Seniors Check Out Kalkaska

emma-blog-kalkaska Kalkaska made the local paper today as farmers there are working to develop their barley crops used for manufacturing beer. They seem to be doing quite well at it. Seniors learn that Kalkaska is a village in Michigan with a population of just over 2000. I love small towns as I hail from one in Iowa with a population of 300.

Kalkaska is the seat of Kalkaska County and is part of Kalkaska Township. The name Kalkaska is thought to be a Chippewa word meaning flat or burned-over country.

Kalkaska County has over 80 lakes and 275 miles of streams and rivers with numerous state and county parks. The village of Kalkaska has a lot going for it considering its size. Oil and gas, manufacturing, and tourism are important industries in the village and surrounding county.

Seniors Discover Year Round Vacation Destination


Tourism in the Kalkaska area began around the turn of the century as people in the midwestern cities discovered the county as a place to vacation all year-round. Kalkaska has a well used sports complex, “The Kaliseum,” which has an indoor pool and an indoor skating rink.

Senior visitors also find neat horse barns built by the very active local equestrian clubs. Snowmobile, motocross and horseback riding enthusiasts will find numerous marked trails that wind their way through the county. The 126 inches of snow from the lake effect of Lake Michigan adds a lot to wintertime activities.


In 1916, the noted author Ernest Hemingway visited and fished for trout in Kalkaska, and later immortalized the town in his story “The Battler”. The National Trout Festival in April attracts many anglers at what is called “The Reel Thing.”

Seniors Enjoy “Up North” Winterfest

Established in 1965, Kalkaska Winterfest  in February is an annual celebration of wintertime activities and where you can experience the true “up north” spirit of the state. Each year, Kalkaska Winterfest hosts a variety of family-friendly attractions during the weekend-long event.

Sled dogs overtake the town to participate in the largest sprint sled dog race in the Lower 48.  When senior visitors feel that Fall Is In The Air, they can take in the Bell’s Beer Iceman Cometh Challenge, a 27.2 mile point-to-point mountain bike race from Kalkaska to Traverse City and takes place  traditionally on the first Saturday of November.

 The annual County Fair in August, a Strawberry Festival in June and Christmas in Kalkaska are additional annual events that attract senior visitors. Me, I’d enjoy a visit to The Kalkaska County Museum located in the Train Depot building in downtown Kalkaska. The original structure has been well preserved and kept in much the same design and shape as when it formerly served as a depot.

Hop on the back of this snowmobile as it goes buzzing along a nearby trail and enjoy. -jeb

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