All through the holidays, you probably heard the words, “walking in a winter wonderland” so much that you just hummed as you read them. But, have you ever truly experienced a winter wonderland? We have. And good news — there is so much more to do than just walking, although even that is fun, too! The Upper Peninsula has the best winter activities in Michigan. So pack up your snow pants, layers, mittens, hats and coats. We’ll take you and your boots on the first steps of planning your winter adventures whether you prefer to play in the snow or see it from a distance.
Best snowshoeing and cross country skiing in MichiganBack to Top of List
Looking for a place to stretch out and spend some time with loved ones? You’re invited UP north where winter is an occasion! We celebrate the snow with hundreds of miles of cross-country ski and snowshoe trails, suited for all levels and abilities. With 250 inches of annual snowfall, our woods transform into silent, glittering, ice-encrusted cathedrals. Many state parks offer the magical experience of lantern-lit cross-country ski and snowshoe trails. Enjoy the warm glow of the woods on the groomed loop and end your evening relaxing with refreshments next to a roaring bonfire. Bring the entire family!
Find the best places to snowshoe in Michigan’s U.P., why cross country skiers return time and time again to this paradise and all the trails you can traverse this winter at these links. Don’t forget to see the waterfalls while you’re out! These roaring waterways become massive, silent ice sculptures in the wintertime that you have to see to believe.
Best Downhill skiing and snowboarding in MichiganBack to Top of List
Snow blankets Michigan’s Upper Peninsula from early November until late April. That makes us the perfect destination for downhill ski and snowboard adventures through spring break. Our nine ski resorts are located throughout the Western and Central U.P., and the downhill terrain is sure to please young families as well as extreme adrenaline junkies! Glide down sparkling groomed trails with panoramic views for miles. Snowboarders award our terrain among powdery peaks top marks. Come UP and you will find yourself extending your stay to enjoy our unique resorts and live entertainment.
Get the downhill ski report and learn about the resorts that are tailored to every age and skill level on our downhill skiing and snowboarding page below!
Best fat tire biking in MichiganBack to Top of List
The latest U.P. trend that is snowballing into popularity promises to stick around. Fat tire biking has been described as a cross between riding a bike and riding a horse – and in big snow country, we don’t wait until spring to get back in the saddle!
There is no better way to explore the awe-inspiring natural wonder of winter in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula than on a fat tire bike. Float across the snow-covered landscape and indulge in the freedom to go almost anywhere. Enjoy rarely seen views of the Great Lakes’ sparkling, ice-bejeweled shorelines. Glide down forested trails under dazzling snowy branches. Traverse across pristine snow-blanketed lakes. Fat tire biking will make you happier, healthier and more relaxed.
Read more about where to bike and what to know before you go in our fat tire biking blog!
Best Snowmobiling in MichiganBack to Top of List
Michigan's Upper Peninsula is regularly voted as the best place to snowmobile in the country. There are 3,000+ miles of groomed trails through stunning scenery that take riders to frozen waterfalls, lighthouses and breathtaking vistas. Riders are likely to see whitetail deer, eagles, coyotes and a wealth of other wildlife. Additionally, along the way, there are plenty of places to pull right up to comfortable lodging and delicious restaurants who are delighted to greet sledders.
Map your route, find up-to-date conditions with the snowmobile trail report and learn about popular snowmobiling events in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on our snowmobiling page below. But don’t just take our word for it, read what avid sledder Dan Nedeau had to say about this snowmobiling paradise in this blog.
Best ice fishing spots in MichiganBack to Top of List
Some folks may shake their heads when you say you are going to spend hours sitting on a frozen lake in the U.P. But they haven’t felt the tug of the line, the heart-pounding focus it demands to reel in a scrappy, 10-lb. walleye, guiding it through a hole in the ice. Nor have they experienced the soothing quiet. Something so hard to find back home.
Enjoy ice fishing anywhere in the U.P., typically from December to March, and sometimes as late as April and May. You can fish on any of the 4,300 frozen inland lakes plus the ice-covered bays of Lakes Michigan, Huron and Superior. Before you go out, read our blog on angling in the U.P.
Other winter activities in MichiganBack to Top of List
If none of these activities sound quite up your alley, then consider these other unique winter experiences! Learn all about dog sledding from Iditarod-tested mushers and take a ride with these Alaskan huskies. Your children can even lead their own sled team if they are at least 10 years old!
Speaking of kids, we have several kid-friendly winter escapes so that even your youngest explorers can enjoy the snow. Take them to watch the Great Lakes surfing on huge, rolling waves, or travel along our top scenic winter drives and stop at these easily accessible winter sites. They’ll be so distracted by the view, they may even hold back a few “are we there yet?” comments from the backseat.
All along your journey through our winter wonderland, make sure to take photos — here are some tips from a Michigan photographer about capturing this season! We would love to see your favorite winter U.P. locations; be sure to hashtag them with #uptravel if you post them. For an opportunity to be featured on our social media, website or in our marketing materials, please upload your photos to our Winter Photo Crowdriff Collector below. This isn’t limited to scenery, you can submit photos of the gang, too!