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All Things Michigan

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Filtering by Tag: winter

50 Fun Things to do in Michigan This Winter

Andrew Norton

Based on the continued popularity of my post about 50 Fun Things To Do In Michigan This Summer I thought it was well past time to give the same treatment to Michigan's winter.

It seems like summer and fall get all the love, but Michigan has a lot to offer during the winter months. It’s interesting to visit the same places you usually only see in the summer and how different they appear during the winter.

Michigan winters create numerous opportunity for outdoor adventures. Did you know that a number of state park campgrounds and forests allow winter camping? Winter will be over before you have time to hike, bike, snowshoe, ski, or snowmobile the thousands of miles of trails throughout the state.

This was a fun list to put together. Let’s get started on our list in no particular order.

1._Visit an ice enclosed lighthouse - it’s a great photo opportunity. Just be careful on the ice!

2. Go for a hike in the woods. Stunning views abound along the lakeshore at Pictured Rocks

3. Go snowshoeing through Tahquamenon Falls State Park

4. Learn how to go ice sailing. The video below shows the many ways you can ice sail.

50 Fun Things to do in Michigan This Winter

5. Read a book set in Michigan’s winter - A Cold Day in Paradise by Steve Hamilton is a great winter mystery .

6. Go snowmobiling on over 6,500 miles of Michigan’s trails

7. The quarter-mile long Echo Valley toboggan runs reach speeds of up to 60 MPH

8. Take up cross-country skiing - Michigan’s terrain makes for excellent cross-country trails.

9. Attend the UP Sled Dog 200

10. Go downhill skiing at one of Michigan’s more than 40 ski resorts.

11. Outdoor ice skating at one of Michigan’s numerous outdoor rinks - Rosa Parks Circle ice rink in downtown Grand Rapids is one of the best.

12. Learn the sport of luge at the Muskegon Luge Track - one of only 4 luge tracks in the United States.

13. Enjoy a fun winter afternoon snow tubing at one of Michigan’s numerous tubing hills.

14. The Winter Carnival at Michigan Tech had its humble beginnings back in 1922.

15. Go ice fishing - there is usually a free fishing weekend in February, no license required.

16. Take part in or go watch the U.P. Pond Hockey Championship in St. Ignace.

17. Like beer? You definitely don’t want to miss the Annual Winter Beer Festival at Fifth Third Ball Park.

18. Ice Climbing in the Munising area.

19. The onset of winter doesn’t mean you have to stop biking. Try out Fat Tire Biking.

20. Think Summer at the Detroit Boat Show.

21. Enjoy all kinds of fun at the Kalkaska Winterfest.

22. Winter wine tasting - less crowded tasting rooms are a big plus.

23. Escape the cold at Klassic Arcade in Gobles and play classic arcade and pinball games for just $7 all day.

24. Make your own snowshoes at a Michigan state park.

25. Spend an afternoon out of the cold at the Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids.

26. Get your sugar rush at the Hamtramck Paczki Day.

27. One of the most unique things you will see in a Michigan Winter - Trenary Outhouse Classic.

28. Make a day or a weekend of it at one of Michigan’s many indoor water parks.

29. The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn has a number of great exhibits to see on a cold winter’s day.

30. Every Saturday until the end of March - Snowshoes, Vines, and Wines at Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay.

31. If the weather gets too bitter, burn off those Paczki calories at one of Michigan’s indoor roller skating rinks.

32. Rent a cabin in the Porcupine Mountains.

33. Explore the Eben Ice Caves.

34. Spend the night in a yurt at Craig Lake State Park.

35. Don’t just see the Mackinac Bridge in the winter, drive across it for a real thrill.

36. Take in the competition at the Pine Mountain Ski Jump near Iron Mountain.

37. Shovel your neighbor’s driveway. You can be a big help and get to know your neighbors better.

38. Catch a hockey game at any of the college, minor league, or pro (go Red Wings!).

39. View elk while on a sleigh ride at Thunder Bay Resort in Hillman.

40. Take a winter road trip. There’s less traffic and the local businesses delight in the off season business.

41. Go on a night hike during or directly after a snowstorm. Pure magic.

42. Build a snowman. It doesn’t matter how old you are - it’s still fun.

43. Guided Winter rafting via Jordan Valley Outfitters.

44. Mt. Bohemia, out near the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula, was recently ranked the second best ski resort in North America.

45. Visit your local library and find some books to cozy up with.

46. Hike to the top of Mt. Lookout, near Eagle Harbor, for a breathtaking view of Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula.

47. Surf Lake Superior for a truly unique winter experience.

48. View the night sky in winter at Headlands International Dark Sky Park just west of Mackinaw City.

49. Watch a winter sunset over Lake Superior while dining at Fitzgerald’s Restaurant in Eagle River.

50. Experience the uniqueness of winter camping.

Please share what you love to do during Michigan winters in the comments below!

2014 Trenary Outhouse Classic is February 22nd

Andrew Norton

Winter is tough. Yoopers have to be even tougher to make it through an Upper Peninsula winter. This winter has been one of the coldest and snowiest of recent memory and the need to get out and blow off some steam is greater than most years. Yoopers have found a great way to get out of the winter blahs - the Trenary Outhouse Classic. 2014 marks the 21st year for this Yooper tradition.

Want an idea of what the Trenary Outhouse Classic is all about? Watch this video from the 2013 Trenary Outhouse Classic.

Check out the Trenary Outhouse Classic website for more information.

Photos of Michigan snow storms from the past

Andrew Norton

This winter is how I remember (incorrectly or not, I am not sure) winter when I was a kid. Snow that fell around the first of the year and stayed until March. Multiple days off of school. Playing outside until my feet were numb. I thought I would share some photos of snow storms from Michigan's past. I was just a young pup when the Blizzard of '78 hit so I only have the stories my folks told me. My dad using a tractor to try and plow out the rural road to the main highway, people trying to drive through the 3+ foot drifts and getting stuck by our house, and everything being shut down for days as everyone dug out of the snow.

Check out these photos of snow storms from Michigan's past.

Cadillac, 1943 Cadillac, MI 1943

Calumet Calumet_

Detroit Detroit__Snowy_street_scene

Upper Peninsula Michigan snowtunnel

Calumet Bakery Calumet__Bakery_on_snowy_Pine_Street

Train plowing snow

Houghton County Snow Plow Houghton County Snow Plow

Use a Yooper Scooper to clear snow this winter

Andrew Norton

[UPDATE]I have used my Yooper Scooper quite a few times already this winter and I have to say that this is probably THE best investment I have made lately. Clearing the driveway takes a fraction of the time it used to take using the old shovel. Plus, I no longer have a sore back for two days following a session of driveway shoveling.

For the record, my driveway is crushed limestone and my Yooper Scooper glides right over it without any trouble at all. Also, I am 6' 4" and the handle is just right - I don't have to stoop over to use it properly :).

Just push, tip, and dump the snow. I love it!

Save your back and save your money (by not buying a snowblower and filling it with gas) with a Yooper Scooper (as it's called in the Upper Peninsula) or as it is more commonly known, a Snow Scoop. You simply push the scoop until it is full and then drag it to where you want to dump the snow. Repeat until your driveway is clear :).

I'm ordering my new snow scoop today in anticipation of the snowy forecast. You can either order one off of Amazon [affiliate link] - the 22" Suncast model - or from a Michigan-based company - Silver Bear Manufacturing has their 22" snow scoop for under $70. The Silver Bear snow scoop is highly recommended by folks who have had the same one for over 20 years - can't argue with that!

If you are seeking ways to avoid the snow, visit this list of Indoor Water Parks in Michigan.

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What do you think of winter in Michigan?

Andrew Norton

The goal of this week's poll question is to seek out who loves and who loathes winter in Michigan. I don't always enjoy the cold, but I really enjoy hiking, sledding with the kids, and other outdoor activities in the winter. It's also a great excuse to warm up with a big mug of hot cocoa and a book. [poll id="10"]

Also, if you enjoy winter camping there are 10 Michigan State Parks that are open all winter long.

Here they are:

  • Mitchell (bonus - heated restrooms!)
  • Traverse City (bonus - heated restrooms!)
  • Algonac
  • Bay City State Park
  • Fort Custer
  • Ludington
  • North Higgins Lake State Park
  • Rifle River Recreation Area
  • Tahquamenon Falls
  • Waterloo Recreation Area-Portage campground

Head over to for a list of the current events going on at state parks and recreation areas.