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Walleye Lodge

AJ's Walleye Lodge is located along the northern shoreline of Lake Gogebic. The lodge is placed on two acres of land backing up to the lake and Ottawa National Forest. There are thirteen rooms and suites at the lodge, varying in size and amenities. The larger rooms have full kitchens and can sleep up to ten people, while the smaller rooms can sleep up to four guests. The property is open year-round, with the winter and summer months being most popular for the snowmobiling trails and watersports. Those who visit AJ's Walleye Lodge can also eat at AJ's Oven located on the property.


AJ's Walleye Lodge is located on two acres of lakeside property. Built on a hill overlooking the lake and backing up to the Ottawa National Forest, the lodge and restaurant make a T shape parallel to the road and lake. The surrounding area is wooded with dense forest, dirt roadways, snowmobile trails, and other hiking trails. Every one of the rooms in the AJ's Walleye Lodge are different, with thirteen different spaces available to reserve. There are five standard units. Each of these units has two full-size beds, a small fridge, microwave, coffee maker, and a bathroom. The standard units all have a view of Lake Gogebic and can sleep up to four guests. The Mallard Suite is equipped with a full kitchen and dining area, a sofa with a pull-out bed, a bedroom with a queen-sized bed, one twin-sized bed, and a full-sized bed. There is also a set of bunk beds in the suite. Sliding doors open up to a view of the lake. The Northern Room is similar to the Mallard with an additional queen bed. The Eagle's Nest is the most popular of the rooms at AJ's Walleye Lodge. This room has a full kitchen, two bedrooms with queen-sized beds, a full bathroom, a futon couch, and a sundeck overlooking Lake Gogebic. The deck is furnished.

Mounted flat-screen televisions are included at each suite, along with fresh linens and dishes. Some rooms can sleep up to ten guests while the others are limited to four. This allows for larger groups or single visitors. Every guest who visits AJ's Walleye Lodge is welcome to eat at the adjoined restaurant AJ's Oven. The restaurant only serves late lunch and dinner meals; however, in the future, the owners hope to provide breakfast and lunch as well. Guests can purchase essential retail items at the front office of the lodge. These may include clothing, bait, tackle products, live bait, hats, mugs, and other necessities.

The lodge is located just yards away from over one hundred snowmobiling, hiking, and ATVing trails. Many who visit the lodge during the fall and spring are hunting in the area; specifically, most of these visitors are bear hunters. Fishermen, hikers, backpackers, and those using ATVs and snowmobiles are also common visitors. There are over one hundred waterfalls within an hour's drive of the lodge. Other popular attractions in the area include Vahn Falls, Black River Harbor, and the Porcupine Mountains. AJ's Walleye Lodge is open year-round but is busiest during the winter months of December, January, and February, along with July and August during summer. Those who visit in the winter are often ice fishing or snowmobiling, while those who stay in the summer are usually hiking, ATV riding, or boating on Lake Gogebic.


The owner of AJ's Walleye Lodge, Mary Beth DeFazio, says the desired culture of the lodge is that of comfort and adventure. Every guest is invited to explore the two-acre property, surrounding forest, nearby hiking trails, and lake. The idea behind the property's layout is to allow people to create memories and have a comfortable, homelike space to come back to after a long day of adventuring.

AJ's Walleye Lodge is known for being a place that supports a variety of guests from families, to couples, to single visitors. Every room varies in its size and amenities, which provides opportunities that can cater to many types of guests and their specific needs. Two of the spaces available to rent at AJ's Walleye Lodge can sleep from seven to ten people with a kitchenette and sitting area. Other rooms are simpler with king or queen-sized beds, a full bathroom, and views of the lake and the surrounding mountainside. AJ's Oven, located on the property, is a convenience to visitors as they can have dinner just a few steps from their room. The restaurant also provides opportunities for guests to visit with Mary Beth, her husband, other guests at the lodge, and the staff. Mary Beth says, "Many friendships have been made at our restaurant tables between guests at the lodge."

Guests often leave positive reviews regarding the views of the property, the hospitality of the staff, and activities in the area at AJ's Walleye Lodge. The lodge is open year-round, with a high season during the summer and winter months. During the winter, guests will snowmobile and go hunting in the area. Most who visit during this time are usually small groups of men. During the summer months, there is a peak in families in the area as many of them will rent out the larger rooms at the lodge and spend their time on the lake doing water sports or hiking through the surrounding forest.


Mary Beth DeFazio is the owner and general manager of AJ's Walleye Lodge. She and her husband purchased the lodge in 2012. Mary Beth's husband has a love for snowmobiling, so when the opportunity to purchase a property in the center of some of the best snowmobile trails in the state of Michigan came to pass, the DeFazio's bought the property. Mary Beth has been in the hospitality industry since the late 1990s and enjoys working in the industry. Mary Beth's husband will recommend trails and activities in the area while she spends time in the lodge doing general housekeeping and doing her best to provide quality customer service.

Since purchasing AJ's Walleye Lodge, the DeFazio's built AJ's Oven, a restaurant located on the property. The restaurant opened in 2020. AJ's Walleye Lodge was built in the early 1970s as a snowmobile lodge after the nearby snowmobiling trails were first established. The lodge was smaller than it is today, but over the years and through different owners, the lodge was renovated and has received a number of add-ons. There have been many different owners over the lodge's years of business, but the DeFazios intend to continue improving and running the property for many years to come.

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35131 State Highway M-28
Marenisco, Michigan 49947
United States




MaryBeth DeFazio

Owned Since
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