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Trip Planner USA  /  Michigan  /  Crawford County  /  Grayling

Grayling

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Kayaking & Canoeing · State Parks · Cross-country Ski Areas
Grayling is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the county seat of Crawford County. The population was 1,884 at the 2010 census.Grayling is surrounded by Grayling Township. It is located in the middle of Northern Michigan. The highways make it the natural 'gateway' to much of "up north," as it is known to locals and many visitors. Grayling is perhaps most famous for hosting the Au Sable River Canoe Marathon in July of every year since 1947. The city is named after the Grayling species of fish once abundant in the Au Sable River, although the species has long since been extinct in the areaHistoryMichael Sloat Hartwick was Grayling's first settler. On the west side of the railroad tracks, he built a log hotel. The railroad platted out 40 acres (where Grayling now stands), naming it "Crawford." Fish swimming in the river were identified as grayling fish, and it is said that the residents preferred the name "Grayling" to the name "Crawford," and renamed the area after the fish.Grayling's access to two major rivers (Au Sable River and Manistee River), and the presence of the vast forest around it, made it important in the lumber era. Logs were floated down the rivers to the lakes.Grayling had other names through the years. It was called "AuSable", "Forest", "Crawford Station", and during the lumbering era "Milltown".
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