GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)- Winter is a special time in West Michigan. With snow on the ground, it’s time to break out the skis, snowboards, and snowshoes. We’re very fortunate to have a few months to soak it all in, and West Michigan wants to ensure that you get the most out of this season. Whether you want to have a weekend dedicated to skiing and snowboarding, or you’re looking for something unique, such as hitting the trails on a dog sled, winter in West Michigan is sure to be a grand time with friends, family, and the great outdoors.
Snow Sports & Activities in Southern West Michigan
Timber Ridge Ski Area in Gobles has been giving families an opportunity to have some fun and make wonderful memories together since 1961. With over 40 acres of skiable terrain, Timber Ridge offers the easy runs for beginners and more difficult ones for experts. They offer lessons for any skill level, from ages 5 to 95! If you’re not into skiing or snowboarding, hit the tubing hill or relax in their lodge. Come on out and experience the family fun to be had at Timber Ridge!
Stop by the Pierce Cedar Creek Institute in Hastings on Saturday, January 27th, and enjoy an evening on candlelit trails while taking in the enchantment of a rare blue moon, a term for the second full moon of the month. Stargazing and storytelling also may be available if the weather is clear. After hiking the trails, warm up in the visitor center with a crackling fire, coffee, and hot chocolate.
The Wings West in Kalamazoo is hosting wintery-fun events. Open skate and hockey is available daily, with times scheduled throughout the week. If you’d rather watch hockey than play it, they’re hosting the Pucks & Pints: Hockey Game & Tap Takeover on Saturday, January 13th. Enjoy a 24-tap takeover, and watch as teams from two Michigan breweries duke it out on the ice. Be part of the action, or watch it from the stands at Wings Event Center!
The Marshall area is perfect for cross country skiing. There are two nature areas that are excellent for hiking, bird watching, cross country skiing, dog walking, and biking. Both are located in lovely wooded areas where wetland wildlife is just waiting to be explored. Acres of prairie and ancient trees will be a highlight to your experience.
With more than 100 lakes, including two chains of lakes, Coldwater Country offers countless opportunities for anglers. The frozen-over lakes offer an opportunity to get outside and breathe in the cold, clean air. Spend an afternoon outdoors with friends and family in the quest to catch fish, or join in the festivities and contests at the Quincy Tip-Up Festival. Need an incentive to drop a line this winter? Try it as part of the Free Fishing Weekend on February 17th and 18th. This annual weekend provides two days where no fishing license is required for residents or non-residents, although all fishing regulations still apply.
River Country is home to a family-oriented ski resort with a snow sports learning center, kids learn-to-ski program, and cafe for grab-and-go meals. Ski and snowboard lessons are available with trained instructors anytime the resort is open. They can teach skiing and snowboarding, or help advance a person’s skills with one-on-one lessons.
More Snow Sports & Activities in Southern West Michigan
- Bundy Hill Off Road Recreation Company, Jerome
- Echo Valley, Kalamazoo
- Kalamazoo County Parks and Expo Center, Kalamazoo
- KJC ATV Rentals & Trails, South Haven
Snow Sports & Activities in Central West Michigan
The Muskegon Winter Sports Complex is a beautiful facility inside of Muskegon State Park, and is the center of Muskegon’s winter activities! This huge complex offers exciting events and outdoor sports facilities to the public, including one of only four publicly accessible luge tracks in the United States. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, and sledding are available on five miles of groomed track, day or night! Skis, snowshoes, ice skates, and sleds are available for rent.
Bill & Paul’s Sporthaus in Grand Rapids is hosting a female-focused event for intermediate and advanced level skiers on Friday, February 23rd. The goal of the event is to improve your skiing, have a lot of fun, and make some new friends along the way!
Celebrate January in the crisp country air of Double JJ Resort in Rothbury. Have the time of your life as you race down their 660 foot tubing hill, or climb aboard one of their horse-drawn sleighs for a magical glide through the snowy woods. They have overnight stay packages through the winter, so that you will have a place nearby to warm up by the fire or in your jacuzzi. Double JJ Resort is an all-seasons destination, and winter just happens to be one of their favorites!
Snow sports and activities are endless in Mecosta County. Soon, the City of Big Rapids will be opening a new ice rink for all to enjoy. A local farm offers sleigh rides, where you’ll enjoy a frosty ride through the woods before reaching a roaring bonfire. If you enjoy snowmobiling, the White Pine Trail is great for you, with many miles of trails for your convenience. Cran-Hill Ranch also offers a variety of winter activities, including ice climbing, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, tubing hills, broomball, and ice skating.
The Ludington area is hosting two series of events to help you enjoy some of the season’s favorite activities. Go on the Lantern-lit Skiing and Snowshoeing in Ludington Skate Park on January 20th and February 3rd and 17th. Bring cross-country skis or snowshoes and trek the one-mile groomed trail lit by oil lanterns. Park staff can help novice trekkers get started. The state park will also host Guided Snowshoe Hikes on January 20th and 27th and February 3rd, 10th, and 17th. Join an hour-and-a-half-long guided snowshoe hike highlighting the park’s nature and history through the park’s snow-covered sand dunes. The park has 40 pairs of snowshoes to loan for free on a first-come, first-served basis for visitors aged 10 years old to adult.
The Mt. Pleasant area has everything you need for a winter experiencing the great outdoors. Their indoor ice arena provides public skating, hockey, figure skating, and more, with a pro shop for any and all gear you may need. On the northwest side of Mt. Pleasant, there is a 60-acre park, featuring a giant sledding hill! Grab your sled and have a blast.
More Snow Sports & Activities in Central West Michigan
- Cannonsburg Ski Area, Cannonsburg
- Little Switzerland Resort & Campground, Newaygo
- Ottawa County Parks, West Olive
Snow Sports & Activities in Northern West Michigan
Learn the essentials of skiing and snowboarding with the professional snowsports instructors at Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville, all while saving during National Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays in January, take advantage of special offers on lift tickets, rentals, and lessons.
All Seasons Hotel and Resort is conveniently located on your way to everything in northwest Michigan. Situated in the village of Kalkaska on US-131 at the junction of M-72, guests can ride their snowmobiles from the large parking lot directly to the trailheads for hundreds of miles of trail access. This great location is 30 miles north of Cadillac, 30 miles south of Boyne City, and 23 miles west of 1-75, making All Seasons the ideal location for snow skiing.
You’re invited to experience Black Star Farms Suttons Bay in its winter splendor! Explore their easy to moderate trails, then warm up with a glass of mulled wine and a hearty bowl of chili on their terrace patio. Round out your excursion with a tasting featuring award-winning wines, ciders, and spirits. This is your chance to take in the woods, orchards, and vineyards on their iconic estate while it’s beautifully blanketed in snow.
Evergreen Resort in Cadillac is the perfect locale for your ultimate Northern Michigan winter adventure. Located along a Lake Michigan snow belt, Evergreen Resort has everything you need for a fun-filled winter escape. You’ll have access to over 200 miles of snowmobile trails, 100 miles of cross country ski trails, and trails for snowshoeing and downhill skiing.
The 7th Annual Coyote Cup Youth Race at Coyote Crossing Resort in Cadillac is Saturday, January 13th. The event is open to racers 12 and under. These young snowmobile racers will enjoy an oval style track, as they race in five age groups across three categories.
Do you like to snowshoe in serene natural areas but enjoy a bit of friendly competition? Strap on your snowshoes and run through the beautiful snow-covered Grass River Natural Area in Bellaire on Saturday, January 13th as part of a fundraiser for their programs! This snowshoe race in northern Michigan is only a short distance from Traverse City. A prize is awarded to overall male and female 5K and 10K winners.
Conveniently located in Bellaire, just 31 miles northeast of Traverse City, the 4,500 acre Shanty Creek Resorts offers a variety of winter experiences for the entire family. The three distinct villages within the resort, Summit, Schuss, and Cedar River, offer everything from downhill to cross country skiing, multiple terrain parks, a multi-lane alpine tubing park, dog sledding, and more. With more than 180 inches of snowfall annually, snow-lovers can’t get enough of Shanty Creek. This winter, Shanty Creek Resorts’ Schuss Mountain will celebrate their golden anniversary. Opened on December 22nd, 1967, Schuss Mountain will celebrate their 50th anniversary with specials and events throughout the snowy season.
This year, enjoy winter fun with the Old Mission Snowshoe Wine & Brew, Michigan’s only organized wine and snowshoe outing. Spend Sunday afternoons from January 7th to March 11th with family and friends, taking in the sights and sounds of Old Mission Peninsula coated with shimmering snow. Board the a tour bus, and visit Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery. This family-owned boutique winery, situated on 91 acres with breathtaking views of East Grand Traverse Bay, produces small batch wines including some of the most sought after red wines on the peninsula. Tickets are $28 per person, and include parking and shuttle service along with five samples at each stop, and various discounts for additional purchases.
Located in downtown Charlevoix, Pointes North Inn is a condo-hotel that is the perfect home base for your next up north excursion. Nearby, you can take a cross country ski trip, go on a dog sled adventure, take ski and snowboard lessons, and ride on a horse drawn sleigh. There are many more winter activities that await you, so carve your own path and plan your trip up north!
The Charlevoix area is a winter paradise. With lots of fresh snow falling weekly, there are lots of great outdoor recreation opportunities for everyone. Spend a day snowshoeing or cross-country skiing at one of the many nature preserves, then head over to Boyne Mountain, in Boyne Falls, for a variety of family friendly activities and challenging ski slopes. Winter is a great time to get outside and explore Michigan’s natural beauty.
Snow sports are a specialty in Sault Ste. Marie. Ice skate in one of the four rinks, or go downhill skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and sledding. There are miles of snowmobile and non-motorized trails around Sault Ste. Marie and the surrounding areas. You can even take your snowmobile downtown by following a designated trail. If you’re into cross-country skiing, there are trails throughout the area.