Newaygo Getaway

There are so many natural wonders scattered across Newaygo County, it could easily be called Michigan's outdoor playground. There is more than one “secret” destination here, but the best kept secret is probably the Coolbough Natural Areas. In this vast nature preserve is one of the few remnants of an Oak Savanna. Now extremely rare, this type of forest was fairly common in the early 1800’s. Sometimes they were referred to as a dry sand prairie, oak-white pine barrens or simply an oak opening. The prairie in the Coolbough Nature Area has been restored. White pines and oaks spread their limbs above the open sandy grassland.

native american exhibit

Newaygo county has so much to offer, some visitors go with a list to make sure they see everything. There are way too many to list them all, but some favorites keep making the grade. The Croton Dam is where the great salmon run is second to none in Michigan. The High Rollway on Route 82 is where logs were piled in towering stacks each winter during the lumber era. At the spring thaw the logs were sent crashing down to the river to be floated downstream. The Rollway provides amazing views of the surrounding area from 200 feet up. The Wessling Observatory invites visitors to enjoy the dark skies and a little stargazing using their state-of-the-art telescopes. Some nature lovers come to take a relaxing float on the Muskegon River or the White River in White Cloud. For art lovers there are shows at the Dogwood Center for the Performing Arts, Artsplace in Fremont, the Grant Fine Arts Center and the Stage Door Theatre.

Other visitors go just for the festivals. Some of the most popular festivals include the White Cloud to Hesperia Kayak Race. The Lumber Festival brings the best logrollers to compete. The Trail Town Celebration offers kayak racing, crafts, food and fun. In February Newaygo has the Dam to Dam Fishing Tournament, one of the best ice fishing events in lower Michigan. Fremont, home of Gerber, celebrates those babies every year.