Things to See and Do

The Cross in the Woods

Mass Schedule Year Round:
Saturday: 4:30 pm
Sunday: 8:30am (indoor) and 10:30am
Monday thru Friday: 8:30am and Noon

In 1954, the Cross, made from a Redwood tree was erected. Renowned Michigan sculptor, Marshall M. Fredericks created a bronze image of the crucified Jesus which was raised into place in 1959 to complete the Crucifix.

Interesting Statistics about the Cross

  • 1953 Redwood tree cut down in the mountains of Oregon.
  • 1954 Cross is 55 feet high, 22 feet wide
  • 1959 Corpus (or body) designed by Marshall Fredericks was cast in bronze at a foundry in Norway, weighing 7 tons, 28 feet head to toe, and outstretched arms span 21 feet.
  • 1992 Corpus was cleaned and Cross repainted beige to emphasize the bronze corpus. Corpus is cleaned and waxed every two years.

For More Information Contact:
The Cross in the Woods
Phone: (231) 238-8973

Cooperation Park

One of the best community resources for people of all ages in Indian River is Cooperation Park. This park cover 51.78 acres and includes baseball fields, a skateboard park, a nature trail, tennis courts, basketball courts, a large children’s playground, horse shoe pits and soccer fields. No matter what a person’s outdoor hobby or age, they are bound to find fun during all seasons at this wonderful community park.

For More Information Contact:
Tuscarora Township Parks Commission
Phone: (231) 238-7865


In addition to the Inland Waterway there are numerous other rivers, lakes and streams located nearby on which you may enjoy a variety of fishing opportunities. There is no time like the spring to enjoy fantastic fishing. See the current Michigan fishing guide for regulations.

For More Information Contact:
Dept of Natural Resources
Gaylord District Office
Phone: (989) 732-3541

Inland Waterway

This unique chain of lakes and rivers is sure to please any boating or fishing enthusiast. Whether you are looking for a leisurely excursion filled with wildlife and scenic beauty, or more active journey with waterskiing, tubing and swimming the Inland Waterway is just right for you.
Crooked and Pickerel Lakes
Both Crooked and Pickerel Lakes are noted for good fishing, and relatively deep lakes given their more compact size in comparison to Burt and Mullett Lakes.
Crooked River
To continue your boating journey from Crooked Lake to Burt Lake boaters must travel through the Crooked River and go through the Crooked River Locks which lowers boats two feet to the level of Burt Lake. Navigation on the Crooked River generally limits boats to 25 feet.
Burt Lake
This is Michigan's fourth largest inland lake and is known for its wide span of water and its beautiful bays. There are two nature preserves on the shores of Burt Lake, Seven Springs Nature Preserve and Colonial Point Forest/Chaboiganing Nature Preserve. Additionally, there are DeVoe Beach, a township park, and Burt Lake State Park both with beautiful sandy beaches for swimming.
Indian River
Connecting Burt and Mullett Lakes is the 5 mile stretch of the Indian River. The area where the Indian River flows into Mullett Lake is a marshy area known as the Indian River Spreads. The Indian River Spreads is a wildlife habitat for a variety of wildlife including Bald Eagle, Osprey, Otters, Loons and other waterfowl.
Mullett Lake
This is Michigan's fifth largest inland lake. Enjoy swimming, tubing, water skiing or fishing on this deep lake.
Cheboygan River
This is the largest river in the Waterway system and it flows into Lake Huron. At is mouth, the Coast Guard Cutter "Mackinaw" makes its home. A drawbridge spans the river downtown and a gate lock raises and lowers boats 12 feet.

North Central State Trail/Snowmobiling

The newly re-surfaced and dedicated trail offers 62 miles of non-motorized trail, from Gaylord to Mackinaw City. This picturesque trail takes the cyclist, jogger or walker through quiet woodlands, past streams and along the west shore of Mullett Lake. Opportunities to visit small towns along the way add to the interest.
When the snow flies, it is time for the snowmobiles to hit the trail. Snowmobilers will have a great ride through the beautiful woodlands and along the west shore of Mullett Lake. This trail is groomed. Speed limits and restricted hours are enforced on portions of the trail. Additionally, there are hundreds of miles of other groomed snowmobile trails in the area for you to enjoy.

View Map (pdf)
For more information Contact:
Top of Michigan Trails Council
Phone: (231) 348-8280

Sturgeon Viewing Tours

Each spring, the famed lake sturgeon head up select rivers to spawn. The Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council and Sturgeon for Tomorrow host a Sturgeon Viewing Guided Tour. Experts from the Watershed Council, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Sturgeon for Tomorrow, and other scientists will be on hand to talk about Lake Sturgeon, poaching enforcement, netting and tagging, recent Black Lake Watershed research, and the Watershed Council’s restoration work to improve sturgeon habitat.

For more information contact:
Sturgeon For Tomorrow Black Lake Chapter
Phone: (231) 625-2776


There are many beautiful hiking trails in the Indian River area and there is no time like spring to be out enjoying the beauties of nature. The Wildwood Hills pathway, the Ocqueoc Falls Bicentennial pathway and the Black Mountain Forest pathway are all within a few minutes of Indian River.

For more information contact:
Dept of Natural Resources
Gaylord District Office
Phone: (989) 732-3541

Black Mountain Recreation Area

With more than 30 miles of trails, hikers and skiers have their choice of routes for every skill level. Special pathways have been constructed for the traditional diagonal skier and the skate-skier. Pathways range from "Easy" to "Most Difficult".
Horseback Riding
Riding the two-track roads through the flats and over the hills of the Black Mountain Recreation area on horseback has been a popular sport for a long time. Riding is specifically designated for the skiing/hiking pathway April through November. The snowmobile trails are also open to horses April through November.
There are many miles of old two-track roads and fire lines which may be used by equestrians. Horses are not permitted off established roads, pathways and trails.
A group campground, south of East Twin Lake, is available to horseback riders. Reservations are recommended, please call (231)627-2811.
Off Road Vehicles (ORVs)
Three parking lots serve as access points to about 60 miles of ORV trails and 15 miles of ORV routes. In addition to the winding trails and generally straight routes, there is a 65-acre scramble area for motorcycles and ATVs. (This are closed to 4X4 trucks). Legal access to trails, routes and the scramble area is at the upper level of Black Lake Campground.
Please follow the orange triangles marking ORV routes and trails. Riding in unauthorized locations is a violation of state law.

Elk Viewing

Visitors to Indian River are only minutes away from the Pigeon River Country State Forest, a prime location for catching a glimpse of the largest free-roaming elk herd east of the Mississippi.
The best times of day for viewing the elk are dawn and dusk. At these times the elk will feed in forest openings and fields. Stop by the Chamber office to pick up an elk viewing map.
Download our full color Elk Viewing brochure here.

For more information contact:
Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Gaylord District Office
Phone: (989) 732-3541


This beautiful 18-hole championship golf course is carved out of virgin pine. There are four different teeing areas for golfers of all calibers. This 3 ½ star rated golf course is truly a gem, and we hope you, will stop in and enjoy the experience the Indian River Golf Club has to offer.

For more information contact:
Indian River Golf Club
Phone: (231) 238-7011

Pigeon River Trips

The Pigeon River is located in the north-central part of the southern peninsula of Michigan. Its headwaters are located a few miles northeast of Gaylord. The river then flows in a northerly direction to its mouth at Mullet Lake, a distance of 42 miles. The Pigeon River system drains a surface area of approximately 88,000 acres and include 80 linear miles of stream.

For more information contact:
Great Lakes Eco-Adventure Center
Phone: (213)420-2277

Burt Lake State Park

With 2,000 feet of sandy beach on sparkling Burt Lake, Burt Lake State Park is a summertime destination in Indian River. The park is a relaxing place to swim, boat, and camp. A Michigan Recreation Passport is required for admission.

Burt Lake State Park has a large swimming beach that can be used by day-use visitors and campers. A picnic shelter, playground, volleyball court, and horseshoe pits are located nearby. A historical marker near the day-use parking area describes the Inland Waterway.

For visitors with boats, the park offers a boat launch on Burt Lake. The launch has two ramps and nearby parking for vehicles with boat trailers.

Burt Lake State Park is a favorite with campers. The park has a large modern campground with 306 camp sites. Electrical service and modern restrooms are available. A group use campground offers rustic camping for visitors. A vault toilet is available at the group use campground. For campground reservation information, visit the DNR's web site.

Indian River Parks

Devoe Beach Park is a nice small park on Burt Lake. The public park has a sandy swimming beach with picnic areas and a volleyball court. Restrooms are located north of the parking area.

Veterans Memorial Park is a small pie-shaped park along Straits Highway. It has markers to honor those who served in the armed forces.

Marina Park is a small park on Nabanois Trail. It has a boat launch that provides access to the Indian River and Sturgeon River.

Seven Springs Nature Preserve

53 acres. 2,200 feet of frontage along Burt Lake. The property includes a shoreline of cobble beaches and beds of emergent rushes, numerous springs that provide habitat for endangered species, dense forested wetlands and upland forest. A bluff runs just back from the water's edge. Over one mile of trails with a lake overlook. Located on the southeast side of Burt Lake; parking is at the preserve sign on Chippewa Beach Road.

Wright Road
Indian River, MI 49749
Driving Directions
Phone:(231) 347-0991

Morel Mushrooms

In the spring and early summer, morel mushroom hunting is a favorite pastime of both visitors and locals. Depending on the temperature and rainfall, these fungus can be found in abundance when searching in the right place. Morels often grow in moist woodlands and near dead tree. They can be anywhere from 2 to 12 inches tall and can be cooked in a variety of ways.

For more information contact:
Department of Natural Resources
Gaylord District Office
Phone: (989) 732-3541

Odawa Casino

Odawa Casino in Petoskey is the premier visitor destination in northern Michigan. Inside, guests will find 1,300 slot machines, dozens of Las Vegas-style table games, unique shopping, incomparable dining experiences and the best service around.

1760 Lears Road
Petoskey, MI 49770
Phone:(877) 442-6464

American Chillers Headquarters – Chillermania

Christopher Wright is the author of dozens of horror fiction books for children and young adults. He writes under the pseudonyms Johnathan Rand and Christopher Knight. Almost all of Wright's books (save American Chillers) take place in his home state of Michigan. Visit his work headquarters in Indian River!

1651 South Straits Highway, Indian River, MI 49749


The best snowsports between the Rockies and New England are just part of what makes a winter vacation in the Northern Michigan are one you'll long treasure.

Boyne Highlands
Boyne Mountain
Crystal Mountain
Nub's Nob