If your dreams include zooming through a world of white, follow the tracks to Cadillac, Michigan’s unofficial snowmobile capital. The lakeside city hosts the annual North American Snow Festival (February 2-5, 2012), packed with races, chili cook-offs and live music. But, throughout the season, sledders converge looking for an adrenaline rush on some of the 200 miles of trails that fan out into the surrounding countryside. In and around town, lodgings cater to snowmobilers, including McGuire’s Resort, where you can drive your machine practically to the doors of rooms, some with fireplaces and whirlpools. This posh retreat on 300 acres south of town entertains guests with a range of winter pleasures. A 10-kilometer Nordic trail system weaves across the grounds and a horse-drawn sleigh takes guests for moonlit rides.
You can ride all day on the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail without covering the same ground. Or make easy loops through the woods and buzz back into town for lunch. Sleds zip over a converted rail bed that stretches for 92 miles south almost to Grand Rapids. Other routes travel east to Houghton Lake, another favorite with snowmobilers. The machines also can follow a trail network north to Traverse City. It eventually leads to the Upper Peninsula.
Sledders can even park their sleds beside their door at theCadillac Sands Resort in downtown Cadillac.
For a quieter foray into the snowy outdoors, join in an Elk Viewing Ride and Gourmet Dinner at Thunder Bay Resort near Hillman. Guests board horse-drawn sleighs for the ride to Elk Antler Log Cabin, a comfortable new retreat hidden in the woods. Wool blankets tuck around laps, as Percheron draft horses pull the sleighs through the sparkling landscape. You’re likely to see elk on a 160-acre preserve, but the real prize is a memorable dinner at the cabin, where food is cooked on a wood-fired stove.
For a complete list of Michigan snowmobile trails, click here.