GarLyn Zoo in Michigan's Beautiful Upper PeninsulaCurrent weather at the Zoo

About the Zoo and it's Owners


My wife Lynn and I were both residents of lower Michigan for most of our lives. I was born, raised and grew up in Marine City a small town in Michigan's thumb north of Detroit. I went to collage at L.S.S.U. in Sault Ste. Marie and fell in love with the U.P. My wife Lynn moved around a bit as she was growing up seeing a lot of Michigan. She lived in Rochester, Alpena, Grand Rapids, Dearborn and more. Her parents had a cabin in Naubinway on the Hiawatha Sportsman's Club and we would vacation in the Upper Peninsula every chance we could. For many years we both had dreamed of living in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and in 1993 we bit the bullet, sold our home in St. Clair and set out for the American dream of owning your own business.


We found and bought a piece of property on US-2 near Naubinway, made the move and started the zoo on a wing and a prayer with some of the animals that we had as pets for years, like pygmy goats, potbellied pigs, pheasants, peacocks, sika deer and a few others. Since then it has grown to include wallaby, whitetail deer, wolf, black bear, cougar, bobcat, coyote, river otter, reindeer, ring-tailed lemur, a bison, alligators, tortoise and more. Many of our animals have been rescued or donated due to circumstances beyond their owners control. Our animals are hand raised, friendly and enjoy seeing people as much as people enjoy seeing them.


Carving out a life in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and building a zoo was no easy task. We lived in an unfinished garage we build on the property for the first 6 years, while we build the enclosures, barn and gift shop as we could afford to do so. We had to sell our pickup truck to get funds to pay bills, feed the animals and us through the second winter in the U.P.. As we entered our 3rd season of being open and the word was getting out, things started to look more promising. Now we are entering our 16th year of being in existence and we have many plans for the future. With increasing public awareness of us and continued support of visitors, we will be here for many years to come.
The zoo is open to the public and supported by the entrance fee and sales from the gift shop. Occasionally we also get small donations from generous people. We live in Michigan's Upper Peninsula because we love the outdoors and truly enjoy living here. It's a slower more relaxed pace. Once a person has experienced the U.P. lifestyle it's hard to go back to the rat race of urban living. We have the zoo because we have had animals all our lives and love the animals and enjoy sharing them with others. It is our hopes that by having an opportunity to view and enjoy the animals close up, both on-line and in person, that you will come away with a greater feeling for the need to protect and preserve our wild places.


GarLyn Zoo is a small family owned business. The zoo sits on a 30 acre parcel of land at the very top of Lake Michigan in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and is surrounded by thousands of acres of state and federal forests. At the present time the zoo covers about 10 or 12 acres of that parcel. The average visitor spends between 45 minutes and 11/2 hours per visit.


GarLyn zoo was started in 1994. Built on old sand dunes at the northern most point of Lake Michigan. The zoo blends well with the natural surroundings, towering red and white pine, birch and maple forests of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. We have tried to keep the natural look and feel of the north woods as much as possible doing most of the work on the zoo by hand. You can take a leisure walk on cedar mulched trails, through the mature pine and birch forests of Michigan's Upper Peninsula and enjoy viewing native and exotic animals from around the world, all in a natural, park-like setting.

In 1999 our Nephew Matt also got tired of the big city life in lower Michigan and moved to the U.P. joining us as our right hand man. Here he is working on building the cougar den.

Matt building cougar den


Enjoy a virtual tour of the zoo from where you are right now.

Video Introduction  

Take a look at GarLyn Zoo in this short few minute video. It's a good way to get a idea of what we offer in the comfort of you home or office.






360° Panorama 

A virtual tour of the zoo with you in control. Take as long or as short of time as you like. Zoom in and out, up or down.

 


GarLyn Zoo Videos 

You'll enjoy a look at some of your favorite animals as well as some humorus videos in the GarLyn Zoo video collection. For the past several years all of our videos are on YouTube.
Check out all our videos here.  

If you would like to look at some of the old videos you can still see them HERE

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Gary is a Member of :  
ZAA (  Zoological Assosiation of America ) 
AZA (  Assosiation of Zoos and Aquariums )

© 2014 Garlyn Zoological Park, Inc.