Winter in Michigan

Child SleddingMichigan is a Winter Wonderland!

Did you know that the Mitten State boasts a 6,200 mile snowmobile trail system, more than 50 ski areas for alpine skiing and snowboarding and over 3000 miles of cross country ski trails (including several lighted trails)? There are countless opportunities for snowshoeing (included guide hikes at State and National Parks), dogsledding, luging, sledding, tobogganing and tubing, as well as horseback riding, paddling and camping! You can even hit the ice – fishing, sailing, skating, climbing and boating.

Michigan’s Winter Facts

“Michigan has a combined total of 50 open ski areas, boasting over 240 lifts, about 1,000 runs, more than 80 terrain parks and hundreds of kilometers of groomed cross-country, fat bike and snowshoe trails.”
-Michigan Snowsports Industries Association.

“More than 6,200 miles of designated snowmobile trails are located throughout the state of Michigan forests, three national forests and many acres of privately owned lands. Michigan is one of only three states that offer a large system of interconnected snowmobile trails. Approximately 50% of the snowmobile trail system is located on Private lands; 20% Federal; 25% State; and 5% Other Public. More than 150 grooming tractors are used by more than 65 grant program sponsors to groom the 6,200-mile trail system.”
~Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

“Pure Michigan Winter Trails Day (Saturday, January 11, 2020) offers children and adults new to snow sports the chance to try snowshoeing and cross country skiing for free, and to discover the great fitness and social benefits with these easy to learn winter sports.”
~Ski Michigan

“The Upper Peninsula Luge Club in Negaune is home to one of only five lighted natural track luge runs in the world, and the only natural track in the United States. The half-mile track (800m) features 29 curves along its 88-meter vertical drop. The hill hosts international luge events and offers luge instruction to the public during the winter months. Olympic luger and Muskegon native Mark Grimmette helped build a luge track in his hometown at the Winter Sports Park – the upper portion is 200m and the lower portion is 125m.”

Did you know?

  • Most years, the ice in the Straits of Mackinac is so thick that area residents place old Christmas trees along a “safe route” between St. Ignace (Upper Peninsula) and Mackinac island for those who want to snowmobile between the two communities. NOTE: The Coast Guard cautions people that the ice bridge is extremely dangerous. It usually is open for a short period due to the fluctuating winter temperatures and having strong winds blowing the ice out of the area in a matter of hours. For more, check out the film Ice Bridge – Mackinac Island’s Hidden Season.
  • There are more than a dozen places in the Northern Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula for dogsledding?
  • Munising is home to some of the best ice climbing in the country?
  • Jordan Valley Outfitters in East Jordan and Big Bear Adventures in Indian River offer winter rafting adventures in the Northern Lower Peninsula?
  • “The Fridge” at Waterford Oaks County Park measures 1000-feet and is Michigan’s only refrigerated toboggan run?


To get up-to-date conditions for all of your favorite winter activities,
check out these websites:

Pure Michigan

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Michigan Snowsports Industries Association

Great Lakes Winter Trails Council

Michigan Snowmobile Association

Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds

Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds

West Michigan Tourist Association

Upper Peninsula Travel & Recreation Association


Read more about:
Spring in Michigan
Summer in Michigan
Autumn in Michigan