While things often slow down in the winter, much of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula activity ramps up! Snow season means snowmobiling, skiing, ice climbing, sled dog racing, pond hockey and a ton of other niche activities. In addition, you can still visit some of our indoor experiences and enjoy the U.P.’s eclectic culture through professional performances, too. A trip to the U.P. this winter doesn’t just mean recreation and site seeing; it means you can people watch and also participate in the fun!
The most popular events this winter in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
Here is a roundup of some of our most popular events. Plan your next trip so you can be a part of the action at these winter events in Michigan’s U.P.
Annual Rapid River Relic Riders Ride
17th Annual Rapid River Relic Riders Ride, Snowmobile Show and Swap | Jan. 27-28 | Rapid River | Costs vary by activity
Get a blast from the past at this annual vintage snowmobile event.
Noquemanon Ski Marathon
Noquemanon Ski Marathon | Jan. 27-28 | Al Quaal Recreation Area | Ishpeming | Price varies by sign-up date
Calling all avid skiers and snowshoers! These races run from Ishpeming to Marquette. Events include a 50K classic, 50K freestyle, 50k classic touring, 50K team relay and 24K classic.
Heikinpaiva Mid-Winter Festival
Heikinpaiva Mid-Winter Festival | Jan. 28 | Hancock
Celebrate the halfway point of winter at various Hancock locations. Activities include a parade, authentic Finnish smorgasbord dinner and dance, concerts, the Tori Market, cultural demonstrations, the Polar Bear Plunge and more.
I-500 Snowmobile Race
I-500 Snowmobile Race | Jan. 29-Feb. 4 | Times vary | Sault Convention & Visitors Bureau, Sault Ste. Marie | Cost varies
Experience all the thrills of NASCAR on a one-mile oval ice track!
Twilight Turtle Trek 2023
Mackinac State Historic Parks - Twilight Turtle Trek 2023 | Feb. 4 & March 4 | 5:30-7:30 p.m. | Fort Mackinac Historic Park, Mackinac Island | FREE
A two-mile, lantern-lit ski and snowshoeing trek through some of Mackinac Island’s natural winter wonderland. Keep warm with the hot chocolate and bonfire, too.
Tahquamenon Falls State Park Guided Snowshoe Hike
Tahquamenon Falls State Park Guided Snowshoe Hike | Every Saturday from Feb. 4-25 | 2 p.m. | Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Paradise | Recreation Pass required for entry
Strap on your snowshoes and take a free, guided hike through the forests of the Upper Falls. Learn about winter at the park and get some snowshoeing tips and tricks. A limited number of snowshoes are available to borrow (first come, first served).
Winter Carnival | Feb. 8-11 | Times vary | Michigan Technological University, Houghton | Cost varies by activity
Known for huge, intricate snow statues around campus and the community, the Winter Carnival also brings MTU students together to compete in broomball, comedy skits, human ice bowling, a royalty coronation and more.
Michigan Ice Fest
Michigan Ice Fest | Feb. 8-12 | Times vary | Munising | Cost varies depending on registration date
Ice Climbing at its best. If you are a novice or an expert, this is one event you do not want to miss, and it’s the 30th anniversary!
Les Cheneaux Islands Snowsfest
Les Cheneaux Islands Snowsfest | Feb. 9-13 | Cedarville and Hessel
This annual winter carnival in the Les Cheneaux villages offers nearly 20 activities to warm up this winter, including a poker run, vintage snowmobile show and ride, cardboard sled races, outhouse races, kids’ games, fat tire bike demonstration, snow sculptures, and that’s just the beginning of the fun!
Midwest Telefest | Feb. 10-12 | Porcupine Mountains Winter Sports Complex, Ontonagon | Recreation Passport required to enter park
Races, gang ski, demos, a party, music, awards and giveaways! Enjoy the best skiing in the Midwest! Stay tuned for more details as they become available. All programs are free unless otherwise noted.
Munising Polar Plunge
Munising Polar Plunge | Feb. 11 | 1 p.m. | East Channel Brewing Company, Munising
Are you brave enough to bear the cold at the Munising Polar Plunge? The Polar Plunge is the biggest fundraiser for Special Olympics Michigan, and this is one of the U.P. locations participating! All funds raised by Plungers help Special Olympics Michigan provide year-round training and services to over 22,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities across the state. Lunch will be provided for participants at the After Splash Bash.
Meijer State of Michigan Winter Games
Meijer State of Michigan Winter Games | Feb. 10-12 | Times vary | Marquette Mountain, Marquette | Entry fees vary by event
Athletes who want to compete and have lived in Michigan for at least 30 days before the event can register at the link above. Spectators are welcome!
Labatt Blue U.P. Pond Hockey Championship
Labatt Blue U.P. Pond Hockey Championship | Feb. 16-19 | Moran Bay, St. Ignace
Choose between watching some hockey games or putting together your team and registering to play.
UP200, Midnight Run & Jack Pine 30 Sled Dog Races
UP200, Midnight Run & Jack Pine 30 | Feb. 16-20 | Times vary | Marquette
Watch one of three sled dog races this weekend!
31st Annual Top of the Lake Snowmobile Show & Ride
31st Annual Top of the Lake Snowmobile Show & Ride | Feb. 17-18 | Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum, Naubinway
Join a weekend of fun with the old sleds in Naubinway. This year’s featured sleds are catalog snowmobiles — think Sears, JCPenney and Montgomery Ward.
906 Polar Roll Winter Adventure Race
906 Polar Roll Winter Adventure Race | Feb. 18 | Ishpeming
Polar Roll is the largest fat bike event in Michigan and a proud member of the Great Lakes Fat Bike Series. Fat bikers can choose from the 30-mile event, aptly named “Danny’s Hills,” or the shorter, 15-mile event dubbed “Half the Hills.” Snowshoers are welcome to give the course a shot with the new Angry Bear 10K Snowshoe Run!
Michigan’s Free Fishing Weekend
Michigan’s Free Fishing Weekend | Feb. 18-19
Spend the weekend ice fishing! No license is required for any age.
Trenary Outhouse Classic
Trenary Outhouse Classic | Feb. 25 | 2 p.m. | Trenary | Cost varies from $20-40 by age group
Contestants build outhouses out of wood or cardboard and mount the structures on a pair of skis. The object is to be the fastest two-person team to push an outhouse 500 feet down the street.
Kites Over Awesome Lake Antoine
Kites Over Awesome Lake Antoine | Feb. 25 | Lake Antoine Park, Iron Mountain
Check out this spectacular aerial artistry and bring your kids for kite making. There will also be kite and food vendors onsite.
Porkies Winter Carnival
Porkies Winter Carnival | Feb. 25 | Porcupine Mountains Ski Area, Ontonagon | Recreation Passport required for park entry
A full schedule of fun, wintry events is being finalized and all will be free unless otherwise noted. Stay tuned for more!
FIS Continental Cup
2023 FIS Continental Cup - Pine Mountain Ski Jump | March 3-5 | Iron Mountain | Entry button: $30 for adults, $25 for students | Free for kids 10 & under
Watch ski jumpers soar through the air off this ski jump built in 2020!
Valley Spur Taste & Glide
Valley Spur Taste & Glide | March 4 | 11 a.m.-3 p.m. | Valley Spur Trails, Munising | $5-$23 depending on pass-holder status and age
Ski or snowshoe to a new table of food! This annual event promises a fun afternoon. Music will be provided in the lodge by Chris Vallenti, a long time favorite of the Taste and Glide. The lodge will be full of food, with stations of food also on B trail (weather permitting) and at the fire pit by the lodge.
Marquette Polar Plunge
Marquette Polar Plunge | March 18 | 2:30 p.m. | Up North Lodge, Gwinn
Are you brave enough to bear the cold at the Marquette Polar Plunge? The Polar Plunge is the biggest fundraiser for Special Olympics Michigan, and this is one of the U.P. locations participating! All funds raised by Plungers help Special Olympics Michigan provide year-round training and services to over 22,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities across the state. Lunch will be provided for participants at the After Splash Bash.
Pine Stump Vintage Snowmobile Show and Ride
Pine Stump Vintage Snowmobile Show and Ride | March 18 | 8 a.m.-4 p.m. | Pine Stump Junction, Newberry
Snowmobile and vintage sled enthusiasts are invited to join for this inaugural event! Enjoy vintage riding, compete for trophies and participate in raffles for the snowmobile museum.
Plan your winter visit to the Upper Peninsula
Use the links above to plan your winter U.P. getaway! Then, book a stay in one of our lodgings. We can’t wait to introduce you to our unique winter events.
Share with Us
We would love to see your favorite winter scenes and adventures! Use our hashtag #uptravel for an opportunity to be featured on our social media, website or in our marketing materials. You can also upload your photos to our Winter Photo Crowdriff Collector below.