By: Robert Janis
Wolf Lake Motel and
Resort Is Shangri-La for ATV Recreationists
If you are an ATV’er who likes to hunt, fish,
and explore some rugged, rural trails, then you
may want to consider The Wolf Lake Motel and
Resort in Baldwin, Michigan.
The lakeside resort is located in Lake
County, Michigan in the Manistee National Forest
and the Marquette State Forest right on the
shores of Wolf Lake. The county is known for its
156 lakes, 46 trout streams, and four major
rivers. Hunters know the area for its deer,
turkeys, bears, coyotes, and more. Moreover,
there are 220 miles of off-road vehicle trails.
Trails in the area include:
- Tin Cup Springs, which includes a trail and
route of 21 miles each.
- Little Manistee Trail, which includes a trail
and route both about 46 miles in length.
- Little O Trail, an ORV trail of 46 miles.
- Lincoln Hills Trail, an ORV route and trail that
are 21 miles each.
- Big O Trail, which includes single track
motorcycle and ORV trails as well as dual sport
motorcycle trails which total 80 miles.
The resort was originally constructed in
1960. Tim Terrill bought the property in 1998.
According to Tim, the National Wildlife
Federation has jurisdiction over many of the
rivers in the region. It has set aside part of
the Pere Marquette and the Manistee Rivers for
fly fishing. “These are national scenic rivers
that are well regulated,” said Tim. “There are
great salmon runs in the fall and steelhead runs
in the spring and winter.
“The trails are on state or federal
property,” continued Tim. “And they are open all
year ’round. We get a lot of people with 4-wheel
ATVs who come up to ride the trails in the
winter until the snow gets too deep.”
The resort is also a member of a number of
local clubs that use the trails including the
Lake County ORV Club, the Cycle Conservation
Club, and the Iron Area Tourists Association’s
ORV club. Moreover, Wolf Lake Motel and Resort
is a corporate sponsor of many ATV enthusiasts
groups and the owner and staff are ATV
The resort rents ATVs as well. Models
available include Honda 250 Recon with
electronic shift for $140 a day; Yamaha
Wolverine for $165 a day; Can Am two up for
$195; and Yamaha Rhino UTV for $265 a day.
According to Tim, the per day rate drops
depending on how many days you rent the machine.
Tim, a retired driveability technician for Ford
Motor Company, maintains and repairs the ATVs.
The resort can also accommodate ATVs brought
by guests. Although Tim does not maintain
guests’ ATVs, there is a large motorsport
dealership nearby which can maintain and repair
them. “If you need a part, they can order it and
get it in fast,” said Tim.
ATV’ers can park their machines right outside
their room and drive directly to the trails.
“The county allows ORV access to the shoulders
of most county roads,” said Tim. Moreover, the
resort can organize rides through the different
clubs of which it is a member.
The motel and resort offers guide services,
too. However, Tim said that visitors can easily
negotiate the trails without a guide. “The
mapping of the area is quite good, and there is
mapping on the trail. So, it is very tough to
get lost,” he said. The Resort’s website
provides information on each and every trail in
Wolf Lake Motel and Resort also rents boats
and fishing equipment and is a few miles away
from restaurants, bars, entertainment including
a casino and golf course, and more. The
motel-resort can get you a tee time at the golf
course and reservations at the casino and
The Wolf Lake Motel and Resort offers a number
of different accommodations that cater to most
budgets. A small, single motel room can be yours
for $39 a night; a double motel room is $53 a
night; double, lake front units with fully
furnished kitchenette, queen size and full-size
beds, dining room table and chairs for $79 a
night; two-bedroom lake front units with
full-size beds in each room and a full size sofa
sleeper in the living room, and there is a
dining room and kitchen, all for $99 a night;
and a bunk house with two bedrooms each with a
queen-size buck bed, a queen-size sofa bed in
the living room; and there is a dining room,
kitchen, bar, and fireplace for $149 a night.
According to Tim, there are future plans to
expand the resort. The local ORV club and the
local motorsport dealer have received grants
from Yamaha and Polaris to maintain and extend
the ORV trails. Also, the local ORV club, of
which Tim is a member, has submitted a proposal
to the state of Michigan to expand the trails.
“It takes a long time dealing with the state. We
estimate that we may be able to start expanding
the trails in about two or three years,”
For more information on the resort visit its
www.wolflakemotel.com. It also
provides access to information about the various
trails in the area.