Seeking serenity and a good winter workout? Strap on a pair of cross country skis or snowshoes and trek across Michigans hundreds of miles of rural and groomed trails as well as an abundance of forest lands.
Michigan's snowy surroundings are the perfect backdrop for quiet and tranquil winter activities. On the quieter side, try a glide along cross country trails through deep woods and across fields. Hundreds of miles of paths travel state parks and forests and linear parks, such as the 34-mile Kal-Haven Trail between Kalamazoo and South Haven. Ski areas that are members of the Great Lakes Winter Trails Council promise to keep their trails groomed and offer current reports on trail conditions.
For a memorable experience try the lighted cross country trails at Muskegon State Park and lantern-lit cross country skiing trail at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, where you can warm up by the campfire located about half way around the one-mile loop. Tahquamenon Falls is another state park that offers a lantern-lit cross country ski experience (always check parks for availability).
An excellent way to explore backcountry areas is by snowshoe, a relatively easy, safe and affordable sport that the whole family can enjoy together. You can sample snowshoeing with rentals available at a few state parks including Tahquamenon, which also offers guided snowshoe hikes. Ludington State Park offers a number of snowshoe classes throughout the season.
For a complete list of cross country trails, visit Pure Michigan cross country ski resources.