Cross-Country Skiing in Michigan's UP - A RING! Feature Article]
-- Some outdoor enthusiasts enjoy the deeper silence found along cross-country ski trails which lead through hills and valleys, forests and meadows. Skiers may choose between well-groomed, lighted city trails or trails through thick pines draped heavy with snow. A main attraction to UP ski trails is the abundant snowfall, the forest of pine, spruce, and balsam laced with snow garlands and excellent grooming equipment.
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Cross-Country Skiing in the Upper Peninsula
Some outdoor enthusiasts enjoy the deeper silence found along cross-country ski trails which lead through hills and valleys, forests and meadows. Skiers may choose between well-groomed, lighted city trails or trails through thick pines draped heavy with snow. A main attraction to UP ski trails is the abundant snowfall, the forest of pine, spruce, and balsam laced with snow garlands and excellent grooming equipment.
Designated trails are well-marked with directional signs and levels of expertise from novice to expert, with rest areas along the way. Or choose a trail system with a warm-up cabin where one can take a rest as a cup of steaming hot chocolate warms the heart and hands.
Trails are located in national and state forests; state, country and city parks; ski resorts and other areas. There are trails to waterfalls, ice caves, and past scenic lookouts.
Cross-country races are held throughout the season with categories for all ages. Races are fun to enter and fun to watch. Some areas have rental shops and ski instruction.
Buckhorn Ski Trail - 400 E. Munising Avenue, Munising 49862, 906-387-3700
Christmas Lighted Ski Trail - 400 E. Munising Avenue, Munising 49862, 906-387-3700
Grand Marais Ski Trails - Two trails. The first is four miles east of Grand Marais on H-58 and is 25 miles of intermediate to expert trail. The second is two miles west of Grand Marais on H-58 in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and is six miles of beginner to intermediate trail. For more information contact Burt Township School, 906-494-2521, or Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Headquarters 906-387-2607, or the Grand Marais Ranger Station, 906-494-2669.
Hiawatha Ski Trail - 400 E. Munsing Avenue, Munising 49862, 906-387-3700
Munising Ski Trails - One mile east of Munising on H-58. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore marked trails. Beginner through advanced. 11 miles of trail. Trail link-up with North Country Trail. Portion groomed and tracked. Contact Lakeshore Headquarters, 906-387-2607 or Chamber of Commerce 906-387-2138
Valley Spur Ski Trails - Six miles from Munising on M-94, 12 miles from Chatham. Munising Ranger District. Hiawatha National Forest. Seven trails 1.6 to 18 km. Groomed and tracked on a regular basis. 906-387-2512, or the Chamber of Commerce. 906-387-2138
Piney Lake Ski Trails - 2.5 miles northeast of L'Anse, 5 km various loop lengths. Novice and intermediate levels. Ski through red pine woods. All marked and groomed. Call Baragaland Ski Club at 906-524-6514 or 906-524-7444
Algonquin Ski Trails - Located in a convenient heavily wooded area in the western section of Sault Ste. Marie. Three separate loops of well groomed trails totaling eight miles. The first loop lighted for night skiing. For more information call 800-MI-SAULT.
Paradise Pathway - Half mile west of Paradise on M-123. Two trails, north trail is three miles and south trail is 1.5 miles. DNR trail is locally groomed. State park 906-492-3415. DNR District Headquarters, 906-293-5131.
Pine Bowl Pathway - Near former Kincheloe Air Force Base, four miles from I-75 on Wilson Road, 9.5 miles of groomed marked trails in the Munuscong State Forest. DNR maintained. State Forest, Sault Ste. Marie. 906-635-5281
DeTour Pathway - Located five miles west of DeTour on M-134. Four miles through the woods on groomed and marked trails to St. Vitals Point on Lake Huron Shores for a spectacular view.
Drummond Island Ski Trails - Several miles of groomed trails are offered on this island paradise from novice to expert.
City of Escanaba - North 30th Street. 4.2 miles to 6.6 miles.
Escanaba River State Forest - 6833 US-2/US-41. Gladstone. 906-644-2603
Fayette State Park - Eight miles southwest of Garden, five miles of groomed trail. Park Headquarters. 906-644-2603
Gladstone Sports Park - Three miles of marked novice cross-country trail, located adjacenmt to ski hill. Trail groomed and double tracks set on a regular basis.
Days River Pathway - Bay de Noc State Forest. Near Gladstone. 17.9 miles of DNR maintained trails. 906-786-2351
Rapid River Ski Trails - Seven miles north of Rapid River Ranger on US-41. Rapid River Ranger District. Hiawatha National Forest. Three trails, four to 13 km. Groomed and tracked on a regular basis.
Fumee Lake Natural Area - Two miles east of Quinnesec on US-2, 1 mile north on Upper Pine Creek Road. Seven, two and one mile loops. Groomed.
Gene's Pond - County Road 581 (Norway Lake Road), take Gene's Pond Road to parking area. Trail starts at boat launch, goes to scenic overlook and through wildlife opening. 2.3 miles.
Iron Mountain City Park - West off Carpenter, end of "A" Street. Four loops totaling 3.5 km. Easy to difficult paths. Groomed.
Lake Antoine - Path is located at Lake Antoine Park just north of Iron Mountain.
Lake Mary Plains - West on M-69 from Sagol. South on Glidden Lake Road. Both loops 3.4 miles. Groomed.
Merriman E. Pathway - North of Iron Mountain. Seven miles east on Merriman Truck Trail off M-95. Two loops, three and six miles. Hiking and cross-country. DNR maintained. Forester in Felch, 906-246-3210
Lake Gogebic State Park - On M-64, 13 miles NE of Marenisco. Five miles of more difficult trails, all marked. Park headquarters, 906-842-3341
Wolverine Hill Trail - Gogebic County, Ironwood, five miles of marked and groomed trails. Novice and intermediate trails. 906-932-4465 or 932-4470
Chassel Classic - One block off US-41 in Chassel, one km lighted for night skiing, eight km of marked and groomed trails. Novice, intermediate and advanced. Keweenaw Tourism office, 906-337-4579 or 800-338-7982
Maasto Hiihto - Adjacent to Houghton County Arena, Hancock, 17 km looped in forest for novice to expert. Packed and groomed. 906-482-2720
McLain State Park - On M-203. Seven miles west of Calumet. Four miles of easiest and more difficult trails, all marked. Park Headquarters 906-482-0278
Michigan Tech Trails - 1197 Calumet Avenue, Calumet 49913. 906-337-4579 or 800-338-7982
Old Grade Trail - On M-38, seven miles west of Nisula. Ottawa National Forest-United States Forest Service. 3.9 miles partially marked novice trail. 906-884-2085
Swedetown Pathway - Calumet, off Osceola Road, 18k, 2k lighted for night skiing, three loops of novice, intermediate and advanced trails, all marked and groomed. Keweenaw Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. 906-337-4579 or 800-338-7982
Ge-Che Trail - Iron River. Ottawa National Forest, United States Forest Service. 4.75 miles partially marked intermediate trail. 906-265-5139
Lake Mary Plains Pathway - Between Crystal Falls and Sagola on M-69. More than 9 miles of DNR maintained trails. 906-875-6622
George Young Recreational Complex - The Iron River Nordic Cross-County Ski Center offers 25 kilometers of meticulously groomed trails, prepared for both classical and skating techniques. Follow the trails to explore Scott Lake, Minnie Lake and Wagner Lake or wind through the wooded expanse of the complex. The varying terrain provides excellent skiing for all ability levels, from novice to expert. Trails are open daily from 10:00am to 4:30pm. Closed Mondays.
Copper Harbor Pathway - Maintained by the DNR, Parks Division. Over ten miles of marked and groomed trails. Novice to expert. For more information contact, Keweenaw Tourism Council 800-338-7982
Fort Wilkins State Park - Near Copper Harbor. Two miles of easiest trails, marked and groomed. 9k novice to expert. Park Headquarters 906-289-4215
Canada Lakes Pathway - Four miles from Newberry off M-28 on County Road 403, three trails of over three, four and six miles in the Tahquamenon River State Forest. Maintained by the DNR. State Park 906-492-3415. DNR District Headquarters 906-293-5131, or the Newberry Chamber of Commerce 906-293-5562
Lake Superior State Forest - P.O. Box 445, Newberry 49868. 906-293-5131
Natural Area Pathway - Luce and Chippewa County, between Paradise (14 miles) and Newberry (23 miles). 13 miles of DNR maintained trails in the Tahquamenon Falls State Park. State Park 906-492-3415. DNR Districe headquarters 906-293-5131. Newberry Area Chamber of Commerce 906-293-5562 or write Paradise Chamber of Commerce, Paradise 49768.
Tahquamenon Falls State Park - Luce and Chippewa Counties on M-123. 12 miles southwest of Paradise. Six miles of easiest and most difficult trails. Trails are marked. Park Headquarters 906-492-3415.
Curtis Area Trails - P.O. Box 477, Curtis 49820. 906-586-3700
Les Cheneaux Area - Cedarville and Hessel. Combination showmobile/cross-country trails. Chamber of Commerce 906-484-3935
ALL MACKINAC ISLAND ROADS AND TRAILS ARE OPEN TO CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING
Manilak Resort Ski Trail - Total length of 2.3 miles/4.6km. The Barrett Road Ski Trail has a total length of 1.5 miles/2.4km.
Sand Dunes Ski Trail - 11 miles west of St. Ignace on US-2, 0.5 miles north of County Road H-57. Five trails 1.5 to 6.2 miles (2.4km to 10km). Marked and groomed. St. Ignace Ranger District. Hiawatha National Forest.
Sprang Road Ski Trail - The trail difficulty ratings are easy and more difficult and total length of 9.1 miles/14.5km.
St. Martin Cross-Country Ski Trail - US Forest Service. No motorized vehicles. Hiking, snowshoeing, mountain biking also. 6-7 miles west of Hessel.
Al Quaal Recreation Area - Near Ishpeming and the National Ski Hall of Fame. Four cross-country courses, 2.5, 5, 7 and 10km. Sponsored and maintained by the Ishpeming Ski Club. Chamber of Commerce 906-486-4841, 486-6181, or 486-6581.
Anderson Lake Pathway - Near Gwinn on County Road 557, Escanaba River State Forest. 10.3 miles of DNR maintained trails. 906-228-6561
Black River Pathway - Near Ishpeming on Country Road 581. Escanaba River State
Forest. 2.5 miles of marked trails (slightly hilly). 906-475-4213
Blueberry Ridge Pathway - Near Marquette on the junctions of County Roads 480 and 553. Three loops, 2.5, five and eight miles of DNR maintained trails. 906-249-1497
Cleveland Location Trails - Ishpeming Ski Club, P.O. 127, Ishpeming 49849. 906-486-9281, or 486-4841.
Harlow Lake Pathway - 1985 US-41, Ishpeming 49849. Eight miles north of Marquette on County Road 55. Five miles west on DNR maintained trails. Beginner to expert. Not groomed. 906-485-1031
Kivela Road Park Ski Trail - Negaunee. 906-475-7869
Longyear Ski Trail - Expert trail located northeast on Forestville Road. Not groomed.
Marquette Fit Strip - Marguette. 906-228-0460
National Mine Biathlon Area - Route 3, Box 1024, National Mine 49865. 906-486-8080
Negaunee Township Touring Trail - 42 M-35, Negaunee 49866. 906-475-7869
Presque Isle Park Trails - Two trails in northeast Marquette. End of Lakeshore Blvd. Beginner and intermediate loops. Trails groomed. 906-228-0460
Silver Creek Trails - Marquette 49855. 800-544-4321
Suicide Bowl Trails - P.O. Box 127, Ishpeming 49849. 906-486-9281 or 486-4841
Cedar River Pathway - Near Cedar River. 17.5 miles of DNR maintained trails. 906-753-6317
Henes Park Trail - City of Menominee. 906-863-2656
J.W. Wells State Park - On M-35, one mile south of Cedar River, four miles of easiest and more difficult trails, all marked. Park Headquarters 906-863-9747
Gogebic Ridge Trail - On M-64, 0.5 mile north of Bergland, 2.5 miles of marked trails. Ottawa National Forest. United States Forest Service, four miles of marked expert trails. 906-575-3441
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park - 13 miles west of Silver City on the shores of Lake Superior. One of the Midwest's oldest and most scenic trail systems. State of the art grooming on 42km of double track set trail. A special one ride lift ticket gives Nordic skiers quick access to the trails on the backside of our Alpine ski area. Trailside cabins, equipment rental, ski shop, warming chalet, cafeteria. 412 South Boundary Road, Ontonagon 49953 or phone 906-885-5275
Ashford Lake Pathway - 16 miles north of Manistique off M-94. Trails of three, six and nine miles marked and tracked. DNR maintained. 906-341-2518
Indian Lake Cross-Country Ski Trail - Three miles west of Manistique off M-149. One, three and 4.5 miles long.
Northern Hardwoods Cross-Country Ski Area - Seney National Wildlife Refuge. 906-586-9851
Seney National Wildlife Refuge - 1.5 miles north of Germfask on Highway M-77. Three marked trail loops ranging from 1.5 to 10 miles in length. For information call Refuge Headquarters at 906-586-9851 (weekdays) and 586-9801 (weekends). This 96,000 acre Wildlife Refuge is closed to snowmobilers and off-road vehicles. Germfask 49836
For additional information, call the TOURIST BUREAU of the particular county in which you are interested.
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