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Craig Smale

Member since: 2013
Call Owner
Speaks: english

Walk to the beach, Updated Higgins Lake Cottage 4th of July week available

14 Reviews
Bedrooms 3
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 2 - 7 nights

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Michigan Cottage Rental Photos and Description

Relax at our Higgins Lake Cottage, a stroll away from a lakefront park & beach

***Now accepting reservations for fall weekends and summer 2016. We sell out every year so book your dates early***

Set among tall pines and shade trees, our Buckthorn Cottage is the perfect retreat for relaxation. Although it's been completely updated and is fresh and clean on the inside, we know that it's what's on the outside that will bring you back again and again.

Our cottage is just a stroll away from a sandy beach with a gazebo, playset, grills and bathhouse. Although this is a beautifully maintained public beach, not too many people know about Gerrish Park. In fact, it's not unusual to walk to the beach only to find you're the only one there! Tucked away at the end of a residential road, this local's secret is, in our opinion, the best beach on Higgins Lake.

Guests with children can feel safe knowing that there are no roads to cross to enjoy the beach... just a short walk down a gravel/dirt road. Higgins Lake is also extremely shallow along our shoreline, so parents can safely watch their children swm and play in the water without worry.

Back at our Buckthorn Cottage and gathered in the family room with a natural woodburning stove, you'll enjoy the views of a wooded lot, where chances are you'll see an abundance of wildlife, including deer, wild turkey, chipmunks and more. You'll enjoy a three-season room offering views from three walls of windows. We have two bedrooms with queen beds, and a third with two sets of bunk beds. Three couches will fold-out to full beds, if additional sleeping space is needed. The bathroom is completely remodeled, the updated kitchen is fully equipped, and you'll find a grill in the backyard. We also have a washer/dryer, DirectTV satellite, and wireless internet. Outside, take a nap in the hammock, or enjoy time with family and friends around the campfire pit, the perfect place to sit and enjoy a bonfire and s'mores.


We currently have the following dates open for summer 2015:

September 2 - 7 Labor Day weekend

Many fall weekends still available

We still have lots of availability for fall 2015.

More Details
  • Events Allowed
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
Craig Smale (Owner)
Member since: 2013
Call Owner
Speaks: english

About Craig Smale

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

Why Craig Smale chose Michigan

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.

What makes this cottage unique

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.


based on 14 traveler reviews

Walk to the beach, Updated Higgins Lake Cottage 4th of July week available
average rating of 5.0 based on 14 reviews

Great little cottage in the woods

  • 5 of 5

The pictures of the cottage look nice online, but I was still surprised how nice and spacious it really was when I got there. This place had everything we needed and then some. It's not far to roscommon either. My family will be going back.

  • Submitted: Dec 10, 2015
  • Stayed: Nov 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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  • 5 of 5

The Buckthorn Cottage was the perfect experience. Information and instructions were left and there was no confusion. We really enjoyed our stay.

  • Submitted: Jun 12, 2015
  • Stayed: Jun 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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1 0
Grand Rapids, MI

Just booked our second visit to Higgins Lake!

  • 5 of 5

The family is very excited for our second visit to Higgins Lake this summer. This house was great. I'm very picky about cleanliness and this place was clean. We spent most days at the beach which was never crowded. My daughter caught her first fish off of one of the docks. We grilled dinner at the cottage most nights and had a bonfire.

We had one overcast day (probably a good break from the sun). This turned out to be one of the best days. We found a canoe livery in town and spent a few hours on the Au Sable river. We finished that day with a stop at a restaurant/bar/bowling alley in town and had a great lunch and bowling.

We also rented a boat one day and really enjoyed exploring the lake.

Can't wait to do it all again this summer.

  • Submitted: Mar 25, 2015
  • Stayed: Jul 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We're happy to have you back this year. Thanks for taking the time to post this review.
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3 0
Rochester Hills, Michigan

Beautiful Higgins Lake Vacation

  • 5 of 5

Stayed here for a week. Loved the house, great beach, lots of privacy. Everything was clean and people were very easy to deal with. We will be back!

  • Submitted: Feb 27, 2015
  • Stayed: Aug 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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4 0
Canton, MI

Great vacation, the kids loved it!

  • 5 of 5

We had a great week at Higgins Lake. The house was fantastic and very clean. The whole place really had that up north feel to it. We spent every night by the bonfire pit and enjoyed grilling dinner most nights. There were also a couple really good restaurants nearby. We walked down to the beach most days and it too was clean and not crowded at all (kinda felt like our own private beach). Can't wait to return!

  • Submitted: Feb 13, 2015
  • Stayed: Aug 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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4 0
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Great Thanksgiving family getaway! Beautiful cottage.

  • 5 of 5

Our family spent Thanksgiving week here and had a great relaxing week. The house was impeccably clean and the owner was very pleasant to deal with. We had plenty of room and were really excited at how nice it was when we arrived (looks even better than the pictures). The area is quiet and peaceful with many trees and easy access to the lake/beach area (we'll have to check that out more this summer).

  • Submitted: Jan 28, 2015
  • Stayed: Nov 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: It's great to hear that you enjoyed your stay. We hope to see you again very soon!
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Nearest Ski
12 Miles
Hanson Hills
Nearest Beach
0.1 Miles
Gerrish Township Park

Higgins Lake is widely referred to as the 6th most beautiful lake in the world. If you are a returning visitor to the area then you know why. If you've never experienced it you are sure to be hooked after one visit. The lake is crystal clear with a sandy bottom.

Higgins Lake is a large recreational and fishing lake in Roscommon County, Michigan. The 9,900 acre (40 km²) lake is known for its deep, clear waters and is the 10th largest in Michigan with a shoreline of 21 miles (34 km). It is named after Sylvester Higgins, the first chief of the topographical department of the Michigan Geological Survey. It has a maximum width of 4 miles (6.4 km) and a length of 7 miles (11 km) with a maximum depth of 135 feet (41 m). The mean depth is 44 feet (13 m) and the lake contains almost 20 billion cubic feet (570 million m³) of water. Its retention time is about 12.5 years. The lake's watershed covers 19,000 acres (77 km²). The twin-lobed lake receives half of its water from submerged springs, six percent from incoming streams, and the remainder from direct rainfall and runoff. It drains into Marl Lake by the Cut River which runs into Houghton Lake and eventually to Lake Michigan. A mile north of the lake, water flows into the Lake Huron watershed.

Sportfish in the lake include yellow perch, trout, smelt and pike. Fish are taken both in open water and by ice fishing.

There are two state parks, located on opposite ends of the lake: South Higgins Lake State Park, which has a mile of shoreline, and North Higgins Lake State Park. Both provide public boat launches and camping, and are very popular in the summer months. The south park is older, larger, and more developed. The north park is located on what was once the world's largest seedling nursery, a part of the CCC of the 1930s.


Rates & Availability

Higgins Lake Cottage Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
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Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
July 4th Week
Jul 2 2016 - Jul 9 2016
7 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 6 guests; add $50 per night, per additional guest
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 6 guests; add $25 per night, per additional guest

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning Fee $75
Refundable damage deposit $200
Tax Rate 6.0%

Rates are subject to change until confirmed. All stated rates assume occupancy of up to 2 adults and 4 children. Additional occupants will incur a small additional charge. Pets are not permitted. Please contact me directly by email or calling 586-405-2083 before making a payment to confirm availability. Please double check the description of availability dates as our calendar may not be accurate.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Cancelled bookings will not receive a refund
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Michigan Cottage Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 1300 sq. ft.
  • 1 story
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Budget
  • Family
  • Sports & Activities
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet ...
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine
  • Wood Stove ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower , Completed remodeled in 2013!
  • From the floor to the ceiling, this bathroom was completely remodeled in 2013 and we think it is the cleanest bathroom you'll find in a rental cottage! You'll have plenty of room to take a bath or shower in the new, full-sized tub. Our favorite part of the bathroom? The unique deer antler light fixture! Additionally, we have a brand new deep well so the water pressure is great (tastes great too).
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 12
  • Master Bedroom - 1 queen , 2 sleep sofa /futon , Two large doorwalls; one opens to three-season room
    Bedroom 2 - 1 queen
    Bunk Room - 4 bunk bed , Two sets of bunk beds to total four twin beds
  • You can easily sleep 12-14 people in our 3 bedroom home. Newer mattresses throughout with comfortable mattress pads. Our pillows are also protected with zipped covers under pillowcases. After a day of fun in the sun and an evening by the campfire, we know you will have a good night's sleep in our new, clean beds! The bedrooms also have new floors, and are decorated to give you that 'up north' feeling. Closets are available for you to put away your belongings during your stay, as well as dressers. All three bedrooms have televisions, which are connected to DirectTV satellite.
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games ...
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo
  • Television ...
  • Toys ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Events Allowed
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only ...
  • pets not allowed ...
  • marina
  • restaurants
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • skiing
  • snowmobiling
Guests can walk a short distance to the end of our gravel/dirt road to jump off the public dock and enjoy swimming in beautiful Higgins Lake. Just to the right of the road end is Gerrish Park, a local's secret with 400 ft. of sandy beach. It is not unusual to find that you have the entire beach to yourself! The park also has a gazebo, playset, grills, volleyball, tetherball and bathhouse. Our area helps parents have a stress-free vacation because children do not have to cross any roads to get to the lake, which is shallow, allowing parents to relax knowing that their children are safe.

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