Indulging along Garland’s Gourmet Glide

Food can make just about any activity that much better as Dianna Stampfler, Michigan Travel Ideas contributing writer, learns during the “Gourmet Glide” at Garland Lodge & Resort in Lewiston.

Gourmet Glide at the Garland Lodge & Resort

Gourmet Glide at the Garland Lodge & Resort

It’s a beautiful day when I slide into my cross-country skis and set out in search of tantalizing delectables. Garland’s “Gourmet Glide” lives up its name, with five trailside and warming stations set up along a picturesque 10-kilometer trail.

The invigorating effects of the crisp morning air not to mention constant motion of skiing put a smile on my face soon after setting out on my adventure. Occasionally, I would encounter another participant. But mostly, it’s just me on the trail absorbing the sounds of nature.

Station #2: Hard Wax Cafe
Rounding a corner the warming hut comes into view—just in time. By now, I have worked up a sweat and am in need of nourishment. I grab a diet soda and b-line for the buffet, with its impressive spread of smoked salmon, whitefish dip, crackers and cheese.  

On the Trail Again
After a short rest, I hit the trail. A fellow glider and I carry on a light-hearted conversation. In what seems like a few minutes, we approach the next stop where we know we’re in for a treat!

Station #3: Trout Camp
More than a dozen gliders are standing over various holes in the ice, reels in hand. Having never been ice fishing, I am nearly giddy as I reel in a trout within minutes. No worries, it’s catch and release (the staff handles the release). A giant fire crackles pond-side and the skiing congregation enjoys steaming bowls of trout chowder and fried trout filets. Life is good!

Warming up pond side during the 10k Gourmet Glide

Warming up pond side during the 10k Gourmet Glide

The Final Stretch
By now, skiing seems second nature and I am no longer thinking about moving one leg after another. The resort’s log covered bridge comes into view as I approach the next warming station, the fourth stop.

Surprisingly, I am a bit hungry—although it seems I have been eating nonstop for hours. The continued exercise of skiing burns calories as fast as I consume them—a good thing.

An End to a Great Day
It’s back to the lodge—the largest log lodge this side of the Mississippi—where it all started just hours before. I feel recharged and slightly proud that the nonathletic has made the entire 10k route without too much effort or falling!

Insider Tips

  • The Gourmet Glide is a go-at-your-own pace that may last from a half-day to seven hours.
  • Go ahead, fill up at the five food stations. Participants work off calories while cross-county skiing 10k (six mile-plus).

Trip Planner

  • Garland Lodge & Resort’s Gourmet Glide is held on winter Saturdays, January through early March.
  • Gourmet Glide tickets are $59 for hotel guests, $69 for nonguests; children 17 and under, $39. Gourmet Glide overnight packages start at $116.50 per person, making it a good value winter getaway.

Dianna Stampfler loves Michigan so much, she’s made a career out of it! Her marketing consultant company, Promote Michigan, is just one of the many ways this fourth-generation Michigan resident shows her appreciation for the Great Lakes State. Besides being a full-time cheerleader for Michigan, Dianna enjoys reading, gardening, traveling and visiting with friends.

  • Kevin

    This was one of our favorite things to do in the winter and now it appears that Garland will be closed this winter.

  • Madelyn Cairns

    Hello. fantastic job. I did not anticipate this. This is a great story. Thanks!