Have you ever seen an old movie where all of the neighbors are leaning over their balconies to gossip? This is how I imagine guests enjoying the indoor/outdoor atmosphere at the Lakefront Home on Avery Lake. Each of Lakefront home’s three private bedrooms, as well as the living room and kitchen, has access to an outdoor deck, with yet another deck leading from the cabin’s front door.
Patio furniture is provided for guests to sit overlooking the lake and the protected state forest land and wildlife preserve. Enjoy the gentle lake breeze, the song of the birds and the twang of the frogs — and forget about texting mom to see what’s for dinner. Instead, take advantage of the great unobstructed acoustics to holler across floor levels and from deck to deck!
Wildlife, and things of that elk
Lakefront home claims residence in Atlanta, Michigan, an unincorporated community that derives great pride from its status as the Elk Capital of Michigan. Atlanta is a beloved hub of hunting, fishing and other outdoor activity in the state, as it is settled in amongst the forested Clear Lake State Park and 11 well-populated natural lakes.
The hope of spotting deer and elk in the region brings many visitors, not to mention the always well-received fall color tours. In the spring, guests to Atlanta can even take part in guided group expeditions to search for morel mushrooms! And for those city-dwelling first-time visitors to the great outdoors, if your crashing footsteps through the trees scare off all of the wildlife within a two-mile radius, you can still get your selfie with one of Atlanta’s most famous inhabitants. Determined not to disappoint, Atlanta keeps one authentic taxidermy elk under lock and key in a glass box as part of its highway entrance sign.
Clear Lake, full hearts
Michigan’s Clear Lake State Park is a 290-acre secluded nature retreat that encloses the 133-acre, 100-foot-deep, spring-fed Clear Lake with 300 feet of clean, sandy beachfront. Clear Lake is routinely stocked with a variety of fish species, including a generous population of trout and smallmouth bass. The park’s gently rolling topography and densely forested woodland make for mildly challenging and fiercely beautiful hiking trails which lead from the main entrance in all directions and continue for up to 70 miles into the heart of the Michigan wild.
For the exercise-averse, trailheads for ORV and snowmobile routes are parked nearby, and a 48.5-mile scenic drive encompasses the area, offering travelers the opportunity to view deer, black bear, snowshoe hare, fox, coyote, raccoon, squirrel, grouse, bald eagle, loon and blue heron, as well as the infamous (and still living) elk. A nature drive is also a local-approved method of taking in the region’s fall color.
Rest and recharge
For guests coming home weary from getting turned around on a 70-mile hiking trail or driving 48 miles slowly enough to get good close-up photos of the elk, the 1,500-square-foot, spacious Lakefront Home is a haven of tranquility and sloth, fully furnished with room for six to sleep comfortably. A well-equipped kitchen and formal dining table with service for six enable guests to whip up a home-cooked meal (after you’ve drawn straws to see who’s on dish duty), and an outdoor fire pit and provided firewood tempt the family to enjoy s’more dessert out under the stars.
Guests can turn in for the night in three large, separate bedrooms: the master suite on the second floor is occupied by a queen size bed and has access to a private bathroom, while the two remaining bedrooms are located on the main floor and contain a double bed and two twins, respectively. A second bathroom is centrally located to sleepers on the main floor.
An island unto itself
Lakefront Home rests on a small island in Avery Lake, one of the regions many great fishing lakes. The cabin site is private and wooded, with open lines of sight to the lake. One side of the island borders a natural wetland habitat populated by birds, frogs and other wildlife. Two-thirds of the remaining lakefront abuts Clear Lake State Park. The island is accessible by car via a paved causeway and bridge, for guests who don’t fancy portaging in.
Once safely installed on the island, guests will love the easy access to the water at Lakefront Home by means of a private dock. Guests are welcome to explore Avery lake using kayaks, canoe, paddle board and a 12-foot aluminum row boat, all included in the rental price. Avery Lake is a unique natural water feature, fed by a collection of fresh-water springs that flow down from the surrounding hills. Careful practices observed by residents of the island keep the water crystal clear and the wilderness quality intact.
Cast a line
Apart from being a great place to swim — Avery Lake has a shallow, sandy bottom and is clear enough to see your feet — it is also a prosperous fishing spot. The high quality of the water makes it hospitable for smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, northern pike and walleye. Previous guests have been highly successful at fly fishing, particularly after the annual hex hatch in early June. Some guests have even brought their own electric trolling motor and attached it to the provided row boat for quicker transport around the lake.
While you’re trolling, keep an eye on the water’s edge for the varied wildlife that flocks there to hydrate. Previous reports include sightings of deer, elk, black bears, beavers, otters and mink, as well as a wide spectrum of smaller critters. Avery Lake is also home to pairs of nesting loons that fill the dawn and dusk with their haunting cry during the warmer months. Ducks and Canadian geese are frequent visitors.
A room with a view
For the islands less adventurous visitors, a spectacular view of the water and surrounding vegetation is available from the comfort of Lakefront Home’s cozy living area through large picture windows. These windows face west over the most beautiful side of the island, ensuring that each vibrant sunset that illuminates the lake and the island’s rolling hills reaches into the house to soothe the vacationer’s soul.
While the wide view from the window and the quietude of the dock may instill a sense of isolation in the busy guest accustomed to the constant connections of modern life, fear not — modern conveniences are not so far away. Lakeside Home is equidistant from the towns of Atlanta and Lewiston, clocking only a nine-mile drive to restaurants, grocery stores and the local library. The sportsman will also find three scenic golf courses (Gaylord, Garland Resort and Tree Tops) within an hour’s drive.
Visitors to Lakefront Home can plan their trip, dates and activities with rental owners Daniel and Cheryl. This book-direct model enables guests to speak with a couple of fun-loving local residents with a storehouse of knowledge and experience — gained through their own visits to Avery Lake, which began in the late ‘60s — about the area’s best scenery and tourist opportunities, such as day trips down the Au Sable River through the Huron National Forest.
Lakefront Home is a family heirloom of sorts, full of memories of summers spent on outdoors, while the lake is an unchanging staple of island life. Daniel and Cheryl are world-travelers, but always come back to Avery Lake. They would love to share their home with you. Lakefront Home is a seasonal rental, available for weekly rentals in the summer months, or for shorter stays during the spring and fall. Upon request, the home can also be reserved for months at a time.