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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Interlochen, Beulah, and Lake Ann, Michigan / Lake 'N Pines Lodge, Lake Dubonnet State Forest Campground, and more!

May 2017, Weekend, 1-Night/2-Days

We had several places to visit in northern Michigan, which we decided to do in two days. We stayed overnight at Lake 'N Pines Lodge, we drove through the nearby state forest campground, and we visited Lake Ann Brewing Company and St. Ambrose Cellars. Following is information to assist future visitors.

Sunset from boat dock at Lake 'N Pines

Lake 'N Pines Lodge ~ Angler's Nook

We had a last minute change of plans at the time of our stay, and Angler's Nook was the only unit available at Lake 'N Pines. Pines Nature Suite would have been my first choice; however, that unit had already been rented for both weekend nights. Bay Chalet looks like an amazing unit, although it has a higher price than we would usually pay for a quick overnight (and, it was not available either). Definitely, if you are looking for a special weekend away, Bay Chalet would be the way to go. Angler's Nook is located on the ground floor beneath Pines Nature Suite.

Unexpected and nice surprise in the fridge when we arrived!
I have not included many pictures from our room at Lake 'N Pines Lodge because their website is very detailed and accurate. There is a floorpan for each unit along with several room photos on their website. I am including just a couple of photos showing a few unexpected amenities that I did not see listed on the website.

Seasonings in cupboard
We found three cans of soda and two bottles water in the fridge when we arrived. A bag of ice was in the freezer. Coffee with condiments was provided with the coffeemaker. The in-room coffee was excellent, although I do not recall the brand. Several seasonings were provided in the cupboard. 

Bathroom amenities included shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and makeup remover.

The Internet and TV worked great, and the unit was comfortable. The bed was a tad squeaky, as were the floorboards overhead; however, it was nothing that kept us awake at night. The fridge was also a bit noisy. The air was on when we arrived. The windows have screens and can be opened, so we chose to turn off the A/C and open the windows for the fresh air.

Amenities at Lake 'N Pines: breakfast, lake, hot tub

We received a breakfast menu when we checked in. We chose the food items we wanted, along with the time and delivery method (room service was available for no charge). Breakfast was fabulous! The only thing I missed was a low fat meat option, like turkey or chicken sausage or bacon. We had eggs Benedict, breakfast burrito, potatoes (I had sweet potatoes, and my husband had the other), ham, bacon, and beverages. This was the best breakfast we have had at a Bed & Breakfast. This lodge is actually more than a B&B, as each unit has a full kitchen.

Start of sunset from hot tub
The boats and life jackets on shore by the lake were easily accessible, and we went out in one of the canoes for a short ride. My husband caught a couple of fish right from the dock. The sunset is beautiful over the lake. I imagine there is a great view from all three units; we watched it from the hot tub, and then we walked out on the dock (photo at the top of this post).

The temperature in the hot tub was perfect, and the water was clean. We did not observe anyone else use the tub during our stay.

Lake 'N Pines Lodge misc. info

We made our reservation over the telephone, and provided a $30 deposit. Our confirmation email said: ...if you are using a GPS system to find us for your upcoming may attempt to take you down Gonder Road to Wildwood to Mud Lake Road. Please do not follow that instruction. That section of Mud Lake road is seasonal and unpaved/unplowed. Continue on US 31 about 1 1/2 miles and it will bring you to Long Lake Road - which is paved/plowed... We arrived via Gonder Road, and the route we took did not take us on the seasonal portion of Mud Lake road. We took Gonder to Wildwood to Cedar Trail. There is a section of Mud Lake Road that is seasonal, which starts at Gonder Road.

Lake Dubonnet ~ photo taken at Lake 'N Pines

Lake Dubonnet State Forest Campground

This campground is located on Lake Dubonnet at the end of Gonder Road. It is about a mile down a dirt road to get into the campground. The road is wide, and we did not observe any low hanging limbs (something my husband always likes to know before we drive our 5th wheel into a state forest park!). There is a boat ramp in the campground, and there are three different loops for camping. One loop was closed off when we drove through. The sites are spacious, and some of them overlook the lake. We observed at least three 5th wheels, and five travel trailers in the campground. Michigan State Forest Campgrounds do not have power or a dump station. This one had fresh water from a hand pump.

St. Ambrose Cellars

We made an impromptu stop at St. Ambrose Cellars when we drove by. We had been there before, and decided to stop in and take a break for a bit. St. Ambrose offers meads and wines, and they will soon be brewing beer. My husband was excited to learn about the beer. When we were on the beer topic, we learned about Lake Ann Brewery. There is inside and outside seating at St. Ambrose, and live music on weekends. The service and tastings at St. Ambrose have always been excellent. We learned they are eliminating their no-charge tastings (you can get 5 for $5). They also sell howlers and growlers, which are 35% off on Thursdays. You can visit their website for more info, and I have more information and a couple of photos in previous blog posts: May/June 2016 and November 2016

Filling our growler at Lake Ann Brewing Company

Lake Ann Brewing Company

We finished the stops we had planned for the day before check-in time at Lake 'N Pines, so we decided to visit the brewery we had learned about. Lake Ann Brewing Company is about 8½ miles north of Lake 'N Pines via 31 and 665. The service and products at Lake Ann Brewing Company were just as excellent as they had been at St. Ambrose Cellars. After I put in directions on my phone, a message came up saying the brewery did not open until 2:00 p.m., and that it might not be open when we got there. We decided to stop anyway, since it was only a few miles out of our way. When we arrived around 1:30 p.m., the "Open" sign was lit in the window, although the posted hours said it did not open until 2:00 p.m. During our visit, we learned that the bartender had arrived early, and when she noticed a customer outside, she opened early. There were two patrons in the bar when we arrived. The bartender knew them by name, and everyone else who arrived after us. We liked both brews that we tried, and we had our growler filled before we left.

Let me know if you have any questions or information to add. Please share this post for others!