Fumee Lake Natural Area is one of the most popular cross country skiing destinations in the central Upper Peninsula. This serene preserve offers mostly level terrain, making it an easy spot for beginners to build their skills.
Fumee Lake offers a variety of trails, but the most popular are the “Little Fumee Lake Loop” and the “Big Fumee Lake Loop.” As their names imply, both trails circle one of the area’s two lakes, with the little loop measuring 1.35 miles and the big loop coming in at about 5.2 miles.
Because the 1,808 acre natural area only allows silent sports, you can find peace and quiet there all winter long. In fact, it’s not uncommon to spend a few hours on the Fumee Lake trail system and not see another soul.
Because “Fumee” (as we affectionately call it) is so close to where we live, my family and I end up spending quite a bit of time here. If we just want to get outside for a little while to get some fresh air, we’ll do the little lake loop, but if we have more time we’ll do the big loop.
Each visit also usually includes a break in the action to check out something cool, whether it be an animal, calming sunset or some neat feature we somehow missed on all our previous visits.
Bottom line: The Fumee Lake Natural Area is a terrific (and beginner friendly) spot to cross country ski or snowshoe.
How to get there? About two miles west of Norway on U.S. 2, turn North on Upper Pine Creek Road, drive about one mile, then turn left into the Fumee Lake Natural Area. (A sign marks the entrance point)