Michigan has more miles of ORV trail than you could explore in your lifetime. By the States own numbers, almost 6000 miles of designated ORV trails and routes, and with the addition of countless interwoven two-tracks meandering through the woods, it’s unlikely anybody really knows the total number. Without a doubt, the one must-do mile of trail every ORV rider needs to experience runs right through the front yard of Wildlife Refuge Cabins. We named it as our pick for the best ATV Resort in America, and we’ve yet to find anyplace better.

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A great trail riding adventure is much more than amazing trails and a set of handlebars or steering wheel. It’s about the total experience both on and off the trails for the whole family. It’s roasting marshmallows, throwing a line in the water, and exploring local sights. The best destinations offer a cozy place to stay, friendly staff, excellent support with nearby supplies and even a couple dealers for parts, local points of interest, and immediate trail access. We’ve explored pretty much every major ride area across the U.S, Canada, and even Mexico, but very few can boast they offer the total package. Wildlife Refuge Cabins offers all that and more. Located near the town of South Range in Michigan’s pristine Upper Peninsula, it’s the one place we always want to come back to. A quick rundown of the amenities they offer for the perfect riding adventure includes:

  • Multiple clean, cozy cabins of all sizes to accommodate a couple, or a large family. Choose how many beds you need and they’ve got a cabin to fit. They’re perfect for a weekend, or a month!

  • All cabins are tastefully designed, with full amenities. The owners of Wildlife Refuge Cabins are riders too, and designed their cabins with exactly what riders need. They’ve even got helmet racks, heated floors for warming up after a frosty ride, and a cozy fireplace. Each cabin features log furnishings, cooking supplies, cable TV, and free internet.

  • Immediate trail access. The trail crosses through the front yard.

  • Located on a major road for all-season access, and a huge parking area. You can park a fleet of huge trailers in their lot.

  • Excellent local support with restaurants, two major dealerships, and interesting local places to explore. Check out local scenery, and even an underground tour of a copper mine!

  • Fantastic riding in any direction with challenging terrain, mesmerizing scenery, and friendly local support. It doesn’t get any better than this!

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Lori Sleeman, one of the owners of Wildlife Refuge Cabins, would be our adventure guide, but she wasn’t originally from Northern Michigan. Lori is a transplanted Hawaiian. Having traded life in one paradise for another, shes also an accomplished painter, record breaking bear hunter, and outstanding rider, guiding her Polaris RS-1 down the trail as easily as she does a paint brush over canvas. Having painted everything from snowmobile hoods to city murals, each cabin features a unique work of hers, but she’s at her best outdoors and exploring.

It won’t take you long to find plenty of trails to explore at Wildlife Refuge Cabins. The Bill Nichols Trail, one of the main trail routes through the Upper Peninsula, runs through their front yard. From there you can ride to Wisconsin or the shores of Lake Superior, which is only a few miles away. With Lori leading the way, less than five minutes from our cabin door we stood at the top of a huge hill that overlooked the town of Houghton, and Superior could be seen in the distance. From there the trails wound through the woods to the edge of a beautiful lake that we would surely love to fish. The trails were a mix of narrow and winding sections, former railroad grades, some mud and rocks, and Lori even took us to a sandy play area. We’ve ventured as far north as you can go to the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula in the past, but whichever direction you go there is plenty of excellent riding. If you choose the Keweenaw route the police will even escort you across a bridge that is raised for channel traffic. There’s something for all tastes and skill levels, but nothing to scare less experienced riders. We promise you’ll never run out of new areas to explore here!

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After a day on the trails you can relax by a fire in your cabin, but the exploring doesn’t have to be over. Wildlife Refuge Cabins offers the Bear’s Den, which is a recreation center complete with televisions, a foosball table, a kitchen area that has a large fridge, pizza ovens, microwave, toaster, coffee maker, popcorn machine, and a gas grill on the front porch. The Bear’s Den is located off of the adjoining sauna area and is available for guests. Venturing off-site you will find numerous nearby restaurants and pubs, and shopping outlets for supplies and souvenirs.


Wildlife Refuge Cabins is starting a new program in 2020 to make outdoor recreation even easier. It’s called POLARIS ADVENTURES and it’s all about connecting you to the outdoors, whether it’s just with your significant other, your family, or a group of friends. The unique program offers safe, memorable adventures of half-day, full-day, or custom rides for all skill levels. Whether you are new to off-roading or an experienced veteran they’ve got the perfect trip for you. Details of the program are:

  • Its exploration made easy. There is no vehicle prep or trailer to haul. You just show up and get ready to ride. It will never get any easier than this.

  • Vehicles are some of the best in the Polaris fleet, professionally maintained, and ready go. Choose either the 2 or 4 seat RZR Side x Sides, and in some areas Rangers and General models. They’re new each year, and ready for action!

  • Polaris provides helmets and goggles. They suggest you wear long pants, long sleeve shirt, and closed toed shoes. Even though a RZR has good storage, we usually bring a backpack for snacks, water, a travel raincoat, etc.

  • There are adventures for all skill levels, from beginner to expert. All that’s needed for the driver is a valid driver’s license, and based on your previous off-road experiences and skill, the outfitter will make recommendations on routes.

  • Vehicles come equipped with intuitive navigation and accessories tailored to the local environment.

  • All guests are given vehicle and safety instructions. Your outfitter will make sure you are fully prepared before you hit the trails.

  • Adventure registration is easy. You can do it all online!

If you want to know the best trails, sights, and places to visit, you ask a local. Wildlife Refuge Cabins certainly has the facilities and knows the trail system, but as part of the Polaris Adventures network you can be assured they also follow the best ride practices, and the highest possible safety and ethics standards. It’s their goal to insure you have the best adventure possible and return safely.

Many would love to explore the wonders of the back country on a safe, reliable off-road vehicle. It’s a true bucket-list item, and this program makes it possible. It’s the entry point to a world of off-road recreation and memories for a lifetime. They’ll become explorers too!

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When we think of our dream cabin up-north in pristine country, this is what we see! This is no dream though. Wildlife Refuge Cabins is easily the best riding resort we know of. They’ve got everything you need. We love the adventure of riding in Mexico and the beauty of Utah, but this is the one place we can’t wait to return to. Come for the endless trails, explore the sights, and create a lifetime of memories.

Wildlife Refuge Cabins

101 Wildlife Lane, South Range, MI 49963

Phone: 906-482-1001 or toll free: 888-510-1001



www.keweenaw.infoA good source for local information on places to visit.

www.keweenawatvclub.comExcellent information on trails in the Keweenaw region.




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May 19, 2020

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