BIRCH SHORE ACRES - NOW BOOKING FOR 2016! Beautiful home on 5 very secluded acres with 300' of shoreline on the West shore of Intermediate Lake. Very private setting, flat property, with abundant trees, large grass areas, and great swimming. There is a SAND BEACH area next to the lake.
The home is approximately 3300 square feet, with 6 bedrooms and a bonus room that can be used as a bedroom. One of the bedrooms is part of an in-law quarters which has its own kitchen and bathroom.
In the main house, the kitchen has been completely remodeled with all new appliances and cabinets (Spring of 2008). The family room has vaulted ceilings with lots of glass to view the lake. There is also a large stone fireplace. On the main level, there are 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms (all bathrooms are new). One of these is only a toilet and sink. Upstairs, there is another bedroom, full bathroom, and a bunk/play room.
Intermediate lake is a wonderful fishing and sports lake. It is approximately 7 miles long, and about 1.5 miles wide in the middle. It runs north-south, which makes the lake fairly calm. As a part of the Upper Chain O'Lakes, several other lakes are accessible as well. Bring your boats or jet skis. There is a new dock with one boat lift. THERE IS A 20' PONTOON WITH A 75hp MOTOR AVAILABLE FOR RENT ($600/wk not including gas). There are also 2 kayaks and a Pedal Boat (free) for your use.
Close to the town of Central Lake (1 mile) with grocery and a few restaurants. Seven miles south is the town of Bellaire with Golf at Shanty Creek Resort (5 courses). Seven miles West is Grand Traverse Bay on Lake Michigan. 5 miles north is the town of Ellsworth. The town of Charlevoix is about 30 minutes north, with nice shopping, restaurants, and seasonal amenities. Elk Rapids, known for its antiques, is 20 minutes southwest. Petoskey and Traverse City are about a 1-hour drive. A casino is 45 minutes away. Many golf courses within 1/2 hour drive.
SLEEPING: (Note: Bed Linens/Bath Towels are NOT PROVIDED)
1) Attached In-Law unit: 1 Q, 1 single hide-a-bed
4) Q and (2)twin - Bunkbeds
5) Q and (2)twin - Bunkbeds
6) Q and a crib.
An addittional Queen sofa sleeper is in the family room.
The bunk/play room upstairs has 2 fold out couches to make single beds.
Our family of 10 adults and 7 children stayed at Birch Shore Acres for a long Labor Day weekend. The setting of the home is really lovely with lots of trees (birch of course!), a big yard for kids to run and play and plenty of outdoor patio seating. It's short walk to the waterfront and there are no steps to navigate with the little ones. There is a nice patch of sand for the kids to play in on shore, but be aware that this lake bottom is very silty and just a little activity by the kids will stir up things and make the water murky. The number of bedrooms and bathrooms make this a nice home for larger groups and the mother-in-law apartment is a special bonus with a view of the lake and doors that open out into the spacious yard, also, the game room upstairs worked great as a bedroom for the teen in our group. There was an ample supply of firewood and we enjoyed campfires right down by the water's edge. Oh, and there is plenty of room in front of the house to park multiple vehicles, boat trailers, etc. Having said all of that, it was a disappointment that the home, though not filthy, was in need of a good cleaning- if a cleaning crew had been there before we arrived it was not obvious, and with minimal effort we left it cleaner than we found it. There was also a general lack of upkeep and attention to detail both in and outside of the home. I did let the manager know during our stay that the dishwasher was not working properly (there was dirty, standing water in the bottom of it when we arrived), however we did not contact her about the multiple other issues, all of which I will not list here, until after our stay. My perspective was that lack of upkeep on this property was not going to impact our time togerher as a family and I didn't want to spend my vacation documenting or reporting problemes that obviously were not new. We even had some laughs about some of the issues- such as getting a shower every time the kitchen sink faucet was turned on because it only worked in spray mode! Not a laughing matter, however, was picnic table down by the water which had rotted wood with rusty nails protruding in multiple places- we definitely had to keep the kiddos away from that! Birch Shore Acres is a beautiful setting and our time with family was great fun. Hopefully the manager and owner will make some adjustments in the cleaning department and take steps to remedy the other issues we brought to their attention.
Our family has been coming to Birch Shore for many years now. The home is always clean and ready for our arrival. The beach and yard is an awesome spot for all the kids to hang out. We plan to continue our family vacations as long as they let us come! Thank you Sherry for always addressing any question or issues that we might have!
I was booking a trip for a group of incoming grad students (10 adults in total). It's not very easy to find a place that has 10 separate beds, so this place was unique in that regards.
Location: Intermediate Lake, while very nice, is a bit of a hike to some of the big stuff people like to do in that area (Sleeping Bear, Silver Lakes, Traverse City, Mackinaw City, etc.). Note: this mainly had to do with the activities we selected. There are lots of things nearby (Shanty Creek, fruit picking, gas stations, supermarkets large and small, etc.). This did nothing to diminish from the comfort of the house, the amenities (kayaks, paddle boat, large rooms, large kitchen, comfortable bathrooms, large washing machine, HUGE water heater - never ran out of hot water, etc.). The property was in great condition, clean, and the pictures don't do the house justice. The lake was also very comfortable to be in regardless of the hour (I personally did morning kayak rides almost every day). The in law suite is also really nice as we had one couple with us, so that gave them some extra comfort to have their own room living quarters and bathroom. We did use both kitchens when preparing multiple dishes (we cooked A LOT during our week stay, probably 60-70% of our meals were home cooked). There was no shortage of cookware and a good amount of "bonus" stuff that was simply there for us to use (spices, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, etc.)
The owner: Very responsive and prompt to questions, concerns, etc. Also was accommodating to a couple special requests, which helped our group out tremendously.
Check in/Check out: very seamless and easy. The owner is very reasonable in the expectations for both which made the in and out easy for us to manage.
All in all, I would gladly stay here again if I took another large group up north for a week.