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Thunder Bay Resort

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27800 M-32 , Hillman,
(800) 729-9375 http://thunderbayresort.com/

Thunder Bay Resort

We are an all season Northern Michigan resort featuring golf, premiere lodging, & our award-winning Elk Viewing Carriage/Sleigh Ride, Gourmet Dinner & Wine Tasting, Challenging Golf, Deluxe Lodging, Various Retreats, Murder Mystery Weekends.

A Destination For All Seasons

For over 40 years, Thunder Bay Resort has been a key destination for vacationers looking for that perfect up north retreat.  Poised in the heart of Northeast Michigan, Thunder Bay Resort is an ideal destination for couples, families, friends and businesses looking for the perfect up North retreat offering numerous outdoor activities like challenging golf, hiking, tubing, biking, fishing and is home to the award-winning Elk Viewing Carriage Ride, Gourmet Dinner & Wine Tasting Event!  Additionally, the resort boasts a state-of-the-art RV park, spacious lodging accommodations and delicious onsite dining.

Being centrally located between Gaylord and Alpena, Michigan, the resort is also next door to some of the state’s most fascinating attractions including  fantastic lighthouse and shipwreck tours, Besser Museum, Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center and the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary!

So, take a turn away from ordinary and visit Thunder Bay Resort in Hillman, Michigan.


  • 1971 – Owners, Jack and Jan Matthias, develop one of Northern Michigan’s first 9-hole golf courses – Thunder Bay Golf Course.
  • 1990 – After many years of success as a 9-hole course, Thunder Bay Golf Course expands as a back-nine is carved out of the hardwoods and marshes of Hillman, Michigan.
  • 1991 – Thunder Bay adds key amenities and builds deluxe lodging for golfers.  Changing its name to “Thunder Bay Resort,” golfers from all over the Midwest travel to golf the lush fairways of Thunder Bay.  With other premiere courses being developed in the area, owner, Jack Matthias, creates the “Sunrise Side Challenge,” sparking media attention including Golf Digest and renown sports journalist, Lynn Henning, raving about this golf experience and naming it one of Michigan’s best golf experiences.
  • 1991 – Intrigued guests continually inquire about witnessing Michigan elk.  With much  familiarity of the surrounding area and the behaviors of wild elk in the area, Jack and Jan Matthias begin hosting Elk Viewing at the resort.
  • Mid to Late 90′s – Thunder Bay Resort continues to expand with the development of Spacious Villas, Private Chalets and a Big-Rig Friendly RV Park.
  • 1995 – Within 4 years, Thunder Bay’s famous Elk Viewing Dinner Rides requires the resort to build a rustic log cabin.  Able to accommodate 40-50 people, the event becomes even more increasingly popular.
  • 1995 – With TB infecting large populations of deer and elk, Matthias and family, dedicate themselves to maintain the quality of life for Elk in the region creating Anchor Creek Elk Ranch, the resort’s own 160 acre elk preserve.
  • 1998 – Receiving much publicity and rave reviews from guests, Jack and Jan decide it’s time to, once again, expand their award-winning Elk Viewing Dinner Ride to new heights and construct a majestic log cabin.  Sitting quietly on the Thunder Bay River in the depths of Northern Michigan forest, the log structure is coined “Elk Antler Cabin.”  While boasting a massive chef’s kitchen, electricity and running water, a massive split-stone fireplace, beautiful antique decorations, trophy mounts, century-old wood stoves to provide that rustic charm quickly reminding guests what it was like to live a century ago.

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