Cross-Country Skiing in Pure Michigan

Photo courtesy of Upper Peninsula Travel & Recreation Association

Michigan may not be known for mountainous terrain, but it does offer some of the best cross-country skiing in the country – great for both fun and exercise.  More than 3,000 miles of trails stretch across the state, Mackinac Island included.  Come winter, the entire east side of the island is reserved solely for cross country fun, with ski rental and instruction available.

For those unwilling to brave the icy Straits, there’s plenty of prime skiing available on the northern Michigan mainland – from the Sand Dunes Ski Trail in St. Ignace, to the Peek-A-Boo Hill Ski Trail in Cedarville.  For a more adventurous trek, the 35 mile Petoskey to Mackinaw Trail stretches 35 miles through eight cities.

There’s plenty of fun to be had downstate as well:

Bald Mountain Recreation Area in Lake Orion is known for its eight miles of groomed cross country skiing trails, and is also a great destination for snowmobiling, sledding and ice fishing.

Bernard W. Baker Sanctuary in Bellevue was the first sanctuary of the Michigan Audubon Society.  Well-known as a refuge for Greater Sandhill Cranes, cross country skiing is welcomed along its trails in-season.

Blandford Nature Center in Grand Rapids is a 143 acre facility, giving visitors the opportunity to explore a variety of nature areas along its cross country trails.  It’s also possible to warm up indoors with special exhibits and Blandford’s popular wildlife care program.

For more information on cross country skiing in the Mackinac Island region, or throughout the state, visit www.michigan.org.