Five-Star Wilderness Explorations

From Mackinac Island and the Soo Locks, to the Porcupine Mountains and Isle Royale, you’ll be amazed by the things to do and see in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It’s a place of spectacular natural beauty, countless attractions and endless activities.

Winter just may be the best time to visit Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Most ski resorts are open by Thanksgiving, with modern snowmaking equipment lending a helping hand to Mother Nature's abundant supply.  Resorts near Lake Superior are also assisted by the lake herself, with lake-effect snows bringing big fat flakes perfect for winter sports. Annual snowfall averages from 60 to 200 inches, plenty of snow for winter sports.

Hills provide vertical drops of more than 600 feet, and even in the flatter areas, most every community has a hill high enough for skiing. Runs vary, some reaching more than 6,000 feet. Accommodations at many resorts include chalets, lodges and condos. Or if you prefer, stay at nearby motels or bed and breakfast inns. Resorts are full-service, with ski lessons, rental equipment, lodging and dining options. Some offer NASTAR racing, cross country skiing and connect to snowmobile trails.

Every city, town and community has its cross country trail, groomed and ready for eager skiers. Many are mapped, marked and graded according to skills. Trails lead through forests, beside lakes and across meadows, many with rest stops along the way.

snowmobiling Chris AraceSnowmobiling promises adventure along miles of marked and groomed trails that connect to extended trails across bordering states and Ontario. Groomed trails stretch like snow highways through forests, and across frozen lakes and streams. Snowmobiling activities include races, derbies and festivals. Rental machines are available in many snowmobiling areas.

Mushing behind a team of sled dogs is a growing sport, with most every winter festival featuring a sled dog race. This has become a spectator sport, with crowds lining up to watch eager six- to ten-dog teams surging in the harness to take off down the trails that lead through snow-carpeted forests and frozen lakes.

Some visitors consider the Upper Peninsula's luge run as the ultimate in thrills.  Others try winter camping. Still others are happy to sit in a rustic lodge beside a roaring fire and watch snowflakes drift past the window.

Snowshoeing can be a leisurely stroll through the forest or race against time. You can also drop by the factory and watch snowshoes being made.

Fishermen need not give up their sport in winter. They simply drag their shanties across the frozen lakes, dig a hole in the ice and start fishing. Communities of fish shacks spring up on lakes and harbors, providing a colorful addition to the scenery. 

Winter festivals include races in every sport, annual ski jumps and occasional ski flying competitions.

Whatever your idea of winter fun, you’re sure to find it in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.