Into the Woods—Destination Cadillac

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Majestic red pines become a matchstick blur in the Huron-Manistee National Forest near Cadillac, where a convoy of snowmobilers banks and accelerates through serpentine turns on 600 miles of groomed trails in the heart of Michigan sled country. 


A showpiece among the state’s many popular sledding destinations, the Cadillac trail system networks hilly forest spurs with speed-friendly linear railroad grades and well-marked in-town routes that end at local businesses like the Clam Lake Beer Company, featuring more than 30 taps of craft beer.
With snowmobile tourism as the main driver of its winter economy, it’s natural that the Cadillac area has dozens of sled-friendly dining, lodging and service destinations. New riders can straddle the latest Arctic Cat and learn basic riding technique on a guided ride with M&M Rentals, an experienced local outfitter offering rental and door-to-door sled delivery.
An annual snowfall of 80–100 inches provides a reliable base for groomers from Cadillac Winter Promotions, who ensure safe and smooth trails for sledders like Brent and Cindy Smith. The couple from Ithaca spewed powder for 150 miles on the White Pine Trail for a getaway at Evergreen Resort.
This sprawling 300-acre resort features on-site restaurants, in-room Jacuzzis and quick access to south- and westbound trails. The arterial No. 6 runs west to the outskirts of Manistee, with spurs leading to Lost Pines Lodge or Coyote Crossing Resort. 
“We gravitate to Cadillac for most of our riding,” Cindy says as she and Brent kill the engines on their matching red-and-black snowmobiles. “The scenery is gorgeous, and the trails are well-groomed. This terrain is a good mix of technical and easy sledding.”
More Places to Ride
Snowmobilers crisscross the state on more than 6,400 miles of interconnected trails. In the Upper Peninsula, sledders find 500 miles of groomed trails between Marquette and Munising, the western gateway town to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The 40-mile-long park is home to cliffs up to 200 feet tall along Lake Superior; the snow-dusted sandstone turret Miners Castle is a popular stop. From here, blast south on Trail 422 to connect to east-west No. 8 for lodging, dining and other amenities. Off-trail adventurers head to Great Kingston Plains for deep snow. At the end of the day, bunk down in cabins or chain hotels along M-28, which connects Munising to Sault Ste. Marie on the eastern edge of the Upper Peninsula.
Michigan’s Snowmobile Association is a hub of information, including statewide trail and weather reports, safety information and rental spots. For additional statewide snowmobile resources, we invite you to Experience Michigan’s Backcountry.