15 Best Things to Do in Kalkaska, MI

kalkaska michigan
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Kalkaska, a village in Michigan with an affinity for fishing and hunting, is abundant with farmland and elevated terrain.

Its name, derived from a Native American word, literally means a flat of table land.

This is partly because the village sits on an expansive plateau.

When the Native Americans lived in the place in its early days, white pine trees covered the land.

Its wide selection of aquatic preserves makes this place a buzzing tourist destination.

The village boasts over 80 inland lakes and less than 300 miles of rivers and streams.

In the winter, Kalkaska turns into a wonderland that's a must-see for tourists.

Here are the best things to do in Kalkaska, Michigan:

Take a Picture at the Kalkaska Shoe Tree

Daytime view of the Kalkaska Shoe Tree
Carolina K. Smith MD / Shutterstock.com

The Kalkaska Shoe Tree is a unique destination you may want to check out.

While not exactly a standard tourist spot, it's a fun stop while you travel down Highway 131.

As the name suggests, it's a tree with—surprise—shoes!

Dangling down from the branches, instead of leaves, are rubber shoes stacked on top of each other.

Close view of the Kalkaska Shoe Tree
Dave Whitehead from Kalamazoo MI, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

While its origins are unknown, it sure makes for an impressive sight when you drive down the road.

The Kalkaska Shoe Tree can make your trip more fun and exciting—a sort of welcoming initiation for those traveling past.

Don't forget to take a picture next to it to commemorate your visit.

Shop for Local Produce at Cherry Street Market

For quality farm-fresh produce, head to Cherry Street Market on West Mile Road.

This farmers' market in Kalkaska offers various fruits, vegetables, and other food ingredients.

Stay for the grand kinetic art displays and get inspired by the pieces presented.

Browse the sandwiches and snacks they also have up for sale.

Learn a thing or two about pest infestation and the proper ways of tending to your garden.

At Cherry Street Market, allow yourself to submerge into the taste of Northern Michigan and its local vegetation and outdoor shopping.

Admire the Trout Statue at the National Trout Memorial

On Cedar Street, find yourself amazed at the fishing heritage Kalkaska has to offer.

The National Trout Memorial, also known as the Fisherman’s Shrine, stands surrounded by a fountain at the front of the railroad depot.

Dedicated on April 30, 1966, the statue serves as a reminder that this village overflows with rich fishing history.

The trout statue is approximately 17 to 18 feet long—a welcoming sight for those entering the village.

Alongside this massive statue, Kalkaska also holds the National Trout Festival every April to celebrate the trout fishing legacy.

Don’t forget to snap a picture or two of this one-of-a-kind memorial before exploring the other sites in Kalkaska.

Have Fun with Your Kids at Chalker Park

If you’re taking a trip with your family and want to have fun together, you can never go wrong with a visit to Chalker Park.

This park features three acres of recreational space for everyone in your family to enjoy.

There’s a gazebo that’s good for taking in the view of the expansive park.

Play a round of basketball or teach your family some cool new ball tricks on the basketball court.

Stage a photo op at the colorful photo stand-ins of funny animals and characters.

If your little one still has more energy to shake off, the playground has exciting equipment to challenge their creative minds.

Chalker Park is on Laurel Street.

Take a Refreshing Swim at Log Lake Campground

Nothing beats a good camping and fishing site for those new to Kalkaska.

At Log Lake Campground, it only gets better from here.

This lake and campground on East Log Lake Road are convenient for those who want a bit of everything while camping.

Aside from the lake, Log Lake Campground is within reach of various golf courses and hiking trails.

For a smudge of gaming and entertainment, the popular Turtle Creek Casino is less than half an hour away!

Bring your tents and fishing equipment and spend time in the wild, catching fish and learning survival skills.

Prepare for an afternoon of swimming at the lake, too!

Go Roller Skating at Kaliseum Recreation Complex

For those who prefer indoor recreation without taking away the excitement of outdoor sports, you'll like Kaliseum Recreation Complex.

This complex center gives way to various sports and activities, including ice skating and roller skating.

Feel as if you are playing golf within trimmed lawns at the Golf Simulator Room.

Play corn hole with a group and test your aim with bag throwing.

To wind down after all the strenuous activities, go for your usual physical routine at Kaliseum Recreation Complex's gym.

If you prefer a more collaborative approach to your exercise regimen, sign up for a fitness class!

Kaliseum Recreation Complex doesn't disappoint.

All you need to do is drive down Fairgrounds Road to get to this multi-service center.

Relax with a Game of Golf at Timber Wolf Golf Club

It's tee time all season at Timber Wolf Golf Club.

Just six miles east of Highway 131 on M-72, this golf course offers an astounding 120 acres of green terrain and slopes.

Boasting an 18-hole layout, it gives off championship course challenges.

Different leagues are also open for those with competitive spirits.

Stroll around elongated fairways and find courses that best fit your golfing range.

Stay at the outdoor patio for a bit of a break and get some refreshments at the full bar inside.

No wonder this superior golf course is a recommended spot for those planning to travel to Kalkaska.

Timber Wolf Golf Club awaits you!

Practice Your Golfing Skills at Grandview Golf Club

Established in the 1990s, Grandview Golf Club is a curated site for practicing and competing golfers.

Its 270-yard driving range allows for better short game ranges and a grand time for a game with a friend.

Its diversity in elevation and green makes it a memorable site on Hagni Road.

Grandview Golf Club also offers an impressive four sets of tees for everyone.

There's a putting green onsite for those unfamiliar with the sport but would want to learn it.

The grand patio and clubhouse are the perfect retirement area after a grueling day out in the field.

Have an event coming up?

Grandview Golf Club's banquet hall is spacious enough for an intimate gathering of all kinds.

Book a Room at All Seasons Hotel and Resort

Your Kalkaska trip is never complete if you don't at least drive down All Seasons Hotel and Resort.

This resort offers premium accommodations in Northern Michigan without taking away outdoor recreation.

Spend time at the resort's indoor Water Oasis and treat yourself to the snacks at the fully stocked Market Place.

Explore the fitness room and the outdoor pavilion.

Chill out by the gazebo or the deck swings and feel the air breeze past.

There are tons of activities to do for every season, so whether you go in the fall or winter, you'll always have something to look forward to.

All Seasons Hotel and Resort is on Cedar Street.

Enjoy Full Hook-Up Camping at Camp M'Orr

Whether you prefer rustic or full hook-up to your camping experience, Camp M'Orr can get you everything you need.

This campground has hookups for water, sewer, and electricity—the whole deal.

There are rental lake toys, too.

Set up a tent or park your RV right in the beauty of the forest surrounding the campground.

At night, light up a campfire with some friends to fully enjoy the camping journey.

The best part about Camp M'Orr is its location.

Situated on Robinson Drive, it's near attractions like Beach Bum Nation and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Camping has never been this exciting and immersive before!

Camp Overnight with a Group at Camp Tanuga

Camp Tanuga has been in service for group campers since 1952.

Located on Camp Tanuga Road, this campground offers a breathtaking view of the forests of North Michigan.

The grounds stretch to 220 acres, offering log cabins and athletic courts.

Its wide selection of amenities can also get you a taste of home but something more.

There's an arts and crafts studio, archery range, and recreational halls for meetings and gatherings.

Practice your agility and endurance by having a go at the rock climbing wall.

Learn woodwork and ceramics at Camp Tanuga's specially designated areas.

Make memories, forge relationships, and learn life-long lessons with fellow campers.

Admire the Dog Paintings at Moose & Stella's Cafe

What better way to dine with family than with a dog-themed cafe?

Moose & Stella’s Cafe adds a cute twist to your regular breakfast experience with a furry pet theme!

Moose and Stella, the names the cafe uses and operates, are actually the names of the owners' dogs!

A Brittney Spaniel and a Yorkie, these two pets are the perfect representation of what the cafe is going for casual, elegant, and fun.

Lining the walls of Moose & Stella’s Cafe are dog paintings, making for a better experience while you drink coffee.

If you prefer soda or juice, the cafe has them, too.

Munch on some paninis while you wait for the morning to be over.

If you bring your dog with you, they're in for a real treat as well.

This cafe is located on Cedar Street.

Polish Your Batting at The Dugout

Take your time in Kalkaska to practice your batting skills at The Dugout on Cedar Street.

This indoor batting facility keeps you exposed to bat-and-ball game batting techniques.

Train with experts who can improve your swing and target.

There's also a game room you can spend time in while waiting for your companion's training session.

Bring your little one with you and make it a bonding session!

The Dugout is available by appointment only, so be sure to make a call before visiting.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Do you have enough time on your hands for a trip to nearby places?

Michigan is a diverse place with pretty sceneries, and the following places are proof of this:

Walk around the Rustic Bridges at Seven Bridges Nature Area

Seven Bridges Nature Area is located in Rapid City, only 10 minutes from Kalkaska.

Though not necessarily having seven bridges, this recreation area is a great choice for those who prefer sightseeing when in nature.

It overlooks the beautiful Rapid River, offering peaceful scenery through cedar trees.

If you look around the area more closely, you'll see remains of the 1882 sawmill at the first three bridges.

Admire the rustic bridges—now only four—as you go deeper into the forest.

Pass by uniquely-shaped trees and branches that offer beauty as it does history.

The enchanting Seven Bridges Nature Area also allows hunting and the bringing of leashed dogs.

Board a Boat at Luhrs Landing Marina

Luhrs Landing Marina, only 20 minutes from Kalkaska, is a full-service marine dealer in Rapid City.

Choose from a variety of boats, whether for purchase or rent.

Hydraulic onboard lifts and kayaks are also up for grabs for your journey into the waters.

You can also choose to have a customized pontoon.

Zip up your life jackets and prepare for a fun time at sea!

To make the journey fun, bring a small group of fewer than 15 people on board your boat or pontoon.

Visit Luhrs Landing Marina on Torch River Road.

Final Thoughts

Kalkaska's district continues to impress tourists with its array of outdoor recreation options.

From camping to swimming, this place offers a slice of relaxation and bliss that's uniquely its own.

If you're ready to take your next adventure to this village, this list of the best things to do in Kalkaska, Michigan might just help.

Come to Kalkaska and make sure you check off every single activity yourself!