Top-Notch Trails for Cross Country Skiing in Pure Michigan

Michigan offers 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.

A man and woman cross country skiing in a forest
Cross Country Skiing in Michigan | Photo Courtesy of Pure Michigan

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1. Marquette

The Noquemanon Trail Network is dedicated to year-round, non-motorized land and water trails. The cross country ski trail in Marquette offers dog-friendly loops, paths for advanced and beginners and miles of snow-powdered paths.

2. Cedarville

Peek-A-Boo Hill Ski Trail is 5.5 kilometers of groomed trails in the Cedar Forest. The Les Cheneaux Nordic Ski Club keeps up the paths for visitors in the winter months.

3. Calumet

Swedetown Trails has 35 kilometers of groomed ski trails, with 5 kilometers of well-lit paths for evening ski trips nestled in the Swedetown Recreation Area. The Area is comprised of 1,900 acres of rolling hills and woodland, set aside for trail adventures. 

4. Ironwood

The ABR Ski Trails offer the most miles of groomed cross country ski paths in a single location in the state, with 45.3 miles of trails and were named one of the nation’s 11 best cross country ski areas by Men’s Journal.

5. Mackinac Island

Come winter, the entire east side of Mackinac Island is reserved solely for cross-country fun, with ski rental and instruction available. An annual lantern-lit cross country ski and snowshoe event takes place each January, February and March with two miles of twinkling ski paths.   


6. Petoskey Area

The Petoskey to Mackinaw Trail stretches 35 miles through multiple cities. The path offers a variety of difficulties and views along its journey. This rail trail is also used as a bike path.

7. Lake Orion

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.

8. Bellevue

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.

9. Grand Rapids

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.