5 Can’t-Miss Winter Sports to Experience This Season

To love Michigan is to love living in a four-season state.Whether you’re a full-time resident or just visiting the Great Lakes state, coming to Michigan means that for a few months out of the year, you’ll experience the beauty of winter and all of the activities and events that come along with it.

When temperatures falls, so does the snow, giving all a chance to participate in some of their favorite winter activities. From a friendly snowball fight in your backyard to cross-country skiing adventure in the back woods, Michigan offers some great ways to make memories during the winter season.

So, grab your favorite hot drink and take a look at five ways to celebrate the winter season in Michigan:

1. Skiing

Michigan offers many ways for people to enjoy skiing, from the rush of going downhill to witnessing the beauty around them by leisurely traversing a wooded trail.

With some of the best downhill skiing in the Midwest, Michigan’s pitch and vertical drops are are some of the most thrilling in the nation. The state is home to 51 ski destinations, ranking it second in the country in number of ski areas. For a slightly slower, but no less of a fun time, consider cross country skiing.  Enthusiasts and newcomers to the sport can enjoy the tranquility of more than 3,000 miles of snow-covered trails with beautiful winter landscapes serving as the backdrop. And don’t forget the snowboarding!

Photo Courtesy of Treetops Resort

Photo Courtesy of Treetops Resort

2. Sledding

Probably one of the easiest and the most fun you can have on a Michigan winter day is spending time just being a kid. Want some thrills and know of a big hill in the area? Grab your sled and go have some fun. Another great way to have fun that is also growing in popularity is snow tubing. Check out one of Michigan’s state or your local county parks for facilities set up especially for sledding and snow tubing, where you can feel the sting of the cold air on your face as your sled careens down a hill.

3. Snowmobiling

Feel the rev of an engine as you race through snow-covered trails and frozen lakes on a snowmobile during a Michigan winter. With more than 6,500 groomed snowmobiling trails, Michigan has one of the most extensive systems of interconnected trails in the nation. From state and national forests, to 11,000 frozen lakes, snowmobilers can experience a great adventure each time they head out for a ride.

Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @AndyPeninger

Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @AndyPeninger

4. Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing in Michigan is a great way to see the tranquil beauty of the winter season.Not all of Michigan’s wildlife scurries off for warmer climates or hibernation as you might get a chance to see rabbits, deer and fox as you trek along the state’s thousands of miles of trails. Snowshoe through the woods, breathing air filled with smells of the forest, hearing nothing but the sound of your own footsteps. Snowshoeing in Michigan offers outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers a respite among picturesque trails and terrains.

5. Pond Hockey

Michigan has a strong tradition when it comes to hockey, and winter weather provides the perfect chance to lace up your skates and have a blast. With more than 11,000 frozen inland lakes, there’s an opportunity to drop the puck anywhere you turn. Whether you’re just learning how to skate or are dreaming of one day playing at Joe Louis Area, all you need is some thick ice, skates, a hockey stick and some friends, and you’re ready to spend an afternoon enjoying the outdoors. Be sure to check out the Labatt Blue U.P. Pond Hockey Championship in St. Ignace this February!

PondHockey

What are your favorite winter activities? Share with us below!

10 Fun Facts About Michigan International Speedway

Photo courtesy of Craig Gardiner Photography

Photo courtesy of Craig Gardiner Photography

Pure Michigan 400 race weekend is here! More than 100,000 fans will be at Michigan International Speedway to cheer on their favorite drivers as they race around NASCAR’s fastest track on August 16th.

Think you know NASCAR? Test your knowledge with these lesser known facts about Michigan International Speedway

  • The 40 trams used at MIS that bring fans from the parking lots to the track were the same trams used at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
  • Six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson is the honorary president of the MIS Kids Club! He even holds special events at the track.
  • There are 9,000 campsites at MIS – making it the largest registered campground in the State of Michigan.
  • Jeff Gordon currently holds the track qualifying record at MIS, being recorded at 206.558 mph in 2014.
  • Cale Yarborough is the driver who has led the most laps at MIS in the track’s history. In his career, Yarborough led for an astounding 1308 laps when racing at MIS.
  • Parking is always free! Guests can also bring in their own food and beverages, and parking lots open two hours before the grandstand so there is plenty of time for tailgating.
  • MIS is NASCAR’s fastest racetrack! MIS is superfast due to the repave in 2012 and long straightaways on the track that let drivers reach their highest speeds.
  • People have gotten married at the track before, but did you know that Roger Curtis presided over the wedding? It’s true! Roger Curtis, the president of MIS is an ordained minister and married a happy couple in Gatorade Victory Lane on June 17, 2012.
  • David Pearson has won the most Cup poles at MIS with 10. Who will take the pole this year?
  • MIS is the only racetrack where a fan awards a special trophy to the winning driver and team. It’s part of MIS’s Fan Appreciation Program.

Plan a visit to MIS and other Michigan automotive attractions at michigan.org. Follow the race on Twitter at #PureMichigan400. 

8 Reasons To Start Your Summer with the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix! (CLOSED – Plus a Giveaway!)

The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix is a weekend full of excitement between the four major racing series that are covered in this short time. Of course, some people might not know that the event is actually a complete international festival held on Detroit’s own Belle Isle Park with a range of enticing activities for the family!  Let’s start it off with number eight…

8. The Meijer Fan Zone

Meijer returns as a partner in 2015 to deliver one of the greatest recreational areas in all of Motorsports! The premises will have a plethora of fun activities, cool displays and enticing entertainment for fans of all ages throughout the weekend.  If you’re a huge car enthusiast, (which you should be, given the event!) displays from Chevy Racing and Autopalooza will have a range of unique motor vehicles from cruising or racing. The Detroit professional sports teams will have displays and some of the top Detroit sports legends will also be appearing and signing autographs. Surely you’ll want to get some face paint and show off your glamorous side, or maybe enjoy the simple pleasures of balloon art as you take advantage of the craft areas.  The Meijer Fan Zone is a key element that makes the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix feel less like a few races, and more of a holiday celebrating the jewel that is Belle Isle Park.

Photo courtesy of Jim Tocco Photography

Photo courtesy of Jim Tocco Photography

7. The Leinenkugel Biergarten

It’s hard to start your summer without considering refreshments… much less that picturesque condensation dripping off an ice cold bottle of your favorite drink.  Don’t worry, The Grand Prix team partnered up with Leinenkugel to give our 21 and over fans what they deserve: The Leinenkugel Biergarten (and yes that is “beer garden”).  Strategically placed between the Meijer Fan Zone, FirstMerit Bank Bridge and a relevant first-aid center, you won’t have issues finding something to quench your thirst or satiate your hunger.

Photo courtesy of Jim Tocco Photography

Photo courtesy of Jim Tocco Photography

6. Pirelli World Challenge Series

One of the four major racing series held at the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix is the Pirelli World Challenge Series.  The goal of this series is to gather a host of manufacturers, teams, and aftermarket suppliers to show off what’s under the hood.  Enjoy these beautiful, powerful metal stallions on the road.  Where else can you go to see a Bentley and a Ford racing alongside a Ferrari and a Honda? Better yet, there will be two races…with one on Saturday and one on Sunday so you can’t make up excuses to miss out.  Go to World-Challenge.com to check out the different classes, and get more information on the series!

Photo courtesy of Cadillac Racing

Photo courtesy of Cadillac Racing

5. Concerts

On a race track one can expect the powerful roar of an engine, the enticing squeal of tires on pavement and the fizzes and hums of the vehicles bolting by.  What you probably don’t expect is for some truly epic musical entertainment.  The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix is taking it to the next level as the MotorCity Casino Hotel Entertainment Stage will rock Saturday night with 3 Doors Down and Sunday with Smash Mouth. Top local bands will also perform during the course of the weekend as well. Check out the full lineup of entertainment at DetroitGP.com.

Photo courtesy of Smash Mouth

Photo courtesy of Smash Mouth

4. SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road presented by TRAXXAS

Legend speaks of magical flying crafts, soaring through the air in constant battle with each other, in the shape of human trucks.  Okay so maybe that’s just slightly over the top, but not by much. Enter SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road Presented by TRAXXAS. The idea here is to take a select group of high-class drivers and  put them in some super powered trucks to race. My guess is that one of them figured, “hey why not add some massive jumps to send us a solid two stories high?” This event is something you have to see to believe!

Photo courtesy of Rock Media Photography

Photo courtesy of Rock Media Photography

3. TUDOR United SportsCar Championship

Last year, two major races decided to get together and spawn one coolest racing series on the planet.  Again things can be a bit confusing with the four different classes driving alongside each other at the same time, but understand that these drivers are world-class.  Some of the best on the planet, right here in your back yard. A few of the races in this series go for 12 and even 24 hours straight!  Can you believe that? But Detroit is a  bustling city, so we decided to give the crowd a couple of super intensive, shorter races instead. Don’t miss it! Check out IMSA.com for more information.

Photo courtesy of LAT Photography

Photo courtesy of LAT Photography

2. Autograph Session

Muster up some courage and get an autograph from your favorite driver! Throughout the weekend, there will be occasions where drivers from each series will come out and relax to hang, shoot the breeze, and sign some goodies.  Not often do opportunities come by where professional athletes take the time to get to know their admirers, so be sure to take advantage of the autograph sessions.  This is a true, “for the fans” moment and selfies are not frowned upon.

Photo courtesy of Oxygen Photography

Photo courtesy of Oxygen Photography

1. Verizon IndyCar Series

So you come to the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, and you have that craving.  You’re not really sure what it is… You already stopped by The Leinenkugel Biergarten so your stomach is satisfied.  You heard some awesome performances by some legendary musicians, so you have a good vibe. But something is missing. Here at the Grand Prix, we cater to every need. We will personally deliver two heaping portions of pure, unadulterated, furious speed. The Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans is back, and it’s going to be exactly what you waited for. Experienced IndyCar fans know that this is some of the fastest, most intense racing in the world with IndyCar legends and can be a lot to handle. But I say indulge. Dig in. It’s race time. Shoot over to indycar.com to keep up with your favorite IndyCar racer or receive all other relevant IndyCar needs.

 

Photo courtesy of LAT Photography

Photo courtesy of LAT Photography

GIVEAWAY: Do you want to score a pair of tickets to this year’s Grand Prix? Simply tell us what events you would attend by commenting below!  We’ll then select two lucky winners at random to win a pair of tickets to the race. To be eligible, simply submit your comments (along with your email address) by Thursday, May 28 at 2:00 p.m. EST. We’ll contact the winners Friday morning using the email address provided (we won’t share it or sell it to anybody).

UPDATE: This contest has ended and the winners have been contacted via email. Thank you to all those who participated!

Profile Picture - Tyler HTyler Hoornstra, 23, is currently a public relations intern for the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. He graduated in 2014 from Michigan State University and James Madison College.