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! Come stay warm while the weather is cold, here 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.
If you’re visiting South Haven in the wintertime, make sure to join in on the fun at our outdoor ice rink, located directly downtown. The South Haven Ice Rink hosts events for skaters of all ages, and plenty of open skate times with rentals. Take a 30 minute drive out to Timber Ridge Ski Area or Bittersweet Ski Resort and enjoy skiing, snowboarding and tubing on beginner, intermediate and advanced hills.
Join Pierce Cedar Creek Institute for Winterfest fun for everyone on January 29! Build and test a cardboard sled or bring your own sled to ride on our sledding hill. Rent snowshoes for a hike on winter trails, and bring your ice skates and enjoy ice skating on the Institute’s skating rink. Make your own animal track book and look for animal tracks and then go on a self-guided lichen hunt, or sign up for the guided winter tree ID hike. With so much outdoor winter fun, you won’t want to go inside!
This winter, don’t freeze up, come chill out at Coldwater Country’s Winterfest! Head to downtown Coldwater on Saturday, January 22 for a day of family fun including cardboard sled races, snowman masterpieces, professional juggling, live wood carving and more! But the fun doesn’t just happen on the 22nd. 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. This February weekend of family fun offers everything from fishing contests to snowmobile races, wood cutting contests, and a corn-hole tournament. Need an incentive to drop a line this winter? Try it as part of the Free Fishing Weekend, February 19-20, 2022.
Greater Lansing is great fun in all seasons, so when winter takes hold and Lansing looks like a snow globe, there are some excellent places to sled, tube and toboggan. Ingham County parks like Burchfield and Hawk Island are great options as is DeWitt’s Granger Meadows Park and Grand Ledge’s Fitzgerald Park. Snow making and tube rental are available at some facilities which will ensure that you don’t have to worry about bringing a tube or sled along with you. Looking for a chance to perfect your triple lutz or double axel, or realistically just enjoy some skating? Synthetic rinks, natural ponds and indoor facilities are also available.
Central West Michigan
As soon as the snow flies, a new sense of adventure takes hold and our thoughts turn to snowmobiling, fat tire biking, ice fishing, and more. Newaygo County is your perfect winter destination, whether this is your first time trying a new activity, or you are a seasoned winter warrior.
Fishing doesn’t stop during winter on the historic Pere Marquette River near Baldwin, Mich. Join the Pere Marquette River Lodge, an Orvis endorsed fly fishing outfitter. Join them for their January Steelhead School from January 7th to the 9th. The school includes two nights lodging, lunches and a half day guide trip all for great rates. Located right in the heart of trail country, they’re also a prime location for the family snowmobiling trip this winter!
Take advantage of the winter weather and plan your great lakes getaway to the Muskegon Luge and Adventure Sports Park, located in Muskegon State Park. The luge track is one of only four that exist in the US. Participants can reach speeds up to 30 mph. Enjoy ice skating on two acres of an outdoor rink and a ¼ mile skating trail that winds through Muskegon State Park. Cross country ski over 9 miles of trails; through the woods, along the dunes, and with a view of nearby Lake Michigan. Snowshoe-ers of all skill levels will enjoy the views on three trail systems.
Holland’s natural beauty is stunning during the winter months. 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 snowy winter beaches. Snowshoe through hemlocks, stand-up paddleboard through craggily ice formations, or whiz down an illuminated sledding hill. A mid-winter thaw doesn’t stop the fun – there’s still hiking and fat-tire biking, which is outstanding in any season. Holland really does shine all year-round!
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 more.
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 the Mt. Pleasant area website to find out more.
Northern West Michigan
Double the tubing, triple the snow! This is going to be the best season yet at Treetops Resort. 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, 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 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 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!
Days Inn of Manistee is only minutes away from local ice fishing, snowmobile trails, sledding hills, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trails. Also, don’t forget to take advantage of their complimentary coffee, tea and hot chocolate available 24/7 to warm up after coming in from a days’ fun outdoors with your family and friends. Their indoor pool and hot tub are open for your enjoyment year-round as well.
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 – offer 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.
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.
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.
On average, the Keweenaw Peninsula receives over 270 inches of snowfall annually. The Keweenaw’s heavy snowfall brings with it a promise of winter adventure and plenty of opportunities to experience many fun and exciting snowy activities. Winter visitors can enjoy extreme downhill skiing, peaceful cross-country ski outings, great snowmobile trails, fat-tire biking, snowshoeing, dog sledding, ice fishing, winter festivals, and serene winter landscapes along frozen Lake Superior shores. There is no shortage of winter fun in the Keweenaw!
No matter where you are in West Michigan, there’s surely something fun to do outside this winter season. So put down your phone, strap on your snow boots, and get ready to smile, laugh, and play! Experience the fun yourself, or make memories with loved ones. There’s something for everyone here in West Michigan.