Gaylord is a city in Michigan. In 2020, Gaylord had 4,286 residents, an increase from 3,645 in 2010, according to Otsego County s official website.
The alpine village of Gaylord is home to many Tyrolean-style architecture in the downtown area. Because of its abundant snowfall and mild summer temperatures, Gaylord has long been home to many skiing and golf resorts, one of the largest such concentrations in the Midwest.
The village of Gaylord was incorporated as a city in 1922. The vote was close, with 114 people voting in favor and 93 against, for reasons that are unknown. John Hamilton was Gaylord’s first mayor. In addition to its location, the community gained in popularity because of its history. Gaylord’s Main Street was the junction of U.S. 27 and M-32, which brought both long-distance and local traffic to the city. The area’s natural attractions attracted both local residents and visitors, who would stop at gas stations, restaurants, and hotels. Gaylord advertised itself as the top of Michigan, even before the Alpine Village and Golf Mecca. Both of these ventures reflected the importance of tourism as an economic development strategy. The ski capital of Michigan was a successful marketing campaign because it was based on the area’s natural features and the importance of tourism. Snowfall and steep hills in the area make downhill skiing a sensible choice for drawing recreational travelers to the region.
The United States Census Bureau reports that Gaylord has a land area of 4.80 square miles (12.43 km2) and a water area of 0.03 square miles (0.08 km2), for a total area of 4.83 square miles (12.51 km2). The Census Bureau says the only exception is that a small portion of the city is water. During the winter, heavy lake effect snowfall occurs, and Gaylord is at the center of the Northern Michigan snowbelt. The 45th parallel line is halfway between the equator and the North Pole and is identified on highway signs. The 29 locations in the United States (six of which are in Michigan) where such signs can be found are known as points in which the 45th parallel line crosses over a major geographic feature. Northern Michigan is considered to be a part of Northern Michigan, and Hartwick Pines State Park is just 28 miles (45 km) to the south. The Huron-Manistee National Forests are nearby.
The higher elevation and distance from Lake Michigan result in increased snowfall, which is known as Lake Effect Snow. There are many winter recreational opportunities thanks to local terrain and topography as well as prolific snowfall.
Much of the old train system has been converted to biking or Snow Mobile trails. The North Central State Trail to Mackinaw City north of Gaylord runs through the Michigan Central Railroad’s former spur line. The old railway line has been converted to a trail for biking and walking. Downhill skiing and snowboarding are accessible at several resorts in the area, most of which are located near Gaylord. Two of the best cross-country skiing destinations in the state are Hartwick Pines State Park Trails and Mason Tract Pathway, both of which are close to Gaylord. The Forbush corners in nearby Frederic, Michigan are renowned throughout the world for cross-country skills education and instruction. As a result of early and late snowfall, Forbush corners in nearby Frederic, Michigan is renowned throughout the world for cross-country skiing skills education and instruction. David Forbush designs, maintains, and grooms the area’s ‘one of the best private cross-country skiing systems in the Midwest.’ Because of its ‘snow belt microclimate,’ Forbush corners in nearby Frederic, Michigan receive early and late snow.
In July, Alpenfest draws a large crowd as people come to wear traditional Swiss clothes. This event offers a variety of pursuits, including carnival rides and games, music, shops, and the ‘Queen’s Pageant’ where local people vote for a person to be their representative. The procession occurs on the last day.