Linda Mueller purchased the Castle Farms in 2001 with a vision to restore the castle to its Renaissance style and preserve the farm for many generations to come. The restoration process was quite intensive and took approximately four years to come to fruition. The property is now open year round for weddings, receptions, festivals, corporate events and social events. It is also listed on the National and State historic registries and open year round for tours.
One of our favorite attractions is the Garden Railroad which opened in 2008 and is one of the largest model railroad layouts in Michigan. The lines feature over 55 trains that run along over 2,000 feet of track. The railroad lines run overhead along hedge lines as well as close to visitor’s feet and under the bushes.
Soar across and down the mountain and sail through trees at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour during these exciting Zipline Adventures. With 8 lines and heights of up to 60 feet, it’s sure to be an experience! Our writer ventured out to zipline in the late fall (it snowed), and it was amazing – we can only imagine how awesome this activity is in the summer!
North Manitou Island, part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, is approximately eight miles long, four miles wide, and boasts 20 miles of lakeshore. The island, which sits six miles off the shore of the Leelanau Peninsula in northern Lake Michigan, was home to 300 residents in its heyday as a logging village. Now, it is primarily operated as wilderness and provides explorers and relaxers alike plenty of space to enjoy their respective activities in solitude. There are many miles of hiking trails — ranging from the well-maintained main trails to the historical trails which are more difficult to find and follow — which wind through North Manitou’s numerous landscapes, including sand dunes, forests, and fields.
Getting to the island is part of the adventure, requiring a nearly two-hour ferry ride originating in Leland and a National Park pass for admittance to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. After arriving on the island, checking in with the park ranger, and attending a short orientation, ferry-goers are free to put on their packs and hit the trail.
We’ll let the picture do the talking. Stop in Fishtown at the Village Cheese Shanty and grab some sandwiches before making the hike to Pyramid Point overlook. The entire loop is only 2.6 miles, so it’s great for the inexperienced.