Welcome to our World
Parked squarely in the center of all that is fun in northern lower Michigan, Indian River is approximately 30 miles south of the Straits of Mackinac, between Burt and Mullett Lakes, not far from Lakes Michigan and Huron for boating and fishing and in the midst of several state parks and vast stretches of forest land that provide areas for camping, ORV riding, snowmobiling and hunting. Being centrally located between Petoskey, Cheboygan, Mackinaw City and Gaylord means a wide variety of restaurants, shopping, casinos, movie theaters, bowling alleys, downhill skiing, local events, antique shops and endless entertainment opportunities are available for daytrips.
In the past, people arrived by trains or steam-powered passenger boats. Today, most people drive, coming off I-75 at either Exit 310 or 313. You could also fly in through either the Pellston Airport or Pratt-Campbell Field. If you wanted to, you could come by boat through the locks in Cheboygan or even walk or bike in along the recreational trail that runs from Gaylord to
(Note: Visitors entering Indian River pass a new 32-foot long sturgeon sculpture at the intersection of S. Straits Highway and M-68. The sturgeon was created by Tom Moran of Onaway. A fundraising drive to purchase the sculpture was spearheaded by the Burt Lake Preservation Association.)
Indian River is located in the center of the Inland Water Route, a 38-mile chain of lakes and rivers on the Water Route along with nearby streams that are difficult to match.
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You can have a fun day on the water in everything from a kayak or stand-up paddleboard on up to cabin cruiser. Pontoon boats are very popular and if winds make the lakes choppy, you can still have a great time cruising around the rivers.
Fishing has been drawing people to Indian River for more than a century. Many of the homes along the shoreline started out as part of fishing resorts. In 2016, a state record smallmouth bass was caught in the Indian River by a fisherman casting from a dock.
Indian River is also home to the National Shrine of the Cross in the Woods, the world's largest crucifix and one of Michigan's top tourist destinations. Hundreds of thousands of people from throughout the world come to see the Cross each year.
Burt Lake State Park is adjacent to the Cross in the Woods and offers more than 300 camp sites along with a park, beach area and boat launch ramp on Burt Lake. There are also several private campgrounds in the area. Indian River is at the northern edge of the Pigeon River State Forest, home to the largest wild elk herd east of the Mississippi River. There are designated elk viewing areas within the State Forest. There are also thousands of acres of forestland for hunting, fishing, mushroom and berry picking, and hiking.
For golfers, the Indian River Golf Club has a beautiful 18-hole course and within an hour's drive there are dozens of other 9-hole and 18-hole courses.