Michigan is known for its winter seasons; the sparkling snow, the crisp and cool air, and, of course, its exhilarating snow sports! Only available during winter, these sports are exhilarating, fun, and exclusive to Northern states. So, experience the fun of a Michigan winter by strapping on your snowshoes, getting ready to ski, and maybe get the tube for some sledding. These places in West Michigan are great places to experience the fun of winter spots, so let us spread the word and get you outside!
South West Michigan
It’s curling! It’s shuffleboard! It’s winter fun for everyone! Stay warm while the weather is cold at River Saint Joe and reserve a lane to play River Rocks with your brewery crew. Pairs best with good times and a fresh pint.
Get ready to hike, sip and wander the Mt Tabor Trails, sponsored by Honor Credit Union. With a little over 3.5 miles of beautiful trails meandering through the woods and vineyards, Mt Tabor Trails connects guests from Round Barn Estate and Tabor Hill Winery & Restaurant. The best part of these trails – taking your favorite beverage to-go is encouraged! During the winter months, guests are more than welcome to cross-country ski and snowshoe through the trails.
If you can’t wait for the ice fishing season to begin, then keep an eye on Waubascon Lake in Battle Creek. It’s one of the first lakes to freeze over and its views are stellar. If you’re not ready to grill your bluegill, then you can always hop down the road to Barney’s Bedford Bar for the best dive bar burger in the area. However, for the patient angler, Duck Lake takes a while to freeze — but it’s worth the wait with a well-stocked variety of healthy fish.
Lansing has snow much to offer this winter. Hike the trails at Woldumar, Fenner or Harris Nature Centers or get your thrills at Hawk Island Park’s Snow Hill. Groomed specifically for snow tubing, riders will speed down one of many thrilling 16 ft wide sculpted snow lanes as you drop 50-60 feet over a course of 500-600 feet. A magic carpet uphill conveyor lift transports riders to the top of the hill.
Cold and flu season is upon us, but mother nature can help us get through it. Join Maggie Conklin, Maven of Heirloom Academy and Naturopathic Doctor at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute in Hastings on Saturday, January 21 1–4 pm. She will be discussing how to use local herbs to make teas and tinctures that can assist with common winter ailments, including cold and flu symptoms, chest and sinus congestion, immune support, and other maladies. In this workshop, you will receive hands-on experience making teas and tinctures, as well as the recipes and resources to build upon your knowledge at home. Best of all, you will get to taste some of the remedies as we learn about them! Space is limited, so please register early!
Outdoor enthusiasts are sure to appreciate the winter activities that can be enjoyed in Saugatuck/Douglas. Bundle up and get ready to feel the crunch of snow beneath your feet. There’s simply nothing as invigorating as snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in Saugatuck Dunes State Park, where you’ll get to explore miles of spectacular scenic trails that are incredibly stunning this time of year.
For those looking for a bit of thrill and nostalgia, bring your sled to Schultz Park in Douglas for some frosty downhill fun for the whole family. For a more relaxing yet equally spectacular outdoor adventure, let Wild West Ranch take you on a private horse-drawn sleigh ride through magical snow-covered woods. Plan your winter adventure here.
Warren Dunes State Park in Harbor Country offers 1,952 acres of recreation area. Dune formations rise 240 feet above the lake with 3 miles of Lake Michigan beaches, six miles of hiking trails and is open year-round. Available for winter sports. Walking pedestrian paths are also available.
Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council had created a blog for people to know where to find local area snow sport ideas and fun to the SW Michigan area. Check it out here.
Glide around the downtown Ice Rink or race down one of South Haven’s popular sledding hills with the whole family! Throughout winter the Kal-Haven Trail is shared by snowmobilers, cross-country skiers, and hikers clad in snowshoes.
Winter in Kalamazoo is beautiful! The winter season offers so many unique experiences for families and plenty of opportunities to be active. Each winter, they make a bucket list of things that they want to experience together as a family. They have a few favorites that top their list every year. Following are their family’s favorite winter activities around greater Kalamazoo.
This winter, don’t freeze up, come chill out at Coldwater Country’s Winterfest! Head to downtown Coldwater on Saturday, January 28 for a day of family fun including cardboard sled races, snowman masterpieces, professional juggling, live wood carving and more! With more than 100 lakes, including two chains of lakes, Coldwater Country offers countless opportunities for anglers. The frozen-over lakes offer an opportunity to get outside and breathe in the cold, clean air. Spend an afternoon outdoors with friends and family in the quest to catch fish or join in the festivities and contests at the Quincy Tip-Up Festival.
Central West Michigan
In Holland, lake effect snow and glittering ice crystals can make an outdoor expedition not just a way to keep fit, but a way to be inspired. Cross-country ski along the top of dunes for a breathtaking view of Lake Michigan and its frosted winter beaches. Snowshoe through hemlocks, stand-up paddleboard through craggily ice formations, or whiz down an illuminated sledding hill. Whichever you choose, Holland’s winter beauty will warm your heart and stir your soul.
Grand Haven has numerous parks with options for snow-shoeing, cross-country skiing, and hiking. Some popular hotspots to enjoy these winter activities are Hemlock Crossing and Pine Bend Park. Pigeon Creek also offers cross-country skiing and snow-shoe rentals. And when the temperatures are frigid and the ice conditions are just right, it’s the perfect time to go out for an afternoon of ice fishing. Many of the bayous of Spring Lake offer incredible spots for catching bluegill, northern pike and crappie.
Not in the mood for winter activities however? That’s a-okay, because Grand Haven’s lighthouse and piers will be covered in ice and snow in the right conditions. They’re even hosting their yearly Winterfest, a winter tradition for 30 years, which hosts beer and wine tasting, cardboard sled races, and more. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience, so visit Grand Haven this winter with friends, family, loved ones, or just yourself.
Add some snow-filled adventure to your plans this winter by visiting Snow Snake Mountain Ski Area, centrally located in Mt. Pleasant. With six lifts serving 10 runs and a snow tubing park on 43 acres, this is an exciting destination to mark on your map. The ski season runs November through March, so make sure to visit this winter season! Visit Mt. Pleasant area website to find out more.
CranHill Ranch is hosting 2 free Winterfest community open house events (Jan 29 and Feb 19, 2023) from 2pm-6pm, at their location in Rodney. Get the family outside and enjoy activities including: snow shoeing, ice skating, broomball, ice wall climbing, pony rides, wagon rides and a free meal!
Ludington’s numerous hiking trails turn into perfect playgrounds for winter sports when the snow flies. One of the most popular places for a winter sojourn is at 5,300-acre Ludington State Park. With 24 miles of hiking trails, multiple trails are groomed for cross country skiing, and other trails available for snowshoers to explore. In addition to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing at Ludington State Park, Ludington School Forest Trails offer five miles of trails. Other cross-country trail systems in the area include Big M Cross-Country and Mountain Bike Trail, Crystal Valley Ski Trail and Pentwater Pathway . Fat bike trails include Big M, Manistee Non-Motorized Trail Park and Ludington School Forest Trails.
Muskegon Luge & Sports Complex, Muskegon State Park is home to the only publicly accessible luge track in the country. Learn to luge on the 850′ ice track, then skate, cross -country ski or snowshoe miles of wooded and illuminated trails…right along the Lake Michigan shoreline!
Northern West Michigan
Double the tubing, triple the snow! This is going to be the best season yet at Treetops Resort in Gaylord. This year they’re offering two extreme tubing hills, skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, dog sledding – all which is alongside their famous culinary adventures series. This cannot be topped – book your adventures today!
Enjoy the great outdoors this winter by playing in the snow! Charlevoix averages around 120 inches of snowfall every winter, so you will get plenty of it to enjoy. The Charlevoix area’s winter recreation tops the charts in the Midwest with a wide variety of things to do.
Several trail heads are located just around the corner from Brewery Terra Firma in Traverse City, and the famous VASA Trail is straight down Hammond Road. Located on state forest land, the Vasa Pathway features a series of loops that range from easy to challenging difficulties. Cross country-skiers, runners, hikers and more all love this Pathway, so go for a good hike and grab a warm drink afterwards!
Snowshoe, cross-country ski, or hike the best of Traverse City’s Brys Estate’s 111 acres this winter! Two Winter Trail options boast beautiful views of a quiet vineyard, resting lavender fields, and snowy, wooded valleys. Keep warm with an insulated mug of Spiked Hot Apple Cider or a glass of wine while you enjoy the trail, or enjoy it post exercise while seated around an outdoor fire pit. Extend your visit by making a reservation for a table inside the brick and mahogany tasting room where you can choose to enjoy wine flights, glasses of wine, and cheese & charcuterie boards.
The best way to beat the winter blues is by learning to love the snow! Head out to the Pine River Paddlesports Center in Wellston for a guided winter rafting tour through a winter wonderland. It is a unique, safe, and beautiful way to enjoy the Pine River and the snow! After your float, they offer you the option of a two mile hike along the gorgeous river-side Silver Creek Pathway back to your vehicles. Don’t feel like hiking? No problem! They’ll be happy to give you a ride back to the start. Winter is here, so grab your family & friends and head out to the great outdoors for a fun, snowy adventure!
The Winery at Black Star Farms near Suttons Bay offers Snowshoes, Vines and Wines Saturdays and other selected dates throughout January and February. Bring the family, hike over 3 miles of trails through vineyards, forests and orchards, and then relax by a fire with a cup of soup or hot cocoa. Rentals are available!
Drummond Island has groomed trails for snowshoeing, and cross country skiing right on their property. They also have tubing, sledding, and ice skating. As a very popular snowmobiling destination with nearly 100 miles of trails to ride, Drummond Island is a winter hotspot for all things snow sports related. Celebrate in the great outdoors with a Ski, Sip & Chill outing that pairs winter sports with great food, drinks and fun! Hit the (groomed) trail and enjoy five unique stops, each with different tastes to enjoy. Bring the whole family, and your own gear. Otherwise, you can rent the resort’s amenities. There are six January/February Saturdays to choose from, all ranging from 11 a.m – 1 p.m. Plus, book your adventure with a lodging package to enjoy 10% off your stay, tickets and event gear rental for each registered adult.
Star Line Mackinac Island Ferry Company provides ferry service to the island all year round for winter enthusiasts alike – offering trips to the island throughout winter from its St. Ignace Dock #2. Click here to see the current ferry schedule.
The Petoskey Area is such a fun place for winter! So many activities to choose from: ski, snowboard, winter tubing, sno-go bikes, horseback riding, ice skating, snowshoe or cross-country ski on a Nordic trail or even après ski with a wine tour.
Celebrate the new year by learning how to ski or snowboard or both at Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville. Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month is a great (and affordable) opportunity to try something new with a beginner lesson. In celebration of World Snow Day on January 15, Crystal Mountain is offering a variety of activities to introduce “first timers” to the great world of snow. Think cross-country, snowshoe and downhill skiing/snowboarding presentations.
Join Grand Traverse Bike Tours in Suttons Bay for this truly unique winter wine country experience. Head out on a snowshoe adventure through the vines to three distinct wineries while taking in the views and magical scenes of a winter wonderland! Led by one of their knowledgeable local guides, on this tour you will enjoy a casual snowshoe hike stopping at their favorite wineries along the way. Purchase your tickets here.
Finding something to do in the cold weather months is EASY in Cadillac. With a regional snowmobile trail network with nearly 500 miles through 5 counties and their hometown ski hill,they have lots of terrain to explore. You have an incredible winter opportunity in the heart of Michigan.
Stay & Ski at Hotel Walloon and receive 10% off their base rate when you present your ski lift ticket. They are also offering Five Winter Day Trips from Hotel Walloon. Soak up the snowy season by traveling from their central location to five of their favorite day trips in Northern Michigan. Then visit Barrel Back Restaurant for all your winter fuel needs! Warm up by the fireplace with a burger and domestic beer for $15 everyday from 11 AM to 4 PM. Learn more here.
Conveniently located in Bellaire, just 31 miles Northeast of Traverse City, the 5,500-acre Shanty Creek Resort offers a variety of winter experiences for the entire family. The four distinct villages within the resort – Summit, Schuss, Cedar River, and Hawk’s Eye – feature winter fun on and off the slopes with everything from downhill to cross country skiing, multiple terrain parks, a multi-lane alpine tubing park, dog sledding, and more, something to please every skill level and thrill seeker. With more than 160” snowfall annually, snow-lovers love Shanty Creek.
The beauty of Marquette really comes apparent in the winter months when the snow coats the earth and dusts the trees. Featuring 70+ waterfalls that have frozen over, to the thrill of downhill or cross country skiing, and even the time-honored sport and classic winter pastime of ice-fishing, Marquette has a plethora of activities to do. You can even go snowshoeing, a calming alternative to some of the more extreme ways to explore the winter wilderness that surrounds Marquette. No matter where you’re from, and no matter your skill level, Marquette has something winter-related for you to do this season.
Adventure North to the Keweenaw Peninsula and find yourself enchanted by over 270 inches of lake-effect snow as it blankets the region’s rolling terrain and forested wilderness. As the Snow Capital of the Midwest, the Keweenaw is an ideal destination for a variety of winter activities. Snowmobile atop ancient mountain ridges and along picturesque trails or blaze down ungroomed, backcountry trails at Mount Bohemia. Enjoy serene moments as you glide along groomed ski trails, or enjoy the crunch of snow beneath your feet as you snowshoe through diverse Keweenaw terrain. From ice skating at outdoor rinks to ice fishing on Lake Superior, in the Keweenaw, endless vacation discoveries await.
For those who are looking for one of the most unique places to cross-country ski and snowshoe, look no further than Mackinac Island. Bicycle Street Inn offers a luxury stay in the heart of Main Street, along with on-site, indoor storage for skis and snowshoes. Plan your stay here.
Labatt Blue and St. Ignace Hockey invites your and your teammates and families to enjoy your experience at this year’s 4-on-4 pond hockey championships. They aim for a quality hockey and social experience. With the cooperation of all players, coaches and team officials, they are confident that everyone will have a great time at the tournament. Sign up here.