We are originally from Macomb County in southeastern Michigan. We both attended Central Michigan University together, and after six years of dating and graduation from CMU, we married and moved to Macomb, MI. We are both teachers in northern Macomb County. We have two wonderful boys that attend a local elementary school. We like to say that Macomb is where we 'work,' and Higgins Lake is where we 'live.' Because of our unique situation, we are lucky enough to close up our Macomb home after the last day of school, and move up to Higgins Lake every summer.
Craig Smale purchased this cottage in 2012
When Craig was three-years-old, his grandfather began what would become a family tradition: vacations to Higgins Lake. In fact, it all started when his grandfather rented a cottage just down the road from our rental property on Reaves Forest! He later bought his own cottage just a few miles down Higgins Lake Drive, and several of Craig's aunts and uncles have followed in his footsteps over the years. Craig has been able to spend time at Higgins Lake throughout his life, and when Craig brought Stacy up to see Higgins Lake for the first time, she fell in love with it. Stacy had never been 'up north' before, and she'll never forget seeing the beauty of Higgins Lake's Caribbean-blue water surrounded by a tree-lined shoreline for the first time.
It has been our dream to give our children the opportunity to build incredible family memories at Higgins Lake, just as Craig did. In 2006 we purchased a cottage a few steps away from the first place Craig's grandfather rented, and now that our dream has come true, we want to share the “Higgins Lake experience” with others. When the cottage behind ours went up for sale, we knew it was the perfect opportunity to bring more friends and family to Higgins Lake. (...and make sure our kids will always want to return to Higgins Lake!) Over the last year, Craig has completely renovated and updated the property, and it has been decorated with love to give our guests that 'up-north' feeling. We are excited for the chance to have visitors, whether they're our personal friends, or other families looking to create their own Higgins Lake memories.
Without a doubt, one of the best kept secrets about our Buckthorn Cottage is its close proximity to Gerrish Park. Here you will find a lakefront park with approximately 400 ft of public beach that offers public swim access, gazebo, picnic areas, grills, restrooms with bath house, vending machines, children’s play equipment, volleyball net, universally accessible boardwalk, tetherball and paved parking. The best part? Not many people know about this park, and it's not unusual to have the entire place to yourself!
Although the cottage itself has been completely remodeled and updated, it still has that 'up north,' Michigan feeling. Its quiet setting, surrounded by tall trees and wildlife, make it the perfect place to get away from busy day-to-day happenings. Relax on a hammock, play cards or board games in the three-season room, or roast s'mores by the bonfire. We know that you will enjoy your time at our cottage and take advantage of the many fun activities the Higgins Lake area has to offer.