With frozen lakes, trees blanketed in snow, and chilly temperatures that make you want to cozy up by a roaring fire with a cup of hot cocoa, there’s something magical and beautiful about winter in Michigan. Sure, the weather can be downright frigid at times, but this year, we are committed to making the most of the season. After all, there is nothing better than outdoor exploration to feel more connected to your environment, improve mental health, and create long-lasting family memories.
From thrilling activities like snow tubing to reflecting on the year ahead while hiking and getting away from it all in a cozy small town, we challenge you to embark on three one-of-a-kind adventures this winter as part of our inaugural Explore Your Own Backyard Challenge: A Michigan Winter Wonderland. While we have given you inspiration for destinations to complete these three themed challenges below, how you participate is up to you — enjoy a winter hike in your neighborhood park or plan a snow day staycation in your living room, for example. There’s no need to travel far to enjoy winter fun!
Let’s bundle up and explore, shall we?
Hiking is one of our favorite ways to explore the natural beauty of Michigan, and while everyone loves lacing up their hiking boots on a warm spring day, you will typically enjoy a more tranquil experience when you bundle up and take to the great outdoors in the heart of winter. Here are just a few of our favorite destinations to fuel your hiking adventures.
Go Hiking In Love Creek County Park
Go Hiking In Love Creek County Park” data-pin-url=”https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/states/michigan/feed/” />Gerard Ellis/Google Reviews
With 200 acres to explore, it’s nearly impossible to have a bad time at Love Creek County Park – even when temperatures are low. Lace up your hiking boots and get ready to appreciate the great outdoors. Love Creek features six stunning miles of trails that lend themselves perfectly to hiking and cross-country skiing. Visitors can even take advantage of ski rental equipment at the park.
Wander Through Nichols Arboretum
Popular among University of Michigan students and other locals who appreciate the beauty of the great outdoors, there’s so much to see in this 123-acre wonderland. As you make your way through the area’s many trails, fields, and pretty pathways, you might just feel as if you’ve stepped into a real winter wonderland. Be sure to bundle up.
From downhill and cross-country skiing to snow tubing and ice skating, cold temperatures bring with it some of our absolute favorite thrilling activities that are only enjoyed during the winter months. Whether you bring the entire family or just a few friends, these epic adventures will have you looking forward to snow all year long – and the three adrenaline-pumping activities below are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to winter fun.
Hit Up The Toboggan Run At Echo Valley Winter Sports Park
Hit Up The Toboggan Run At Echo Valley Winter Sports Park” data-pin-url=”https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/states/michigan/feed/” />Echo Valley/Facebook
Whether you’re a longtime visitor or a newcomer, it’s easy to fall in love with this exciting destination. From downhill tubing to a cozy fireplace area, there’s something for everyone here, but one of the main attractions is the toboggan run. Featuring multiple lands that extend for a whopping quarter mile down the hillside, there’s no better way to have a blast on a winter afternoon. Even cooler — while tubing and most other winter sports are heavily weather-dependent, the toboggan runs at Echo Valley implement a unique surface called Everslide. This allows for tobogganing in various temps and conditions.
Go Ice Skating At Muskegon Winter Sports Complex
With its fantastic selection of events and exciting winter activities, this Muskegon Winter Sports Complex draws in thousands of Michiganders and visitors alike each year. The complex is perhaps most famous for its luge, but we’re huge fans of the on-site ice skating trail. For an unconventional ice skating adventure, check out the on-site skating trail. The ice skating trail extends for a quarter-mile and remains illuminated for your safety and convenience. So, what are you waiting for? Lace up your skates and venture through the woods.
Snow Tubing Is Best At Cannonsburg Ski Area
As you might have inferred from its name, Cannonsburg Ski Area is largely known for its downhill skiing options during the winter months. It also offers a zipline, scenic trails, and a variety of special events throughout the year, but its snow tubing hill is the ultimate family day trip destination. With six spectacular lanes, the snow tubing section here is certainly sizable and bustling. You’ll want to make advance reservations, and upon arriving, bundle up and snag your snow tube before heading up for your first run down the hillside. After your first thrilling jaunt down the hill, you don’t have to worry about exhausting yourself as you trudge back up with a tube in hand — Cannonsburg offers a unique “magic carpet” that will help you make the trip.
Now, if you’re the type who prefers to watch the snow fall outside your window or cozying up with a cup of joe at a local coffee shop, we have just the winter adventure for you: enjoying a staycation at a fairytale log cabin, a charming bed and breakfast, or one of Michigan’s coziest towns.
The arrival of chilly temperatures here in the Great Lakes State always leaves us longing for comforting surroundings, whether we’re exploring a favorite locale or visiting somewhere completely new. From Mackinac Island to Saugatuck, these small Michigan towns are perfect for a winter getaway. With a variety of winter activities and charming destinations, these ultra-cozy towns will make you feel as though you’ve entered a snowglobe.
Take A Winter Vacation Right Here In Michigan
Who says cold weather has to put a stop to all the fun happening here in the Great Lakes State? When snow arrives in full force, we Michiganders remain adventurous, and we’ll always be game for a fantastic winter getaway. From a mountaintop resort with epic ski hills and a phenomenal spa, charming towns with plenty of winter fun, and picturesque parks that are especially enchanting under a blanket of snow, everyone deserves a Michigan staycation this season. When you’re searching for your next vacation destination, check out this list of cold-weather spots throughout the Great Lakes State.
Committed to exploring your backyard with us this winter? Join our Michigan Nature Lovers Facebook group and share your adventures with us or tag us in your photographs on Instagram, @only_in_michigan – we’ll share our favorite photographs with our audience. We hope you are able to enjoy the best winter has to offer here in the beautiful Mitten State.