These Action-Packed Winter Sports Videos Will Make You Want to Grab Your Parka and Head Outside Immediately!

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Photo courtesy of Downwind Sports

Press pause on that adorable cat video. These action-packed winter sports videos will leave you eager to bundle up and hit the snow! We could tell you that Michigan boasts a variety of epic winter activities for skiers, snowboarders and adventurers alike, but we’ll let you see for yourself.

Take a first hand look at the winter thrills that await you in Pure Michigan.

Winter Ziplining

Ziplining is a thrilling way to experience Pure Michigan landscape, especially on a brisk winter day. Glide 50 feet above the snow and experience all that a winter ziplining adventure brings – from the thrill of the jump off, to some of the sights and sounds you’ll experience on a Pure Michigan winter day.

Ice Sailing

Ice sailing, originating more than 4,000 years ago, is known as the fastest of all winter sports. While popular all around the world, Michigan is a well-known destination because of our great lakes and winter winds. Watch as the 2012 WISSA team takes you racing over a frozen lake on a wind-powered sled, hitting speeds up to 40 miles per hour.

Ice Climbing

With miles of sandstone cliffs lined with hundreds of frozen waterfalls, Michigan is home to some of the best ice climbing spots in the country. Experience the thrill of climbing a frozen waterfall, ranging from 20 to 210 feet tall, while taking in the scenic landscape that only a Michigan winter provides.

Dog Sledding

Dog sledding, a historic form of transportation is also a fun way to get out and enjoy the winter months. With more than 2,000 miles of dogsledding trails, 11,000 frozen inland lakes and a number of snow-covered national forests, Michigan is a great destination for a dog sledding adventure. Experience the rush and excitement as a pack of huskies pull us along the glistening Michigan winter landscape.

Snow Tubing

One of the most popular and well-known wintertime activities is sledding and snow tubing. A Pure Michigan winter offers plenty of hills and slopes for families and kids of all ages. Watch as we take you on a snow tubing adventure and imagine yourself flying down a snowy hill, racing your friends or family members to the bottom, and taking in the scenic Michigan winter wonderland on your way back up to the top.

Downhill Skiing

Downhill skiing on fresh, white powder is Pure Michigan. Michigan is ranked second in the nation for number of ski areas and is a great skiing destination for beginners, families and experts alike. Explore the various slopes across the state, from family friendly hills to triple black diamonds, and the highest vertical drop in the Midwest.

Snowboarding

A Pure Michigan winter is a snowboarders’ paradise. Explore the diverse snowboarding terrain that Michigan has to offer for all levels and ages — from steep runs and 30-foot cliff drops to beginner parks with small jumps and rails.

Cross-Country Skiing

Cross country skiing is a winter activity that anyone can enjoy and with more than 3,000 miles of cross country skiing trails, Michigan is the perfect place. Watch as we take you through the snowy trails to enjoy the peaceful sights and sounds of a brisk, Michigan winter day.

What’s your favorite thing to do outdoors in the winter? 

Pure Michigan January 2015 Events Roundup

The New Year has almost arrived and we couldn’t be more excited about everything happening throughout Pure Michigan in 2015. From snowshoeing tours to the world famous North American International Auto Show, January is filled with events for everyone to enjoy. For a full list of events in Michigan, visit michigan.org/events.

Week of December 29 – January 5

Marquette New Year’s Eve Ball Drop
December 31 – January 1
Every New Year’s Eve at the intersection of Washington St. and Front St. becomes the location where locals and visitors come together in a large crowd to welcome in the New Year. On the 12th strike an illuminated ball is lowered from the historic Savings Bank Building. This year will mark the 26th anniversary!

Charlevoix Bridge Drop
December 31 – January 1
Celebrate New Year’s Eve with a bang! Charlevoix’s second annual Bridge Drop will ring in 2015 with a downtown party full of festivities and fun. Daytime family friendly activities include a winter petting zoo, camel rides, snowman building, food trucks, s’mores and bonfires. The evening’s events of live music and activities throughout Charlevoix’s restaurants, bars and shops will culminate with the “bridge drop” and firework display at midnight. Fun for all, and all for fun!

Snowshoes

Family Snowshoe Hike
January 3, Midland
Whether you’re a beginner or have strapped snowshoes on many times before, the whole family is welcome to join a walk on the Chippewa Nature Center trails. You’ll be trained how to look for animal tracks, birds, and other points of interest and enjoy the snowy scenery.

Full Moon Night Skiing
January 3, Roscommon
Experience the magic of winter in a whole new light! Every full moon during the ski season, the Trapper’s Cabin trail will be lit with torches, creating a truly unique and memorable nighttime experience. There will also be a bonfire and hot chocolate served at Trapper’s Cabin!

Brides To-Be Show
January 4, Clinton Township
The holidays are over and you got engaged! How exciting! Now that you have all your family still here in town, why not have them join you at our biggest Eastside bridal show of the year at the Fern Hill Golf Club in Clinton Township. Find everything you need to plan the perfect wedding. Up to $20,000 in prizes including three different honeymoons, free tuxedos, and so much more! View over 80 local wedding professionals showcasing all the latest trends in weddings!

Week of January 5 -12

Ultimate Fishing Show
January 8-11, Novi
Follow the stream to Novi to experience Michigan’s largest pure-fishing show. This show is all about fishing tackle, fishing trips, fishing boats and will features Lake Ultimate, Trout Pond, Hawg Trough, Seminar Stages, Fish Fry, and more. The show appeals to anglers of all ages with all levels of experience.

Sleepy Hollow State Park Ice Art and S’mores
January 10, Laingsburg
Meet at the beach to create your own masterpiece of ice art and have a s’more when you’re done! Sleepy Hollow State Park is a great place to enjoy the outdoors and spend time with family while you create memories and beautiful works of icy art.

Dog SleddingMuskallonge Lake State Park 16th Annual Tahquamenon Country Sled Dog Race
January 10, Newberry
Have you been waiting to see a sled dog race? Here’s your chance! The Tahquamenon Country Sled Dog Race is a combination of pro and sport classes with professional 12-dog and 8-dog teams running 60 and 40 miles respectively, and with sports classes of 2- to 6-dog teams running from four to 30 miles. “Mush!” your way to Newberry to check it out!

Advanced Auto Parts Monster Jam
January 10, Detroit
Monster Jam stars the biggest performers on four wheels: Monster Jam Trucks! The twelve-feet-tall, ten-thousand-pound machines will bring you to your feet, racing and repping up a custom-designed track full of obstacles to soar over – OR smash through!

Winter Wetland Wildlife
January 10, Bay City
Discover Michigan’s winter survivors, the animals that are active throughout this long cold season of hardship. Learn how you can landscape your backyard to help them survive the harsh winter of Michigan through various plantings and artificial shelters. Take a look at the different feeder designs available and construct a feeder to take home.

Week of January 12 – 19

Wine About Winter
January 16, Grand Haven
Quit whining about winter and do something about it! What could be better than a multi-venue, multi-vineyard wine tasting focused solely on Michigan wines? Also featured will be appetizers and Michigan artists. Rick Sigsby, the noted Michigan author, will be present and signing copies of his book: Michigan’s Holy Water (The Great Lakes Wine Bible). Wander the snow-free warmth of heated sidewalks and a cozy downtown and discover your new favorite Michigan vintage. All you have to lose is your case of the winter blues!

IceFishing

Bay City Recreation Area under the Ice
January 17, Bay City
Ever been ice fishing? Ever wonder what happens under the ice? Come discover who sleeps all winter and who is wide awake, actively seeking out food and shelter and avoiding predators under the ice. Includes live animal encounters!

Tecumseh Ice Sculpture Festival
January 17 – 18, Tecumseh
Enjoy watching ice carvers as they create glistening works of art before your eyes. There will be ice carving demonstrations, dueling sculpture carving competitions, interactive ice sculptures, the Winter Warm-up Beverage Walk, Chocolate Walk, Children’s Craft Activities, merchant sales and specials, Lost Arts demonstrations, live music & Bell Choir performances, ice skating at Adams Park and much more!

Kalkaska Winterfest
January 17 – 18, Kalkaska
Top sled dogs and their drivers from all over North America will attend this two-day race of heart-pounding excitement. Other activities include IWPA dog weight pull, outhouse races, Corvettesilent auction, craft show and more!

North American International Auto Show
January 17 – 25, Detroit
Now in its 27th year as an international event, the NAIAS is among the most prestigious auto shows in the world, providing unparalleled access to the automotive products, people and ideas that matter most – up close and in one place.

 

January 19 – 26

Tip Up Town USA
January 23 – 25, Houghton Lake
2015 is the 65th year for Tip-Up Town USA, a family festival held on Houghton Lake. Activities for all ages that include parade, ice fishing contest, ice slide, family fun tent, carnival, outdoor games, snowmobile drag races and more.

Parrots of the Caribbean | Concert
January 24, Coldwater
To combat the winter weather, enjoy a trip to Margaritaville. Voted the number one Jimmy Buffet tribute act in the country, this group of five musicians brings excitement, energy and a night filled with warm-weather flair.

Michigan Historical Museum: A Statehood Day Celebration
Michigan-Historical-Museum1-300x200January 24, Lansing
This year, our annual Statehood Day celebration honors the 178th birthday of the Great Lakes State. In the museum, you’ll discover how Michigan joined the United States and what life was like for pioneers; plus, you’ll enjoy hands-on activities, costumed interpreters and unique artifacts.

Chili Winter Evening
January 24, Lansing
Warm up with a steaming hot bowl of chili on this cold winter evening. This family-friendly event includes a horse-drawn sleigh ride to see the beautiful trails of Woldumar Nature Center in the winter, campfire to warm up near, and live music.

Harlem Globetrotters
January 26, Saginaw
The world famous Harlem Globetrotters will bring their unrivaled family show to The Dow Event Center on Monday, January 26, 2015, at 7pm. They will face a great challenge, the Washington Generals!

January 27 – 31

Festival of the Arts
January 29 – February 28
The Festival of the Arts is an annual series of entertainment, educational and cultural events offered daily throughout February in Big Rapids. The Festival features a variety of art, film, and music presentations, as well as interactive workshops and contests. All Events are held in Big Rapids.

Little Red Riding Hood
January 31, Grand Rapids
The timeless tale of a spunky young girl and a crafty wolf whose plans are foiled by a modern day twist. Featuring the Grand Rapids Symphony and the dancers of the Grand Rapids Ballet. Don’t miss the chance to experience this exciting and classic “tail”!

Muskegon Snowfest
January 31, Muskegon
Celebrating its 31st anniversary, the Muskegon Snowfest brings fun activities for the young at heart and all families and visitors of Muskegon County. This one day festival, centered on Western Avenue, brings the traditional soup/chili cook-off by area restaurants, kidsfest, snow cornhole tournament, snow volleyball, and an entertainment tent with live music, plus – it’s heated!

Ice Breakers 2015
January 31 – February 2
West Michigan’s predominant and growing winter festival is showcasing dazzling ice sculptures, Chili Cook-off, Pub Slide, horse drawn wagon rides, kid crafts, and many more exciting events. A major highlight of the event is the sculpting of more than 50 blocks of ice, weighing 300 pounds each, into incredible works of frozen art. While admiring all the amazing ice displays along the way

Do you have an annual January tradition to kick off the New Year? Share it by commenting below!

Ice Fishing 101: Six Simple Rules for Ice Fishing in Michigan

Michigan is a winter wonderland – especially for ice fishing! Today, guest bloggers Elyse Walter and Christian LeSage from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources give us six simple rules for a fun and safe ice fishing experience in Pure Michigan. 

Ice-fishing-in-MichiganMichigan offers some wonderful outdoor opportunities throughout the year, including world-class fishing. While some anglers head for the indoors when the temperatures dip, others look forward to winter’s most popular angling activity – ice fishing.

Many anglers and families look forward to the opportunities ice fishing provides them during these colder months, with some proclaiming this the best time to go fishing! Ice fishing is generally a more social event and many anglers welcome sharing a conversation about how they’re doing and what has worked for them. Others prefer the solitude that this wintery sport offers as they battle the elements in their quest to catch fish. Some of the benefits of ice fishing include the fact you can get to just about anywhere on a lake during the season and there are a multitude of species available to target.

If you’ve never been ice fishing there are a few things to think about so you’re prepared to have a fun and safe experience. We often recommend following these six simple rules:

1. Never fish alone.

2. Tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to return.

3. Always test the ice with a spud (a long shank with a chisel-like end).

4. Take the appropriate emergency items, such as ice picks and a life jacket.

5. Take a cell phone (enclosed in a plastic bag) with you in case you need to call for help.

6. Lakes tend to be a safer choice during the early winter as streams or rivers have flow which makes them less safe at times.

After you round up your gear (check out this list in our “Ice Fishing, the Coolest Sport Around” article) you’ll want to think about which species to fish for. Maybe you’d like to look for panfish while hook-and-line fishing, such as bluegill, yellow perch or crappie. Use a tip-up to target larger game fish, like northern pike, walleye and numerous trout species. Or – an opportunity unique to Michigan – consider going spearing for some monster fish like northern pike or muskellunge. Please note there are many restrictions associated with spear fishing (for instance, muskellunge harvest is limited to one per angler per season and a harvest tag is required), anglers should read the 2014 Michigan Fishing Guide for more information.

No matter what type of ice fishing method you choose remember this simple tip: success is most often seen around dawn until mid-morning or from late afternoon until sundown.

Need additional incentive to drop a line this winter? Try it for free as part of the 2015 Winter Free Fishing Weekend, coming Saturday, February 14 and Sunday, February 15. This annual weekend provides two days where no fishing license is required for residents or non-residents – although all fishing regulations still apply.

The Department of Natural Resources has coordinated the Winter Free Fishing Weekend every year since 1994 in an effort to showcase the great angling opportunities available in Michigan and to allow residents and visitors alike to try the experience for free.

While many individuals and families will flock to their favorite fishing hole as part of this weekend, others will join official events coordinated throughout the state that will provide hands-on ice fishing experience. An official 2015 Winter Free Fishing Weekend event list will be available at www.michigan.gov/freefishing later this winter.

Don’t miss your chance to experience Michigan’s outstanding winter fishing opportunities and to get your family outdoors. Start planning your next fishing trip at www.michigan.gov/fishing

ElyseWalter-ChristianLeSageElyse Walter is a communication specialist for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Christian LeSage is a Senior Fisheries Biologist for the Department. Elyse works specifically with the DNR’s Fisheries Division to help educate and promote the state’s fishing opportunities and aquatic resources. Christian LeSage’s responsibilities include improving angling opportunities for anglers through fish stocking activities as well as development of the annual Michigan Fishing Guide. Elyse and Christian work together to promote Michigan’s awesome angling opportunities which are second to none.