While the winter months in Michigan may be quite harsh, there is enough going on to entice people out of their warm, cozy homes. From skiing to dog sledding to ice fishing, here are just a few of the fun-filled activities that you can enjoy in Michigan in the winter.
Skiing and Snowboarding
Skiing and snowboarding are two of the most popular winter sports in Michigan, and there are many places from which you can indulge in these. Locations along the western side of the state, also known as the Sunset Coast, tend to accumulate more snow than the eastern side, due to an effect caused by Lake Michigan, so spots such as Powderhorn, Boyne and Cannonsburg will definitely not disappoint. Michigan is also home to over 3000 miles of cross country ski trails, from wooded winter wonderlands to sparkling lake shores, making this one of the best ways to explore the state’s incredibly scenic winter landscapes.
Dog sledding is a sport that is not available in many locations, making this a popular attraction for those spending their first winter in Michigan. Each sled is pulled by a pack of huskies, who love to run, and will take you across landscapes that many explorers traveled through years ago. For those who want some extra adrenaline added to the activity, there are many races that you can attend, from the UP 200 in Marquette to the CopperDog 150 in Calumet.
Ice climbing is another unique winter sport, and gives you the opportunity to scale stunning frozen waterfalls and ice formations. The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is one of the best spots in the state for ice climbing, as there are hundreds of frozen waterfalls here interspersed between miles of sandstone cliffs. While beginners will want to start at the 20 foot falls, those that are more daring will definitely enjoy tackling some of the larger falls that stretch for up to 210 feet.
There are over 11,000 lakes scattered throughout Michigan, meaning that there are many opportunities to ice fish and catch a variety of different species, with perch, northern pike and crappie being extremely common. The ice fishing season lasts around four to five months, until the warmth of the spring thaws the ice away, so it would be well worth visiting a few different spots and seeing what you can catch. Some of the most popular spots include Hamlin Lake in Mason County, Muskegon Lake in Muskegon County, and Intermediate Lake in Antrim County, although if you are ice fishing for the first time, it would definitely be beneficial to pay a visit to the Free Fishing Weekend on the 18th and 19th of February, to see what hints and tips you can pick up.
Michigan is a destination that is suited to every season of the year, with the winter months bringing with them plenty of unique activities. From ice climbing to cross country skiing, all of the fun to be had makes venturing out into the frigid temperatures more than worthwhile.