*This sample itinerary has been extremely popular amongst women’s “Weekend Getaway” groups, couples retreats, & family gatherings. Please call for further recommendations.
Friday night, check-in at your beautifully furnished “Northwoods” themed room at the Northwoods Lodge. This grand log lodge is nestled in a beautiful and peaceful setting where rustic goes first class! These clean rooms adorned with log furniture and wildlife art offers an elegant yet cozy warmth. For the first of your 2 night stay, bundle up warm and spend the evening under the stars at our weekend bonfire. For couples looking for a quiet retreat, consider staying in our Honeymoon Suite fully furnished with an in-room Jacuzzi and King log canopy bed! Relax with a cup of hot chocolate- unwind and rest up for your day of adventure ahead!
Saturday morning, wake up to freshly brewed coffee and hot Belgian waffles as part of the free continental breakfast. You and your group members can then meet at Big Bear Adventures to get signed up for your Winter Rafting Adventure (which you’ll receive a discount by being a Northwoods Lodge guest)! You will then have the opportunity to spend 1 ½ hours participating in one of the most unique winter experiences that Northern Michigan has to offer. Imagine yourself being guided on a fun and narrative river raft adventure! Work together as a team to paddle as you twist and turn your way down the crystal-clear Sturgeon River during one of its most peaceful and serene times of the year. Winter Rafting is one of the few winter activities that allow you to sneak closely up to animals in their natural habitat; keep watch for deer, turkey, bald eagles, beaver, mink, muskrat, fox, & coyote. Witness the breathtaking beauty of nature with the snow covered cedars and ice formations all along the river banks as you travel along the Sturgeon River Valley.
After you return from your paddling adventure, come into our log cabin general store and Subway restaurant to enjoy one of our hot, toasted subs and a bowl of soup to warm up! You can either return to your cozy room for a mid-afternoon nap, or take a free visit to the world’s largest crucifix – the “Cross in the Woods” (just 1 mile away), and/or take the short 20 mile drive to Petoskey’s historic Gaslight District to experience many of the wonderful shops, boutiques, and galleries! Return to Indian River to enjoy the fine dining at Vivio’s Italian and American Restaurant or The Brown Trout Restaurant and Tavern- 2 of this quaint town’s most celebrated eateries! Since 1938, Vivio’s has offered wonderful cuisine, in their rustic log cabin with red and white checkered table cloths and a broad range of wildlife mounts. The Brown Trout also has a “Northwoods” atmosphere & usually offers live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights. You can then drive return to the Northwoods Lodge to play cards or checkers by the fireplace in the cozy lobby.
Sunday morning, wake at your leisure and enjoy your complimentary breakfast. After you check out of your room, once again take the short 1-mile drive back to Big Bear where you can rent a pair of X-C Skis or Snowshoes. Our well-trained staff can fit you with equipment, give basic instruction, and off you go to one of our local and beautiful trail systems. You can choose to walk across the street into Burt Lake State Park, or drive a short way to other nearby trail systems (see our pages dedicated to X-C Ski & Snowshoe Rentals for trail options); this outing is a wonderful way to complete your weekend and get some fresh air and exercise prior to the drive home.