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18 Excellent Mid-Michigan Cross Country Ski Trails for Thrilling Winter Fun

Michigan offers 3,000 miles of cross-country ski trails. Anyone can say with confidence, “There are cross-country ski trails near me.” However, there are a fair share of Mid-Michigan cross country ski trails.

Whether it’s a city, township, county, or state, the parks are plentiful. You have options that take you into forests, through meadows, across bridges, and along scenic rail trails. Lake and river views abound.

Michigan is a winter lover’s dream destination. Cross-country skiing is just one of the best things to do in Michigan.

Cross Country Skiing Near Me in Clare

Big M Cross Country Trails

“Near” is a relative word for this location. It’s a bit of a drive to the northwest of Clare, but these trails are worth it. Located in the Manistee National Forest, the trails are traditional, narrow one-way trails with machine grooming.

A variety of terrain is offered as the trails wind for more than 30 miles through thick forests. Everyone is welcome to enjoy the trail shelter to warm themselves. 

Big M Cross Country Trails, Manistee National Forest - Mid-Michigan Cross-Country Ski
Big M Cross Country Trails | photo via @michigan_rockstar

Cross Country Ski Headquarters Trail Network

Located near Roscommon, about an hour east of Clare, Cross Country Ski Headquarters is one of the finest cross country skiing venues in the area. Seven trails run for over 11 miles with options of varying lengths and difficulty. All the trails begin at the trailhead and run from 0.8 km to 4.9 km. The trapper’s cabin provides warmth and snacks. 

Cross Country Ski Headquarters, Roscommon - Mid-Michigan Cross-Country Ski
Cross Country Ski Headquarters | photo via @martinrogulja

Mid-Michigan Cross Country Ski Trails Near Lansing 

Ionia State Recreation Area

Situated about 45 miles west of Lansing, Ionia State Recreation Area has outdoor activities for all seasons. With 10.5 miles of cross-country ski trails, you can find one to suit any level of experience. Three main trails cater to beginners, intermediate, and experts.

The trails meander through meadows, hardwood forests, and pine plantations. You can jump onto all the trails at Jordan Lake Road, which is the cross-country ski staging area. 

Sleepy Hollow State Park

Just 20 miles north of Lansing, all the trails in this 2,600-acre park cater to cross-country skiing. With more than 12 miles of equestrian trails and 11 miles of hiking trails, you’ll surely find one or more that suit your skills. Woods, meadows, and Lake Ovid all add to the atmosphere.

Sleepy Hollow State Park - Mid-Michigan Cross-Country Ski
Sleepy Hollow State Park | photo via @moreechika_

Burchfield Park

As the largest park in Ingham County, Burchfield Park has 540 acres of picturesque woods, trails, and a beach. During the winter, the trails are open for cross-country skiing. On top of that, the hills turn into a snow sledding paradise. There’s a warming lodge and a snack bar open in the winter as well.

Burchfield Park, Ingham County - Mid-Michigan Cross-Country Ski
Burchfield Park | photo via @claytonpuranen

Cross Country Skiing Near Me in Mt. Pleasant

Deerfield Nature Park

Enjoy 8 miles of trails just 6.5 miles west of Mt. Pleasant, running through the forest and along the Chippewa River in this 591-acre park. The cross-country skiing trails are groomed and four bridges cross the river, including the Fisher Covered Bridge, which is a favorite with visitors. 

Deerfield Nature Park - Mid-Michigan Cross-Country Ski
Deerfield Nature Park | photo via @kendall133530

Fred Meijer Heartland Trail

This 42-mile paved trail offers year-round access in Central Michigan. No motorized vehicles are allowed on this family-friendly trail. Passing through forest and farmland, it connects half a dozen rural Michigan communities. It’s part of the Fred Meijer West Michigan Trail Network, which runs for 125 miles.

Mid-Michigan Cross Country Ski Trails Near Port Huron

St. Claire County offers 940 acres of parks, providing multiple opportunities to enjoy cross-country skiing. No matter your fitness level, you’ll find plenty to entice you in this winter wonderland. 

Columbus County Park

This park has 411 acres with all the wonderful scenery that you would expect in Mid-Michigan. The terrain lends itself to cross-country skiing with rolling hills, prairie meadows, and the stunning Belle River.

Rustic trails take you to both sides of the river through scenic maple forests and wetlands. The park lodge offers modern bathrooms, which is a nice addition.

Wadhams to Avoca Trail

This 12-mile rail trail is the crown jewel of the parks in St. Claire Country Michigan. The main attraction is the 640-foot, 19th-century Mill Creek Trestle. The views of Mill Creek flowing 60-feet below are breathtaking. 

Wadhams To Avoca Trail, St Clair County - Mid-Michigan Cross-Country Ski
Wadhams to Avoca Trail | photo via

Cross Country Skiing Near Me in Midland

Pere Marquette Rail-Trail

The former route of the Flint and Pere Marquette railroad as it traveled between Clare and Flint, this trail has been repurposed into a hard surface multi-use trail that runs for 8.25 miles. Located in Isabella County, it’s a popular choice for many outdoor activities, including cross-country skiing. With its connection with the Clare County and Midland Rail Trails, it runs for more than 30 miles.

Pere Marquette Rail-Trail, Isabella County - Mid-Michigan Cross-Country Ski
Pere Marquette Rail-Trail | photo via @cityofmidlandmi

Midland City Forest

Midland City Forest has 7.5 miles of groomed trails and a lighted loop that’s 7 miles in length. If you need a warmup, Midland City Chalet has delicious hot chocolate and a stellar view of all the goings-on.

Bring your own skis, or you can rent them at the chalet. In addition to cross-country skiing, this city park offers sledding, snowshoeing, tobogganing, and ice skating.

Midland City Forest, Midland - Mid-Michigan Cross-Country Ski
Midland City Forest | photo via @damkostus

Mid-Michigan Cross Country Ski Trails Near Me in Saginaw

Saginaw Valley Rail Trail

When it comes to great trails, the 9.5-mile Saginaw Valley Rail Trail is hard to beat. It’s 12 feet wide, well maintained, and easy to access.

The landscape is diverse and the railroad bridge over the Bad River is a particular favorite with people who use the trail. It’s only one of seven railroad bridges on the trail, which also passes through a game area and a wildlife refuge. 

Price Nature Center

With 186 acres of mostly beech-maple forest, Price Nature Center is a great backdrop for cross-country skiing. Almost 3 miles of footpaths are located on either side of the creek that divides the park.

Along the paths are benches, observation towers, and wildlife blinds. The flat terrain makes for an easy and enjoyable day for the entire family. 

Price Nature Center, Saginaw - Mid-Michigan Cross-Country Ski
Price Nature Center | photo via @ddevvotional

Cross Country Skiing Near Flint 

Huron Meadows Metropark

This Brighton park is a popular destination for skating and traditional cross-country skiing. It offers 13.5 miles of groomed natural trails. Trails are groomed for classic and skate skiing depending on conditions.

Buck’s Run, a 1.5-mile loop, is given fresh snow with snow guns daily. It has lights and is often open even when other trails are not. 

Huron Meadows Metropark, Livingston County - Southern Michigan Cross-Country Ski, Mid-Michigan Cross-Country Ski
Huron Meadows Metropark | photo via @pbarrison

Linden County Park

When it comes to winter fun, this park is a one-stop destination. Family fun is offered with tobogganing, snowmobiling, and sledding, as well as cross-country skiing.

The cross-country trails aren’t groomed, providing a natural feel in this 135-acre park. You can enjoy a 1.5-mile loop with easy ski terrain. The park is open from 8 a.m. to sunset. 

Richfield County Park

This 345-acre park is a four-season destination located in Davidson. When you’re ready for skiing, the cross-country trails are on the south side of the park.

The trails are open when the ground is frozen and 3 inches of snow accumulation is on the ground. The 2.6 miles of trails are good for skiers of all skill levels.

Richfield County Park, Davidson - Mid-Michigan Cross-Country Ski
Richfield County Park | photo via @tcarrjr

Mid-Michigan Cross Country Skiing Trails Near Me in Wyoming 

Pigeon Creek Park Trails

This popular cross-country skiing destination is located at West Olive in Ottawa County. The park covers 282 acres and over 10 miles of trails wind through the pine plantation and mature deciduous forests. Both classic and ski skating are allowed on the groomed trails, and 3 miles of them are lit for nighttime skiing.

Pigeon Creek Park is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and it features clean modern bathrooms, ski rentals, and lessons. Concessions are located in the lodge, which is an excellent place to warm up. Dogs, bikes, hiking, and horseback riding aren’t allowed on the groomed cross-country trails.

Pigeon Creek Park, West Olive - Mid-Michigan Cross-Country Ski
Pigeon Creek Park | photo via @outofdoors

Palmer Park & Kaufmann Golf Course

When the winter weather hits, Palmer Park changes gears from golf to cross country skiing. The trails have become a popular destination for the entire family. With three loops that are all about 2 miles, dedicated cross-country skiers have plenty of choices.

The landscape changes from the solitude of the wooded areas to the open areas of the golf course. The terrain features rolling hills, which provides a varied experience and a good workout. All trails begin at the clubhouse where skis are available for rent.

Palmer Park - Mid-Michigan Cross-Country Ski
Palmer Park | photo via @rlenting

More Cross Country Ski Trails in Michigan

In the grand scheme of things, this list highlights only a few of the trails for cross-country skiing in Michigan. For more options, you could check out the cross-country skiing trails in Metro Detroit. Also, there are plenty of West Michigan cross-country ski trails that are worth experiencing this winter.

For more Mid-Michigan winter things to do, explore the Mid-Michigan towns to visit in the winter or be inspired by the best romantic winter date ideas in Mid-Michigan.

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