3 Day Getaway - Stanton, Michigan

Sponsored by the Montcalm Hotel - www.hotelmoncalm.net

  

stanton michigan parkStanton, Michigan, in the center of the lower peninsula, is a town that can easily capture you for a couple of days. Downtown Stanton has several unique antique shops, dining spots, and gift shops. Businesses of all kinds are close in, and yet, just around the corner, is a picturesque park and the Fred Meijer Heartland Trail. Stanton Old Fashioned Days, is a major festival each August, and runs for several days. Even though the main street is M-66, the community still manages to close it off for one full day, during the festival.

Day 1 – Around Town – Whether you arrive by motor vehicle, or by bicycle on the Fred Meijer Trail, it is worth while to stop at the Montcalm Hotel, and browse through their enormous offering of antiques, including rare books. If you decide to shop around town, there are other antique shops in the same block, there are lunch spots, and an ice cream parlor is open in the summer. The hotel can provide secure, short term, storage for bikes.

Day 2 – Day Trips – One doesn't soon forget a visit to Anderson & Girls Farm, no matter what the season. This is one of the most unusual u-pick farms in Michigan, due to the remarkable petting zoo, with animals rarely seen outside a major city zoo. There are gnus, Australian pheasants, tortoises, lemurs, kangaroos, goats and songbirds. A favorite of one and all are the single and double hump camels, including Milton. Things get going in the spring with their famous Easter egg hunt. They hide thousands and kids come from all over for the fun. The farm market has a large selection of in-season fruits and vegetables. Strawberries start things off in June. Then come the peaches, apples, pears and plums. The bakery and pantry offer fresh applesauce, donuts, fritters, and pies. There are Amish jams, local cheeses, Michigan honey and maple syrup. Grandma Anderson's Ice Cream Parlor, is a favorite stop, even if you only have a few minutes. Cool refreshing flurries, malts and hand-dipped ice cream. Indulge yourself with a world famous Hudsonville ice cream cone. After all of that, a visit to the Gift Loft is in order. Lots of unique items, you are sure to find that special something for that hard to buy for friend. Grab some fresh cider in season and hurry back to visit again and again. The farm is 3 miles north of Stanton on M-66. The Farm Country Cheese House began production, in July, of 1984. Amish communities, in and around Lakeview, Michigan, have supplied all of the milk, and most of the labor, in the production of the wide variety of cheeses, made there. Amish herds average up to 20 cows, raised naturally, grass fed, and with absolutely no artificial hormones or antibiotics, introduced in their diet. The farmers milk the cows twice daily, by hand, and deliver to the Cheese House. Over 20 traditional and distinctive varieties of cheese are for sale. You can watch cheese being made, Monday through Friday, from 9 am to 2 pm.

Day 3 – Take A Hike – If you need a little time in a quiet forest, the Comden Towle Model Forest, is place to go. This is a 40 acre forest, originally set up to demonstrate techniques for timber improvement, forestry, and sustainable nature areas. There are almost 3 miles, of well marked trails, through hardwoods and conifers. There is a pond, many varieties of birds, and no motors. As you wander through the towering trees, careful observers, may also see evidence of past logging and farming. The forest is reached by traveling a pretty rough dirt road for 1/2 mile, after you leave the pavement. This is a very beautiful spot in the winter, as well, but the road can be difficult because the entrance to the forest is at the bottom of a hill. Directions to the forest: From Stanton go west to the road to Entrican. At Entrican go west toward Kendaville until you see the sign.