Grab Your Imagination and Your Boots for a Snow Day Getaway in Oscoda

Cardboard? Check. Scissors? Check. Creativity? Check. Pack up your snow gear and your imagination. Oscoda’s Snow Box Derby is back for its 25th year! Today, Oscoda Area Convention and Visitors Bureau tells us how to suit up for smooth sledding and a snow day getaway on Michigan’s sunrise side. 

Photo by George Thomas - Lumberman's Monument

Photo by George Thomas – Lumberman’s Monument

Snow Box Derby
Snow Box Derby is an Oscoda area tradition. The unique sled race glides into action February 8, 2015. Participants work to create a race-worthy sled using cardboard, scissors, duct tape and ingenuity. Creativity is encouraged! Many teams even wear costumes. The theme for this year’s race is “25” in honor of the derby’s 25-year celebration. Throughout the day, there will also be free children’s games including frosty bowling, as well as snowball golf for the adults! What type of sled would you build?

Photo via Under the Radar Michigan

Photo via Under the Radar Michigan

Turn your derby day into a Pure Michigan winter weekend. Check out these other snow day activities that the Oscoda area has to offer:

Snowmobiling
Oscoda is the eastern gateway to northern Michigan’s snowmobile trail system. From here you can travel across the state to Traverse City or northward to the Upper Peninsula. In Foote site Village, six and a half miles west of the trailhead, riders will find food, beverages and fuel. There the trail divides and riders have the option of heading north via Rea Road across the AuSable River and connecting with the Alcona County Trail system.

Cross Country Skiing
Whether you’ve been skiing for years or are just now picking up the sport, Oscoda offers trails for skiers of all levels.

Photo courtesy of Oscoda CVB

Photo courtesy of Oscoda CVB

Experienced XC Skiers

Highbanks Cross Country Ski Trail – This is a linear trail, covering 14 miles of scenic AuSable River bluff, running from Iargo Springs on the west past Lumbereman’s Monument to Sid Town. This back-country trail is marked but not groomed, and is suitable for novice to intermediate skiers.

Hoist Lakes Trails – Longer loops and steeper hills offer an exciting challenge in beautiful surroundings. The trailhead is six miles north of Glennie on the west side of M-65 where parking is available.

Photo by Melissa Ghrist

Photo by Melissa Ghrist

Corsair Ski Trails – This trail is nestled in the beautiful Silver Valley area, surrounded by 120,000 acres of Huron National Forest. The Corsair system offers 44 miles of groomed and tracked trail with a variety of terrain, being one of the largest groomed trail networks in Michigan.

Eagle Run – located two miles west of Oscoda on River Road. The trail runs along the banks of the AuSable River in the Huron National Forest, through mixed hardwoods and pines. The trail consists of 11 miles of groomed loops of varying lengths and difficulty. Trails are 13 feet wide and double packed.

Beginning XC Skiers

Sled Hill (Old Orchard Park) – is located eight miles west on River Road. Winter time fun for the whole family. Groomed sled hills.

Reid Lake – offers six miles of gently rolling trails through an area of many ponds where you can easily find evidence of beaver activity. Parking lot is plowed but the trails are not groomed. The parking area and trailhead are located on the south side of M-72 across from Kohler Road. From Oscoda, follow F-41 north to M-72. Turn west and go 12.5 miles.

Will you build a sled made for speed or ski through peaceful surroundings? Whichever you choose, plan your Oscoda area snow day getaway at oscoda.com

These 12 Can’t-Miss Grand Rapids Events Will Keep Your 2015 Calendar Full!

It’s going to be a busy year on Michigan’s west side! Today, our guest blogger from Experience Grand Rapids shares the scoop on twelve can’t miss events happening in the city in 2015. 

Happy New Year!  If you’re like me, you have a fresh 2015 planner just waiting to be filled with the fun things to do this year.  Whether it’s a summer playcation, a weekend away, a date night or a day trip, Grand Rapids is a city chock full of fun in 2015.  Here are twelve big deal events to look forward to this year.

Art Prize PM

Photo courtesy of Experience Grand Rapids

ArtPrize 2015
What: The 7th annual open art competition covers the city in a variety of art in all mediums.  Vote for your favorites or take a tour of the juror’s top twenty.
When: September 23rd-October 11th

LaughFest
What: Gilda’s Club in Grand Rapids has one message-  Laughing is good for your health!  Remind yourself of how good it feels to cackle and check out the impressive lineup of comedians headed into town.
When: March 5th-15th

DisArt
What: This is a brand new festival in Michigan and is centered around an international exhibit in its first US showcase.  DisArt features all artists who have disabilities and “Art of the Lived Experience” will be displayed at a number of local museums surrounding the festival.  DisArt includes more traditional mediums but also features film, fashion, dance and music.
When: April 10th-25th

GrandJazz
What: This year will be the third annual Grand Jazz Festival in Grand Rapids- it’s two days of wonderful music and company in Rosa Parks Circle of Downtown GR, and it’s FREE!  If you like jazz or want to fall in love with it, check this out.
When: August 15th and 16th

Freedom Cruise
What: Fifth-Third Ballpark and the DeltaPlex Arena are teaming up to host a huge classic car and bike show to help raise awareness and funds for West Michigan veterans.  Check out the vehicles, enjoy live music, food, and say thanks to the men and women who have served so bravely.
When: June 24th-28th

Photo Courtesy of Pat Evans.

Photo Courtesy of Pat Evans.

Festival of the Arts
What: For 46 years, Grand Rapids has reserved this first weekend in June to celebrate food, music, art, and the beginning of summer.  Six stages are reserved for poets, musicians, storytellers, dancers and film, while Calder Center is transformed by art sale tents.  Check out the juried exhibitions around the downtown area as well.
When: June 5th-7th

Japanese Garden Opening
What:  The Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden has been in the works since 2012 and will add eight acres of beauty to the already breathtaking Frederick Meijer Gardens.  Have tea in the authentic Japanese Tea House, walk amongst the waterfalls, or sit and rest in a zen garden.
When: June 13th

LPGA
What: This year, West Michigan’s Tullymore Golf Resort is excited to host 144 LPGA hopefuls in the Symetra Tour.  The top ten women will win tour memberships for LPGA 2016 and the winner leaves with $15,000.
When: July 3rd-5th

 KBS Week
What: Kentucky Breakfast Stout is an imperial stout brewed with chocolate and coffee and left in the caves beneath Grand Rapids to age for a year in oak bourbon barrels.  It has made beer lovers into fanatics and now merits its own week of celebrated releases.  Kegs are sent all over town in coordinated releases before bottles hit the shelves so try it first in Grand Rapids!
When: March 9th-14th

Experience Pink
What: Susan G. Komen of West Michigan brings you the 2nd annual Experience Pink, a whole month of support and fundraising for the foundation that has brought so many breakthroughs to breast cancer researchers.  Watch the GR Drive, dodgeball between local hotel employees, an exciting match from the GR women’s roller derby team, and a four-course wine dinner at the Holiday Inn in downtown Grand Rapids.
When: February!  An assortment of events on the 9th, 11th, 21st, and 26th

Photo Courtesy of The Electric Cheetah.

Photo Courtesy of The Electric Cheetah.

Cool Brews. Hot Eats.
What: If you like beer AND food, this event was designed for you.  Purposefully planned around GR’s Beer Week and the MI Brewer’s Guild Winter Beer Festival, CBHE marries beer and food in unique ways as chefs get creative in their kitchens.  Dozens of local restaurants are participating so plan to eat out…a lot.
When: February 16th-28th

Restaurant Week GR
What: Just a few short months after CBHE comes Restaurant Week, GR’s proudest culinary weeks on the calendar.  During the peak season for Michigan agriculture, chef’s around town are challenged to produce MI inspired menu items that will wow their guests.  Many design multiple courses or gear the tasting towards couples so grab a partner and try to decide where to eat!
When: August 12th-23rd

What events do you have penciled in your planner for 2015? 

Ten Fun Ways to Burn Calories This Winter in Michigan

For most Americans, losing weight and exercising more tops their list of New Year’s resolutions. We start off with good intentions of hitting the gym regularly, but according to a Wall Street Journal article, fitness resolutions and gym visits start to waver near the end of January.

If you’ve already started to get tired of the same gym routine, try the snow day workout. Getting outdoors and enjoying winter activities can boost your immune system, lift your mood and help you keep your fitness goals going strong.

Here are ten fun ways to get active outside during a Pure Michigan Snow Day.

Pure_Michigan_Graphic_V4

From winter ziplining and ice climbing to snowshoeing and snowmobiling, Michigan is a wonderland for winter activities. And after your exhilarating winter fun, why not treat yourself to some pampering at one of Michigan’s award-winning spas.

What’s your favorite way to spend a snow day? Share your photos enjoying the snow using #PureMichiganSnowDay on Twitter and Instagram or visit michigan.org/snowday to plan yours. Know an inspirational fitness leader? Submit your choice by January 23 for the Governor’s Fitness Awards, honoring individuals for their pursuit, commitment and dedication to health and wellness.