When you think about winter things to do in Metro Detroit you may think of ice skating at Campus Martius or visiting Motown and the fantastic Detroit Institute of Arts, but there are some simply fabulous cross country skiing trails in Metro Detroit that can get the whole family out into the snowy weather enjoying the fresh air.
No matter what type of landscape you prefer while cross country skiing in Michigan, you’ll find it here in Southeast Michigan.
Birmingham Michigan Cross Country Skiing
The golf course is open for cross country skiing when the weather dictates. Sledding and snowshoeing are also available. The clubhouse is open most days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to warm up, use restrooms, or for drinks and snacks.
The rolling terrain and openness of the course are enjoyable for skiers of all levels. Skiing is free. Bring your own equipment.
Brighton Cross Country Skiing Trails Near Me
Four thousand acres offer an up-north experience. The landscape provides a mix of mature hardwoods, open meadows, and brushland.
Michigan cross country skiers have three options; West/Blue Loop at nine miles. East/Yellow Loop at five miles, and a four-mile Paved Bike Trail which connects to Kensington Metropark and the Lyon Township Bike Trail.
For one of the finest cross-country experiences in southern Michigan, this park comes highly recommended. Snow guns keep the 1.5-mile lighted loop well covered, allowing skiing until 8 p.m.
The park offers 13.5 miles of groomed trails for classic cross-country skiing and skate skiing (grooming style is subject to trail conditions). The trails are partially in the woods and partially on the golf course, providing a good variety of hilly and flat terrain.
A 1.5-mile trail south of Hammel Road offers a double-tracked wooded rolling landscape experience for classic skiing only. The ski touring center offers a warm lounge, restrooms, and snacks.
Clarkston Cross Country Skiing Near Me
This is the largest of the Oakland County parks at 1,286 acres. Twelve miles of both paved and unpaved trails provide many great options for cross-country skiing. The landscape is stunning and the changes in elevation provide all the challenges any Nordic skier could desire.
The Ted Gray Trail is less than a mile but with a high difficulty level. If you prefer a little less challenge, the Lakeshore Loop offers a 2.4-mile trail with only two downhills. Seven miles of the trails are groomed from January through March.
Farmington Hills Cross Country Skiing Trails
This park offers 4.5 miles of nature trails that double as cross-country trails in the winter snow. The longest trail is a mile but the trails connect, so you certainly could find a way to do the entire 4.5 miles.
The trails are a combination of mulch and pavement, winding around 211 acres. Parking at the Nature Center provides easy access to the trails.
Leonard Michigan Cross-Country Skiing
With more than 1,100 acres, this is a large park. A 5.5-mile, six-foot-wide groomed trail awaits cross country skiers. Additionally, there are 19 miles of marked but ungroomed trails offering enough hills to make it interesting.
Buhl Lake Trail is a 2.5-mile long trail that loops around the lake and offers scenic views. Skiers of all levels will enjoy the trails. Bring your own skis. No rentals are offered. Vehicles need to pay an entry fee to enter the park.
This 34 mile-long non-motorized rail trail runs from suburban Detroit to the trailhead in Leonard. The trail runs through two counties, Oakland and Lapeer. The feel of the trail is very different in the two counties.
The landscape varies greatly and so does the terrain. The trail surface may be asphalt, ballast, or crushed stone.
Holly Michigan Cross Country Skiing Trails
Aptly named for the lakes, this 1,434-acre park offers Dickenson Trail .30 miles, Green Trail Loop 2.1 miles, Nature Trail Loop .75 miles, and Red Trail Loop 1.8 miles. The terrain is a combination of farmland, rolling hills, and forests. When you ski the Nature Trail you will be surrounded by wilderness as you glide on the groomed trail.
Six trails wind through this 637-acre park for five miles. The views are pretty and the trails crisscross open meadows and wooded uplands. The park includes several glacial lakes and 200 acres of wetlands.
Highland Michigan Cross-Country Skiing
This is a unique location at the Shiawassee River headwaters. It is a combination of sensitive habitat and a recreational experience. With 302 acres of wetlands, rolling hills, and pastures, you can enjoy 2.5 miles of trails.
Milford Cross Country Skiing Trails
With 12 miles of trails, this park offers paved bike paths, a golf course, and woodland trails with both flat and hilly terrain. Only marked trails should be used. Ski rental is offered at the golf course as well as public restrooms and concessions.
Ski trails are groomed with snowmobiles or a Bombardier. If you are looking for a great cross-country ski experience, Kensington is a surprisingly good option in southern Michigan.
Rochester Hills Cross-Country Skiing Near Me
This trail is a year-round favorite and the oldest non-motorized rail trail in Michigan. It follows Paint Creek quite closely as it meanders for almost nine miles. It is an 8-foot wide former rail line with a limestone fine surface. The trail is not groomed for skiing.
Several parking lots are located along the way and restrooms as well. The terrain is quite flat, making it perfect for the whole family, including leased dogs.
This park has an entrance fee and is open from 10 a.m. to dusk. With 113 acres, you will find a lot to enjoy on the ungroomed trails.
Leashed dogs are welcome in the park. A mile-long unpaved trail makes a loop around the lake and provides pretty woodland views.
A 16-mile trail that uses an old abandoned rail line. It connects to many of the other trails in the area. It passes through urban, suburban, and rural areas. The trail surface is also varied.
The Rochester section is 4.5 miles long and includes benches and restrooms. Dogs on the trail must be leashed.
White Lake Cross Country Skiing Trails
Highland Recreation Area offers 5,900 acres of woods, lakes, and marshes in the rolling hills of Southern Michigan. The trails accommodate mountain bikers, equestrian riders, hikers, and skiers, providing activities for every season in this park.
No ski equipment rentals are offered, the trails are not groomed, and no lighting is provided. Miles of trails give hours of fun to skiers of all fitness levels.
Located on William Lake Road, this 165-acre community park has nature trails for cross country skiing.
Classic/Nordic cross country skiers can enjoy gliding on almost 12 miles of groomed trails suitable for beginners and intermediate skill levels. The landscape has enough variety to please anyone as it passes through wooded areas, open areas of the golf course, or frozen wetlands.
Lake Orion Cross Country Skiing Near Me
A park dedicated to nature enthusiasts with 900 plus acres, the 10 miles of non-groomed trails offer wooded landscapes and open spaces. No equipment rental is offered. You need to get a day pass if you don’t have an annual pass to get into the park.
Washtenaw County Cross Country Skiing Trails Near Metro Detroit
This 439-acre park in Ann Arbor is a popular destination for all kinds of outdoor activities. Three miles of groomed cross-country ski trails provide both a shorter flat trail that is perfect for beginners and a longer trail with lots of varied terrain for more experienced skiers.
Ski rental is available, and The Lodge offers a fireplace to warm up when your ski day is over.
The park offers more than three miles of groomed trails. Trails wind through pine stands, along the lake, and across prairies. Both beginners and experienced cross country skiers will enjoy these trails.
Detroit Cross Country Skiing Near Me
This park is the gem of Detroit parks. At 987 acres, it includes three lakes and 150 acres of woods. You can enjoy outstanding views of the Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit skyline.
While you’ll need to bring your own equipment and there are no groomed trails, cross-country skiers enjoy traversing the snow-covered grounds of this Michigan State Park located on the Detroit River.
Northville Cross Country Skiing Trails Near Me
At 944 acres, this former sanitarium site is a sizable location. It consists of open meadows and mature forests. The 6 miles of groomed trails used for cross-country skiing combine parts of the footpath, the equestrian, and bike trails.
This trail is not really for beginners and caters to more moderate to difficult level skiers.
More Winter Fun in Metro Detroit
Cross-country skiing is one of the best winter things to do in Michigan, but it’s not the only thing! There are also several southeast Michigan ski resorts, ice skating rinks, winter parks, and even small-town holiday shopping destinations!