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The Borchers AuSable Canoe & Kayak with the Riverside Bed & Breakfast is located in Grayling, Michigan, on two acres of land. It has a total of four rooms available for guest reservation, each being themed around the AuSable River. Every room offers queen size beds, cable television, and a private bathroom. Breakfast is served each morning, typically at 8:00, and consists of an egg dish, breakfast meat, and a fruit salad. According to Justin, one of the owners of the bed and breakfast, most of the guests who stay at the property are there for the boat rentals that the business offers. For an additional fee, guests can rent a canoe or kayak and float down the AuSable River along pre-established routes at their own pace. Justin attributes much of the success of the business to the previous owners and the work they did to maintain the property.
Situated on the banks of the AuSable River in Grayling, Michigan, is the Borchers AuSable Canoe & Kayak with the Riverside Bed & Breakfast. Operating as both a canoe and kayak outfitter and a bed and breakfast, the inn itself has a total of four rooms that guests can reserve. All of these rooms have a theme that ties back to the property’s location on the AuSable River, with each room having a unique name. Surrounding the top of the bed and breakfast is a wraparound porch that guests can access from the main door on the second floor; however, the AuSable Room and the Main Stream Room both offer a separate entrance to the balcony. All of the rooms offer patrons private bathrooms, queen-sized beds, and cable television.
Justin, the current owner of the property, describes the aesthetic of the bed and breakfast as being "like a large cabin." The interior walls are various shades of grey with wood doors and accents. In the common living room, one of the areas where guests can gather, there is a large stone fireplace, couches, chairs, and books that people can read. Other places where patrons can congregate include the kitchen and the dining room areas. Guests can use the kitchen, provided the food they make is "simple."
Each morning breakfast is served between 8:00 and 8:30, but should guests desire it served earlier, that can be arranged. Many of the dishes are egg-based, such as French toast or egg casserole, also including a kind of breakfast meat and a fruit salad. Should people have dietary restrictions, Justin asks that they be made aware of these in advance to best accommodate their needs.
The Borchers AuSable Canoe & Kayak with the Riverside Bed & Breakfast encompasses two acres of land, which Justin says is "mostly grass." There are a number of trees on the property that provide shade during the warmer months of the year throughout the acreage. Behind the bed and breakfast, there is a fire pit and a grill that patrons of the business have access to as well as places to sit. Additionally, guests have access to the property’s dock, where they can watch people prepare to float down the river and wade in the water.
Throughout the area, there are a number of attractions that are popular with guests of the inn. Among these is floating down the AuSable River, something that is offered by the bed and breakfast. While it is not included with the price of a room reservation, people can rent a canoe or a kayak and paddle down the river along several routes the establishment provides. Other notable attractions in the area include visiting the many wineries located in the area or the Hartwick Pines State Park, which has a number of hiking and biking trails.
One of the hopes that Justin and Abigail, the owners of Borchers AuSable Canoe & Kayak with the Riverside Bed & Breakfast, have for guests who stay with them is that they will "feel like they are at home." They try to meet everyone who stays at the bed and breakfast and make sure that their guests' needs are met. With that being said, many guests have left favorable reviews for the property. One guest said of their stay, “The house was quaint, had great character, and was very clean. The breakfast was excellent as well. We came in as a customer and left feeling like family.” Other reviews also mention the cleanliness of the rooms and the hosts' hospitality.
While the bed and breakfast lodges many patrons who are visiting the area, Justin says that many people who stay at the establishment are there for the boat rentals and to float down the AuSable River. These people are often in groups, such as school groups, church groups, and families, among others. As such, the entire building can be rented out by a whole group. Of the people who stay at the property, Justin says that about 75 percent of them are repeat customers. He attributes this success to the previous owners’ work of making the bed and breakfast and the boat rental a well-known business in the area.
There are some policies that Justin and Abigail ask that guests follow while staying at the inn. One such policy is that smoking is not allowed on the property outside of a designated smoking area. Pets are also not allowed to stay with patrons in the building. A quiet time does start at 10:00 PM; however, guests are free to continue socializing, provided it is quiet. Often the busiest season of operation for the Borchers AuSable Canoe & Kayak with the Riverside Bed & Breakfast is between May and October, when the boat rental is operating. The bed and breakfast is open year-round, but there may be some times when it is closed during the winter months when Justin and Abigail deem it necessary.
The Borchers AuSable Canoe & Kayak with the Riverside Bed & Breakfast was originally established as only a canoe livery in 1936 by the Borcher family. They operated this boat rental service for visitors to the area for years from the private one-story home they built on the property. Eventually, a second story was added by the next owners of the business, the Trudgeon family, who started the bed and breakfast on the new upper floor of the building. The Trudgeons would continue to operate both businesses until they sold them to Mark and Cheri Hunter in 1991. Mark and Cheri made many updates and improvements to the property over the next 30 years. In early 2021, they decided to sell the property to Justin and Abigail Davis, who are the current owners of the bed and breakfast.
Justin and Abigail entered the lodging industry because they had always wanted to own a property and operate it themselves. One of the things that Justin likes most about running the bed and breakfast is the interactions he is able to have “hearing people, where they’re from, and what they do.” Since taking over the business, only aesthetic changes have been made to the rooms and some of the common areas of the inn.
101 Maple Street
Michigan, United States 49738
Bed and Breakfast
Justin and Abigail Davis
Mark and Cheri Hunter