The National Guard is an important part of our local communities and our country's military operations. This state-based military force serves as a reserve for the U.S. Army and Air Force and can be called on to serve state and federal missions.The National Guard is an important part of our local communities and our country's military operations. This state-based military force serves as a reserve for the U.S. Army and Air Force and can be called on to serve state and federal missions.Local Guide

Best Family Neighborhoods Near Camp Grayling

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The National Guard is an important part of our local communities and our country's military operations. This state-based military force serves as a reserve for the U.S. Army and Air Force and can be called on to serve state and federal missions. The hybrid nature makes the National Guard a unique part of the military. They can be hands-on for domestic emergencies like natural disaster relief, anti-drug efforts, and reconstruction, as well as overseas combat missions.

Camp Grayling is one of the many National Guard bases located around the country. Established in 1913, this military training facility is located right outside Grayling Michigan, which is in Crawford County. Encompassing 147,000 acres, It is one of the largest United States National Guard training facilities in the United States and the main training facility for the Michigan National Guard Currently, this military installation has over 600 soldiers assigned to it. Since the northern part of Michigan is quite rural, Camp Grayling benefits the area greatly by offering a steady source of employment opportunities.

Since this is the largest training center in the state, the amenities here are top-notch. Enlistees can train via weapons simulators, firing ranges, explosive device training lanes, and much more. This creates a realistic combat experience that prepares the National Guard for anything coming their way. As enlistees train and improve their readiness at Camp Grayling, they have many choices among the surrounding communities for housing. Where are the best family neighborhoods near Camp Grayling, MI?

Additional information about Camp Grayling

Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center is considered the country’s largest National Guard training facility. It provides training all year, including seasonal exercises, plus impact areas for aerial systems, a tank training area, and live fire exercises. Having more than 147,000 acres makes it an ideal space for all sorts of scenarios and conditions, including three full-sized Forward Operating Bases.

The camp hosts National Guard training for units in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana, plus Army and Army Reserve units. There’s room for more than 20,000 personnel. It also provides training for law enforcement officers in Northern Michigan.

There’s also room for plenty of equipment, including a tank area and large runways that can accommodate large aircraft like the C-17 and C-130.There are also helicopter areas.

The camp is supported by 600 members of the Army National Guard, which are assigned to the camp. It also provides year-round employment to more than 200 civilians who live in surrounding communities. It is considered one of the largest employers in the area, which includes Otsego, Kalkaska, and Crawford counties. It provides an economic impact of about $20 million annually. Beyond payroll, federal funds also support local schools, churches, hospitals, and local vendors.

Camp Grayling’s five-person color guard has been seen at a variety of Michigan sporting events over the years, plus the 1980 Republican Convention.

History of Grayling

The present location of Camp Grayling was granted to the state for training in 1913 by Rasmus Hanson, the owner of Grayling Timber. According to the Hanson House Bed and Breakfast, which provides lodging plus information about the area’s history, the area between the AuSable and Manistee rivers was popular with trappers and local tribes.

In 1872, Rasmus Hanson and others founded the town in that area. They cleared timber to make the town, continued to sell it, sold the lumber, and brought in electricity, which helped the new town grow.

The town was originally named Crawford, but residents liked the name of the fish in the river better, so they changed the town’s name and the name of the timber company to Grayling.

Grayling offered plenty of opportunities for timber harvesting as well as fishing, especially when the railroad was brought in. The former depot, which was used for civilians, workers in the various industries, and the military, is now a museum.

Lake Margrethe, which is in the middle of Camp Grayling, was named after Rasmus Hanson’s wife, and has become a popular recreation spot for off-duty soldiers and area residents. There’s fishing as well as camping opportunities.

Military personnel began arriving regularly for training as early as 1914, and it was a mobilization center during World War I. The airfields were built in 1927 for use by the National Guard Air Squadron of Detroit.

During World War II, ownership of the airfields was given to the federal government, which still owns them today.

About Grayling, MI

Grayling is a small city in lower northern Michigan and the county seat of Crawford County. Its current population is around 1,900. It’s named after a fish that used to thrive in the Au Sable River, which runs through the town, but unfortunately became extinct through logging. However, there is still plenty of trout that locals love to fish. Other water activities like canoeing and swimming are popular for residents of this town too. Grayling residents also enjoy hunting in the fall, winter sports during Michigan’s coldest months, and casual dining. This is not a town with fancy amenities, but it has plenty to please people who want a slow-paced, simple life.

Is there military housing available?

No, there isn’t military housing available in or around Camp grayling. However, Army National Guard soldiers who are on active duty under Title 10 USC can receive a basic allowance for housing. This allowance offsets the cost of housing when military personnel doesn’t receive government-provided housing. Thankfully, there are a fair number of homes for sale and rent in the town of Grayling, which is just minutes away from Camp Grayling. Before stationing in this area, ask Camp Grayling about any resources they have regarding relocation services to make your move as seamless as possible.

Homes in Grayling

The most convenient commute to Camp Grayling is possible when you get a home in the town of Grayling, which is located just 8 minutes from Camp Grayling’s front security gate. Since the selection and availability of single-family homes, apartments, and rentals are always changing, you can find the most up-to-date information by doing a quick Google search. You may also choose to work with a realtor if you want to buy a home in the area.

The prices of homes in Grayling are competitive and lower than in the rest of the country. It's easy to find a home that's within the 100,000 range, which is surprisingly affordable compared to more urban areas. Many of the properties in Grayling are modest, small single-family homes that are over 20 years old. This means that the properties could need repairs and updates. However, the more affordable cost range will give you more financial wiggle room to address any repairs that are required.

Do you have immediate needs? Try Camp Grayling’s chargeable quarters.

If you are in a transitional period between moving into a new home or if you must buy some time to find a rental, Camp grayling does have on-camp chargeable quarter options that are for rent throughout the year These rentals are much like a long-term hotel, which has the amenities typical of a move-in ready home. This includes linens, phone connectivity, WiFi, cable, microwaves, dishes, a coffee pot, and a refrigerator. There is also daily housekeeping and toiletries provided through the rental costs. For more information about securing a short-term rental solution at Camp Grayling, call 989-344-6213 to reach its main office.

Try The Surrounding Communities

Sometimes, the perfect property is just a short drive away. If you don't mind a commute that's around 25 minutes, check out the smaller communities around the area like Roscommon, Frederic, Moorestown, and Higgins Lake. If you prefer more amenities and don't mind an hour's drive, Traverse City offers a faster pace of life and more housing options. For the best results, do a quick radius search around the camp online to discover what is available within your preferred commute distance. This will weed out any areas that won't work out for you and show you results that are realistic for your needs.

The bulk of visitors to Camp Grayling are only here for training. But since there’s no official military housing, other than rentable cottages, there are short-term and long-term options outside of camp, including hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, and home and apartment rentals. Or, if you’re part of the permanent staff, you also may want to look into purchasing a home in Grayling, Traverse City, Higgins Lake, Moorestown, Frederic, or Roscommon.

City officials are aware of a need for more housing, and are working on adding new apartments.

Activities around Camp Grayling

Outdoor recreation remains a popular pastime, including fishing and hiking. The two rivers, the AuSable and Manistee, are great for activities, including swimming. They’re popular with people who like to canoe, kayak or operate stand-up paddleboards, and offer access to beautiful scenery all year plus plenty of wildlife. Both rivers are considered prime areas for nature photographers and birdwatchers.

Certain areas of Camp Grayling are available for civilian activities such as hunting and snowmobiling.

The community around Camp Grayling truly appreciates its history, and today, there are a variety of museums worth exploring that show the interesting relationship between military activities, a love of natural resources, and thriving industry.

Like the Crawford County Historical Museum, housed in the former downtown railroad depot, provides all sorts of information and exhibits about early life in the area, including a schoolhouse, winter sports equipment, a saloon, and a trapper’s cabin. There’s information about early timber and railroad activity plus farming.

Wellington Farm was a Depression-era farm and now provides information about rural life and agriculture in the early 1930s as a living history attraction. Visitors can learn about the different areas required to keep the farm running, including the grist mill and blacksmith area.

Downtown Grayling and Uptown Grayling both include a variety of shops, galleries, and restaurants, as well as a museum that has Coca-Cola memorabilia as well as bottle caps. Goodale’s Bakery has been a focal point for the community for generations, providing bread, donuts, pasties and more.

A recently-created social district is Brew Avenue, a part of town where many brew pubs, restaurants and bars converge.

Another popular place to visit, whether you’re interested in history, fish, or both, is the area fish hatchery. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently released 50 grayling into area waterways, which the community celebrated, since overfishing nearly caused the extinction of this favorite fish.


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