• West Branch Kayaking
  • Historical Tours
  • ORV Trails


West Branch Businesses, Organizations and Visitors Bureau Members,

The budget battle over a variety of issues has escalated in Lansing. Because of this escalation the Michigan Travel Bureau and the Pure Michigan Campaign has become an innocent victim of this political battle. Governor Whitmer cut the Pure Michigan promotion using the line-item veto when signing the budget Monday, September 30. As a result, $37.5 million in Pure Michigan marketing dollars were slashed from the 2020 state budget.

The next step is either supplemental funding bills being introduced in the legislature or adjustments to the budget through the State Administrative Board. Either way the budget adjustment may well be reshaped through negotiations with the Governor's office and a supplemental appropriations bill.

In addition, MEDC (Michigan Economic Development Corporation) community revitalization programs received a devastating cut. Without the thriving, growing communities, it is hard to have thriving, growing tourism.

Both of these programs are essential to the continued growth of northern Michigan. As small businesses are supported by investment by entrepreneurs and support from agencies like MEDC, the expansion of these businesses makes a strong impact here in our area. Add in the marketing dollars from Pure Michigan and you have a perfect combination of marketing and small business development.

The quickest and most effective way to reach your senators and representatives is through e-mail. We encourage you to contact your legislators immediately and request "Investment in the economic development of our communities and Support of the Pure Michigan campaign."

Thank you,
Emil Rousseau, Visitors Bureau, President

Representative Daire RendonS-1387 House Office BuildingP.O. Box 30014Lansing, MI 48909Phone: (517) 373-3817Email: DaireRendon@house.mi.gov

Senator Curt VanderwallState Capitol201 Townsend StreetLansing, MI 48933Phone: (517) 373-1725Fax: (517) 373-0741SenCVanderWall@senate.michigan.gov

Governor's office517-373-3400gretchen.whitmerPmichigan.gov

A visit to Ogemaw County is one that your family will remember for many years to come. Enjoy the Ogemaw Hills, Rifle River Valley and traverse the many nature trails that will provide you with hours of entertainment. During your visit here you will become enthralled with the enchanting beauty that this region holds for you. Make your travel plans in northern Michigan and come spend some time with us here in Ogemaw County.

Ogemaw County is an ideal place to spend a day, a long weekend or an entire vacation. Everything you can imagine is here for your enjoyment. We offer many scenic adventures that will enhance your experience. Enjoy the beauty of the West Branch / Ogemaw Hills Area, trails, lakes, events and more! Contact us for all that awaits you 800-755-9091.

Enjoy the

The Great Outdoors

The beauty of this region lies in the wide variety of hills, lakes and streams. Canoeing, trout fishing and swimming are just a few of the many recreational activities that you will find in this vast four season playground. Let your mind wander back to your childhood and remember the fun you had while enjoying the beauty of nature and the feeling of renewed life that comes with being outdoors.

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Ogemaw County
Ogemaw County
Peach Lake
Peach Lake
George Lake
George Lake
Lake Ogemaw
Lake Ogemaw
Places to Stay

Places to


The Ogemaw County area offers a wide variety of hotels, motels, resorts, bed & breakfasts, campgrounds and other lodging opportunities for you to take advantage of.

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Tee Time!


Championship golf and Ogemaw County have a lot in common and we think that once you have visited us you will agree that the ultimate golf destination is found right here.

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Let's go


If shopping is part of your vacation agenda, you've come to the right place. You will find outlet shopping, antique treasures and a wide variety of specialty shops in West Branch.

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Ogemaw County


The Ogemaw County Fair and the Victorian Art Fair are just a few of the many outstanding events that take place here each year. For more information and a complete listing of events check out the calendar of events.

Calendar of Events

12 Reasons to Visit West Branch

Discover some of the many reasons to visit Ogemaw County, listed here in no particular order.

  • Downtown West Branch

    Downtown West Branch

    A unique turn-of-the-century Downtown Victorian West Branch is the the cultural focal point for Ogemaw County. The heritage of this area is evident in the architecture with the century old Victorian buildings, the towns pride is reflected in the pleasing atmosphere and the vitality that is displayed in the variety of unique shops, personal services and free convenient parking.

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  • Historical Driving Tours

    Historical Driving Tours

    Take a drive into the past with historical driving tours. They will take you back into another time and place. The Ogemaw County Genealogical and Historical Society has four different tours. The books give you directions and the historical information of the location. They are $10 per book and can be purchased at the Historical Society, the West Branch Area Chamber of Commerce office and other retailers in West Branch.

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  • Irons Park

    Irons Park

    A Municipal Park located on the West Branch of the Rifle River just S of Houghton Avenue on S Valley & Shrigley Streets. Amenities include: "Fort Austin" - a modern playscape, reservable shelters for picnics or weddings, bathroom facilities, tennis & basketball courts. The Rivertrail also runs throughout the park and connects to downtown Victorian West Branch.

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  • Ogemaw County Fairgrounds

    Ogemaw County Fairgrounds

    Ogemaw County Fair Carnival and Exhibits, working hands-on Antique Village, free entertainment, home cooked meals all in a free and flower covered park like setting.

  • Rifle River Recreation Area

    Rifle River Recreation Area

    The Rifle River Recreation Area covers over 4,000 acres in Ogemaw County. The park offers 159 campsites, has several hiking trails and several lakes in its boundaries. Also in the watershed are two state forest campgrounds. The Rifle River campground provides 40 campsites and is located on both sides of the Rifle River. Hardwood Lake State Forest Campground has 22 campsites available. Public canoe access to the Rifle River is fairly good. Access sites are located in the Rifle River Recreation Area, the state forest campground, near Skidway Lake, Moffatt Bridge, and at Omer. In addition, there is a partially developed access site near the confluence of Klacking Creek with the Rifle.

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  • Rose Valley Winery

    Rose Valley Winery

    Our wines are well balanced, fruity, priced to please, and personal as a fond embrace. We welcome visitors to our winery seven days a week to sample and to buy, to browse and to banter in our warm, welcoming and cheerful atmosphere. Rose Valley Winery is committed to making quality wines from locally-grown, cold-hardy grapes.

  • Ogemaw County ORV Trails

    Ogemaw County ORV Trails

    Ogemaw County has an extensive trail system and you will find that an ordinance has been passed to make it easier for riders to get back and forth from the trails. This ordinance allows ORV riders to ride on streets and highways in Ogemaw County. We encourage you to become familiar with the ordinance as well as familiarize yourself with the trails maps in the area.

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  • Camp Timbers Eagles Flight Zipline

    Camp Timbers

    The Eagles Flight Zipline takes riders on an exhilarating ride- nearly 1,200 feet long, over the backwaters of Piper Lake. Experience the thrill of the 60 ft drop on one of the longest ziplines in the region. Only at YMCA Camp Timbers in West Branch, Michigan.

  • Ogemaw Hills Pathway

    Ogemaw Hills Pathway

    In terms of forest cover types the area varies from large expanses of jack pine on the sandy plains, to low conifer swamps. The tree species are primarily associations of jack pine, red pine, and black oak, in the sandy areas. Finally on the ridges along the higher elevations bigtooth aspen and red oak are found on the better quality soils. Much of the state forest land originated after the large forest fires during the early 1900's, and many areas were replanted by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

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  • Ogemaw County Golf

    Ogemaw County Golf

    Championship golf and West Branch/Ogemaw County have a lot in common and we think that once you have visited us you will agree that the ultimate golf destination is found right here. The West Branch Collection of Great Golf Courses - The Dream, Green Briar, Apply Valley, The Nightmare, and West Branch Country Club (all 18 hole golf courses) offer challenging, exciting and affordable golf for every level of golfer. From rolling hills, wooded fairways, bunkers and water, you will find the picturesque vistas provided at each of these golf courses making them a pleasure to play.

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  • Snowmobiles In Ogemaw County


    Whatever your preference for outdoor activities in the wintertime, come to Ogemaw County and enjoy the best that nature has to offer. Snowmobilers will find 95 miles of some of the finest groomed trails in Michigan. Easy access to snowmobile trails is one of the many pluses you will find in Ogemaw County. Check with your hotel for the easiest route to any of the trails in the system. Current snow and ski conditions reports are available 24 hours a day at (800) 755-9091 during the winter season.

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  • Outlets at West Branch


    Outlets at West Branch feature more than 2,200 outlet stores which are owned and operated by the most popular, brand name manufacturers. Buying direct from the manufacturer means you'll always save more. What could be more fun than spending the day with family and friends bargain hunting at The Outlets?

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Newsletter from the President

Summer Newsletter 2019

All Trails Lead to West Branch

Summer Prime Time in West Branch is awaiting our visitors. Enjoy your outdoor adventure just off I-75 - Exit 212/215, where peace and tranquility rivals the roughneck attitude. With over 22 lakes & streams, the serene morning dew lifting from a farmer’s field, or the mist hovering over a calm lake this area calls on you to discover the best of what our area has to offer.

A little known gem just north of West Branch is the Ambrose Lake State Campground. The grounds are well groomed with your own 43 acre private lake at your door step which offers a DNR floating dock for easy access. ORV, ATV, & motorcycle trails are next door as well as trailhead parking if you would just like to visit. This trail connects to the main trail arteries of the state with easy access to West Branch, Rose City & St. Helen.

Some of the best ORV trail riding in the state happens in the Ogemaw Hills just north of West Branch. Discover unique gems throughout the forest with unexpected treasures popping up in some of the most unique places, such as the Quackenbush Homestead that thrived from 1878 to 1983, or the locally famous “Bowl” off Trail #6, which challenges some of the most experienced riders

If camping or riding is not your thing, check out one of our local championship style golf courses. The Dream and the Nightmare both offer challenging golf with tranquil fairways and fast greens, then stay overnight at one of our award winning hotels, feast on the local fair, or quench your thirst with a frosty mug of Michigan made beer at one of our local pubs. Afterward, take a walk along the river at family friendly Irons Park and relax with the sound of the cold clear stream rumbling across the rocks while a cool breeze floats your hair back, or find a place on the hill to jam with free Music in the Park on Thursday nights.

Make your plans now for the 40th annual Victorian Art Fair, in beautiful Irons Park in West Branch on Saturday, August 10 & Sunday, August 11. Experience a bit of the past while visiting the exhibits, participating in games, listening to a variety of music, and enjoying some good old-fashioned fun for the entire family.

Don’t forget the 39th annual Ogemaw County Fair August 13th thru the 17th with a concert by special guest, Terri Clark, as well as other lively events, including the carnival. This fair is top of the line, and is a fun-filled learning environment and experience for everyone to learn about and experience what agriculture is and how it is the basis of our very existence. The Antique Village is a living history of pioneer life in Ogemaw County. A combined vision of the Fair board and countless volunteers, the Antique Village is the historical center of the Ogemaw County Fair. The buildings in the village are filled with antiques both on loan to the project, and donated by many generous families, volunteers and patrons. During Fair week, the village comes alive as a working hands-on village with costumed volunteers demonstrating life as it was back in the olden days. As a working hands-on Antique Village, it is only open to the public during Fair Week each year, so you don’t want to miss it!

We look forward to seeing you there!

Emil Rousseau, Visitors Bureau President

Introduction to West Branch from Great Getaways' Heart of Michigan Circle Tour

A unique turn-of-the-century Downtown Victorian West Branch is the the cultural focal point for Ogemaw County. The heritage of this area is evident in the architecture with the century old Victorian buildings, the towns pride is reflected in the pleasing atmosphere and the vitality that is displayed in the variety of unique shops, personal services and free convenient parking.

Great Getaways:

Heart of Michigan Circle Tour

With its abundant lakes, scenic hills and trails Ogemaw County is considered the Gateway to the North. Ogemaw County sits right in the heart of Michigan and is filled with history, beauty and great events. The online travel planner for this episode of Great Getaways collects information and web links related to the area, combined with photos and video clips from the show in what they hope will be a helpful guide as you plan your trip.

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Heart of Michigan Circle Tour