Visiting during the winter season? You're in luck because once the snow falls in the region the fun has just begun!
SKI RESORTS | CROSS COUNTRY SKIING | TUBING & SLEDDING
Northern Michigan is known for its ski-friendly winters, and there are plenty of lodges, trails, and resorts both nearby and within an hour drive of your rental, depending on what you're looking for. Here are some of our recommendations.
This is the closest ski resort to your rental, a mere eight minute drive away. The resort has a series of well maintained ski trails (with snow shoe and snow-bike rentals also available), along with a lit ski loop for those who prefer.
Mount Holiday is also pretty close to your rental, just a 12 minute drive away. Unlike Timber Ridge, Mount Holiday offers a ski lift for downhill skiing and snowboarding, along with tubing and a zip-line.
About 30 minutes from your rental are the world famous VASA cross-country trails, perfect for hiking or skiing.
One of the more well-known resorts in Michigan, Boyne Mountain offers both downhill and cross-country skiing, along with snowshoeing, snow-biking, horseback riding, ice skating, and a zip-line.
Also 30 minutes from your rental, Hickory Hills offers great downhill skiing with lighting for nighttime and optional ski lessons for younger skiers. There's also a disc golf course.
Caberfae offers both downhill skiing with a ski lift, and cross-country nordic skiing with ski rentals as well.
The drive is a little longer to Crystal Mountain (around 49 minutes), but this ski resort has it all -- downhill and cross country skiing, flat tire snow-biking, horse drawn surrey rides, an art park, and even a spa.
Explore this 2,800-acre nature reserve that’s off-limits to motorized vehicles of any kind, with 11 miles of trails that meander through beautiful oak-pine forest and around five small jewel-like lakes.
The 90.81-acre Boardman Valley Nature Preserve follows the west side of the Boardman River south from Airport Road, and includes opportunities for hiking, fishing, canoeing/kayaking, tennis, beach volleyball, soccer, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing
Located on state forest land, the Vasa Pathway features a series of loops (3K, 5K, 10K, 25K) that offer users a variety of challenges from easy to difficult.
This 17-mile provides a paved off-road connection between Traverse City and Suttons Bay. Running through the last of Leelanau County’s former railroad corridors, the Leelanau Trail features picturesque forests, farms, vineyards, lakes and ponds.
Snow Tubing at Timberlee Hills is the perfect way to spend the day with your whole family in Traverse City this winter. It's all the fun of sledding - without hiking back up the hill. Once you reach the bottom you can just grab onto Timberlee's state-of-the-art handletow system. It let's you enjoy the gentle, scenic ride back to the top where the fun starts again!
If you like a little speed with your sledding, the 260-foot Dune Climb is exhilarating fun. This area is the only place in Sleeping Bear where sledding is permitted and it's rarely ever crowded!
Since 1949, Mt. Holiday has provided affordable skiing for families in the Grand Traverse area. There is no age or height limit so bring the whole family. Tubing is first come first serve so we highly recommend making a reservation ahead of time!
Head out on a snowshoe adventure through the vines to three distinct wineries while taking in the views and magical scenes of a winter wonderland! The hike is 2.5 miles long through rolling terrain and you have plenty of opportunity to go at your own pace.
Just north of the city at the base of the Old Mission Peninsula, is a 62-acre preserve of upland meadows and mature forest that is popular with hikers and snowshoers. It includes several cathedral-like stands of tall pines as well as a densely shaded hemlock forest where barred owls are regularly seen.
You have your choice of venturing on trails that follow the beach, or ones that head more deeply into the woods. Some of the trails head out onto abandoned orchards as well. Totaling around 6 miles of snowshoeing opportunities!
Of all the trails at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, this one is best suited for snowshoeing, especially for inexperienced hikers. This trail is only 1.5 miles long through a scenic hardwood forest and it has a great payoff in the form of a breathtaking view of Lake Michigan from a platform 400 feet above the water!
Interested in renting new or late model Polaris and Arctic Cat snowmobiles? Located a speedy six minute drive from your rental home, in the Peegios staging area, Blue Sky Rentals offers easy pick-up and drop-off for snowmobile rentals, or easy access to the endless northern Michigan wilderness via the nearby Boardman trails.
If you feel like venturing on your own, Blue Sky offers a complimentary map of the trail system -- but if you're new to the sport, or if you'd like to be shown some of the unmapped areas less frequently touched by humanity, there are tours available as well. Tours come in 25 mile, 55 mile, and full loop versions and the rates (starting at $225 per snowmobile) include tax and fuel.
During the summer, Blue Sky also offers water rentals such as floating trampolines.
Phone: (231) 633-2583
'Snow Bikes' or 'Fat Bikes' are specially-adapted mountain bikes with large tires capable of cycling on snow and sand.
Over the past two years, this sport has exploded in popularity. The fat-wheeled bicycles and their riders have become a normal part of the local winter landscape in Traverse City so don't be surprised if you see quite a few!
Before you drop a paycheck on a new winter bike, take a rental out for a ride. There's plenty of places to rent Fat-bikes in Traverse City or in the nearby surrounding areas.
Einstein Cycles - $40 for two hours or $60 per day
Brick Wheels - $35 per half-day or $60 per day
Suttons Bay Bikes - $50 per day
Sleeping Bear Surf & Kayak - $10 for two hours or $40 per day
Groomed all winter long and laced with a variety of loops within 15k of trails, this is one of the best locations for introductory riders.
The 3-mile heavily wooded trail wraps along the eastern and northern boundaries of Boardman Lake.
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