Northwest Michigan’s Big Rapids is a great town in the heart of the state. It is home to Ferris State University, which means it has a vibrant, engaged community, a thriving arts scene, and lots of great restaurants. It is an old mill town and is proud of its history. Like many Michigan towns, the surrounding area has countless opportunities for outdoor recreation. Stay at a bed and breakfast when visiting university students, when in town for work, or when you feel like having the best of Northern Michigan recreation with a shorter drive.
The Muskegon River runs through town, a reminder of Big Rapids’ history as a mill town. It is the second longest river in Michigan and is a fine place to fish and float. Indeed, it is widely recognized as a great spot to catch salmon, steelhead, trout and more, and it is a fantastic river for fly fishing. When the weather gets hot, grab an innertube and cool off with a float downstream. Or just admire the mighty Muskegon from the lovely Riverwalk, a trail that meanders along the river for more than 2.5 miles.
The Manistee National Forest is just outside of Big Rapids, Michigan. It has miles of trails open for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. It is even possible to travel the woods on horseback or mountain bike. Speak with the innkeepers at any bed and breakfast about the choicest scenic overlooks, the most impressive waterfalls, and the most secluded trails.
Back in town, history buffs will enjoy a trip to the Mecosta County Historical Museum and the Barryton Historical Museum. The Old Jail – the oldest structure in Big Rapids – is also a fun spot to visit. Ask any innkeepers about their favorite restaurants once hunger sets in, or just wait until morning for the outstanding breakfast served at the inn.