Historic Birch Lodge

Historic Birch Lodge
Historic Birch Lodge, Trout Lake, MI

Thursday, June 9, 2016

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An Innkeepers Dream….

View from Birch Lodge Porch

Historic Birch Lodge is for sale.   We are open for business as usual, but would like to find the next owners who can take it to its FULL potential.

Ideally, we feel the lodge needs serious innkeepers and an excellent chef to give it wings.   Michigan Bed and Breakfast law now states that owners may provide “meals” at no additional charge to their guests.   This is exactly what I feel would work so well at Birch Lodge.   Offer three excellent meals for the guests staying at the lodge.    Excellent food is, frankly, something that is rare in the Upper Peninsula, and we have a great location for it.  Half an hour above the bridge, the property is set nicely back from the road, and has a fantastic waterfront placement, and historic appeal. 

  The lodge is full of “commons” space, the old Birch Bar, the front lobby, the upstairs lobby and deck as well as the 100’ front porch.  The rooms are spacious as well.  It is truly a unique property…there is no other like it.
Birch Lodge Lobby

Up until the early 1980’s the kitchen did turn out meals for the guests.   The kitchen is large, with plenty of prep space, and does have triple sinks, newer refrigerator and gas stove, and a great old commercial Garland gas stove, (it no longer meets commercial code, but this is not required for a Bed and Breakfast… which falls under residential code).  


  The dining room is large and full of light with lovely antique tables, and china. 

  Many people would like to see the old Birch Bar open again, but I feel this would be a mistake.  It would require extensive commercial code modifications, and I feel would negatively impact the quiet peaceful atmosphere which is a large part of the charm here.   I do, however, think it may be possible to get a license to serve fine wine and beers to guests staying at the lodge to accompany their dinner and still stay within the Bed and Breakfast code requirements.   

Right now the lodge has five rentable rooms with baths, and three more rentable rooms are ready and waiting for baths to be added (the future baths have been begun).   We have also created an owner’s suite with bath upstairs over the kitchen.    The motel is fully renting with eight lake front units, and there is an old log cabin, which with updating could be used as a rental as well. 

 We have worked hard and poured ourselves into getting this old gal back on her feet.  There is a great deal of interest in lodge stays, but we simply can’t do it all.   We need someone who can now make her run.     It would be a great place for a couple with adult children, or possibly an extended family business.   Are you that chef?   Is this your dream too?   If so, let us know...serious inquiries welcome...the property is listed with Mackinac Properties.

Friday, January 1, 2016

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Birch Lodge the Bed and Breakfast.....2015 Additions

 Because of the lack of help and a VERY busy motel, we did not open the lodge for booking online as a bed and breakfast.   However we did allow stays for those who inquired, for periods when I felt we could handle the extra business.   We didn't want to over commit to what we could handle without additional help.    We started out last year with two rooms downstairs....the "Dr.'s suite, a large lakefront bedroom with a private sitting room and bath, and "Ada's" suite across the hall, which is handicap friendly....also a large bedroom with private sitting room and bath. 

In July we had the front stairway handrails made code compliant and were able to open the three rooms we had ready upstairs....

Room 3 is lakefront suite with a queen bed,
new private tiled bath,
and private sitting room with two recliners overlooking the lake.
  Room 4 is across the hall from Room 3, and is a large light filled bedroom with queen bed and private bath.
Two large windows overlook the back of the property, and a large window at the side of the room by the comfy chair overlooks the lake.
I love this spacious vintage inspired tiled bath.

Room 5 upstairs is a corner suite off the back hallway.
It is an interesting corner layout with a large bedroom with queen size bed and Morris recliner,
a tiled private bath,
 and a small private sitting room with comfy chair and bookshelf
 overlooking the log cabin and woods.    We also worked on getting the upstairs lobby furnished with new rugs in addition to the original furniture which was stored in the attic.
and a new Bradbury and Bradbury Arts and Crafts Wallpaper Frieze called "Birchwood in Twilight"
  which I decided to frame on the wall.    We also purchased some vintage theater seats and refinished the floor in the other corner room off the upstairs lobby
to begin putting together our DVD theater room....shopping now for the TV and movies!

This fall we also refinished floors and began to move furniture in the rooms over the old Birch Bar.   These rooms are waiting for bathrooms to be added before they will be ready.  Room 6 will be a beautiful lakefront room with queen bed,
  private sitting room and bath.  I am shopping for furnishings this winter!    Room 7 is across the hall and has twin beds and
three large windows, with a lake view from the side of the room.  Will also be adding some finishing touches and well as the bathroom!

 Depending on our help situation,  2016 will have at least Rooms 1-5 available as bed and breakfast stays at least on a limited basis.  Please email us if you are  interested  birchlodgemi@gmail.com.   And visit us on Facebook!


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Print Friendly and PDF Birch Lodge Sneak Peek into 2015

View from upper deck, Birch Lodge, Trout Lake, MI

When we closed last fall, we were working away on the upstairs suites.  We have new queen mattresses for all the rooms, and with their floors finished, we started "playing house", moving furniture back down from the attic and choosing furnishings for the rooms.   The three upstairs suites are not able to be rented until we redo the stairway, but I thought you might like a peek at where we are....

Upstairs Lakefront (over Dr.'s Suite) :

Upstairs Lakefront
Upstairs Lakefront

Upstairs Lakefront in progress

Across the hallway, and over the Ada's Suite is a room without a sitting room, which is one of my favorite rooms, filled with light, again, these rooms are not fully furnished yet...just wait!

Bedroom, 2nd floor
Bedroom, 2nd floor

Bedroom's private bath

Off the back hallway, on the corner of the lobby is our "Corner Suite", with a private bath and sitting room. This was where I was going to house our housekeeper last year, until I found she couldn't work for us!    Will post better photos and updates in the spring....stay tuned!  

Corner Suite in Progress...
Corner Suite

The future rooms upstairs over the Birch Bar are on hold while we focus on getting these rooms open.  However, we also made progress on creating an owner's suite as well.  Upstairs over the kitchen, we bumped out a couple of partition walls in bedrooms on both sides of the hallway to create a sitting room, and bedroom with a large closet.  We will have our own bath, and there will be an upstairs laundry area....not done yet.  We have added a door across the end of the upstairs back hallway to allow us more privacy.

  Once we get moved there, we can set our sights on reworking the cabin for rental...which will take a LOT of work.....ALWAYS...to be continued.....
Print Friendly and PDF Birch Lodge, Trout Lake Mi, 2015 Update

Finally, Birch Lodge received permission to open as a Bed and Breakfast!   Late last fall, the building inspector gave us permission to open the two downstairs suites.  We will have to do some work on the stairway before we can use any upstairs rooms.  

 All rooms will have one queen bed and are limited to double occupancy.    I have not opened any bookings for the lodge yet, pending finding some housekeeping help for summer 2015.  

Birch Lodge, Trout Lake, MI

Dr.'s Suite (downstairs, lakefront):

Dr.s Suite

Dr.s Suite

Dr.'s Suite Bath

Dr.'s Sitting Room

Across the hall from the Dr.s Suite is  Aunt Ada's Suite, which is more handicap friendly:

Ada's Suite
Ada's Sitting Room

Ada's Bathroom

Rooms upstairs are in progress, for a peek check out our next blog!

Friday, April 4, 2014

2014 Eastern U.P. Calender of Events

Print Friendly and PDF   Birch Lodge and Motel at Trout Lake Mi, is just about a half hour from all these events!  You might want check these events out while you stay with us!

June 6-12th     Mackinac Island Lilac Festival   Daily events, hayrides, festivities celebrating the beautiful Lilacs of the area, some of which are over 200 years old!

June 7-8th   Free Fishing Weekend!   Throughout the State fish for free

June 20th   St. Ignace, MI 18th Annual Antiques on the Bay Restored classic and  antique vehicles displayed along the bay

June 26th -29th  St. Ignace Car Show Weekend

June 26th  Kewadin Casino Cruise Night...Classic Cars Cruise from St. Ignace to Kewadin Casino

June 27th   Down Memory Lane Parade.....Cars, floats, and entertainment downtown St. Ignace

June 28th   St. Ignace Mud Run......4pm at Little Bear East.  Also Kewadin Casinos Monster Truck Throwdown

July 4th   St. Ignace Fourth of July Activities beginning at 2:00pm parade, activities, fireworks.

July 12-14th   Port Huron to Mackinac Yacht Race  92nd Year

July 19th  St. Ignace Fish Feast   Music, entertainment and lots of fish!

July 19th-22th  Chicago to Mackinac Yacht Race 106th Race!  Yachts leave Chicago Sat. morning, arrive Sunday to Monday depending on conditions.

August 9th Hessel, MI  Les Cheneaux Antique Boat Show  Restored Classic Wood and Glass Boats dating from the early 1900's on display.  Music, food, events.   Held in conjunction with the Festival of Art, a juried art show and sale featuring the works of many Midwestern Artists.

August 15-17th  Wild Blueberry Festival, Paradise, MI  Music, entertainment and lots of Blueberry pancakes, muffins, pie and buckle! 

August 17th   28th Annual Honda Gold Wing Ride  Grand Rapids to St. Ignace, MI  Bikes ride at night and arrive about 8:00a.m. in St. Ignace.  Show, parade, festivities.

August 22-24th St. Ignace, MI  Rendezvous at the Straits Powwow....Reenactment of French Voyagers and Powwow

August 30-31st, St. Ignace, MI  Arts and Crafts Dockside  Music, Food, Fun and Art Dockside at the Marina

September 1st,  St. Ignace, MI  Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk

September 5&6 St. Ignace, MI  Owosso Tractor Parts Antique Tractor Show and Parade..Antique Tractors Cross the Bridge and 9:00 a.m. Show, Parade, events.

September 12-13th St. Ignace, MI  24th Annual Car/Toy/ Truck Show and Swap Meet...  Cars, Collectible Toys, and  Trucks show, swap and sale.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Print Friendly and PDF Birch Lodge, Trout Lake, MI,  Update 2014, Part Two

View from Upper Deck, Birch Lodge, Trout Lake, MI

The last post ended with the new lakefront suite over the Dr's Suite downstairs.  Across the hall on the second floor were three small bedrooms and one bathroom.  

   The new bedroom across from the lakefront suite over the Dr.'s Suite does not have a sitting room, but it is now a generous sized room with a large bathroom all it's own.

 It is now one of my favorite rooms with a view of the lake through the tops of the birch and pine at the end window.  Frequently there are warblers outside in these tree-tops, sadly I have no photo of that window!  This room is full of light!.

New Bedroom with Bath


 The second floor lobby at the lodge was washed, scraped walls repaired and re-painted.

2nd Floor Lobby Before
2nd Floor Lobby After (Actually During)
  The long hallway to the rear of the lodge was also repaired and repainted, and the two rooms on either corner of the lobby and hallway were turned into corner suites.  The corner suite on the north side of the hallway had the doorway into the bath re-opened, and the bath redone.  When we re-opened this doorway, we found the 2 x 4 with a note from Cliff Badgley on it! (We saved it.)

Badgley 2x4 note

Corner Suite before doorway behind chair was reopened

We opened a doorway into the next room further down the back hallway to make a "sitting room" for the suite.  Now it has it's own bath and sitting room!
Corner Suite After
Corner Suite Bath

Next we took out the remaining partition walls over the Birch Bar and in two areas over the kitchen to complete the demo of the remodeling, and finished most of the drywall in those areas.  Some photos of those areas will be in the next post!