivals hosted by Clare, Farwell and Harrison. We all know about Clare’s Irish Festival, which attracts thousands of revelers on St. Patrick’s Day, but Clare has numerous special events spread out through the year. Farwell’s Labor Day Festival is always a good time and so is Frostbite in Harrison. The County Fair is one of the better fairs I’ve attended with well known country acts performing, and a super huge midway.

Well it’s time to stop dreaming.  I’ve just been informed I need to make my way outta my easy chair and start shoveling snow. Geez more snow, slush and ice to deal with. Spring, can you please hurry up and get here?