It may seem like spring in parts of the Mitten State, but it’s still winter in Munising! Located in the central Upper Peninsula, this area boasts tons of natural wonders, outdoor activities, and winter things to do in Michigan. Plus, the snow usually sticks around through March! It is the perfect place to extend a beautiful Michigan winter. Interested in planning a trip to Munising? Check out the list of activities and events below.
Snowmobiling in Munising
Snowmobiling in the Munising area and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is a popular winter activity. Miles of unplowed roadways inside the park lead to main points of interest. These include Miners Castle, Miners Falls, and the Log Slide. The groomed Munising trail system stretches for hundreds of miles from Shingleton to Grand Marais, Seney, Marquette, Chatham, Manistique, and Rapid River. No snowmobile? No problem! Rentals are available at several area dealers. For more information, visit Munising Snow.
- Allison Smith, of Cascade, Michigan ice climbing at Memorial Falls. Photo by Christine Snow.
Ice Climbing Frozen Waterfalls in the Upper Peninsula
Lasting from mid-December to late March, the abundance of ice in the Munising area attracts veteran and novice climbers from around the world. This activity is getting more popular by the year! The Michigan Ice Fest, held the second weekend in February, is an annual area event that includes seminars by world-class climbers and beginner climbing classes. Why not give this exciting sport a try? The most popular in the area is the Eben Ice Caves.
- The Sconnie family, of Stevens Point, Wisconsin enjoy a snowshoeing adventure to Tannery Falls. Photo by Christine Snow.
Snowshoeing in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
With over 33,000 acres to explore, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore offers fantastic snowshoeing opportunities. Trails leading to Wagner, Twin Memorial, Tannery, Munising, and Miners Falls offer gorgeous views of the frozen falls. Other trails criss-cross through the lakeshore and stretch for miles through quiet forests. While trekking, be sure to watch for signs of winter wildlife.
Snowshoers can also take advantage of the Valley Spur ‘Snowman’ trail. This 1.8-mile loop is moderately challenging and offers beautiful views of the Valley Spur Creek. For more information, visit Hiawatha National Forest Valley Spur Trail System.
Before heading out, plan for the weather and be prepared for emergencies. Phone and GPS service can be limited, so bring a map. Bring extra snacks, repair supplies, and water. And of course, let someone know where you’re headed.
- Winter view of Munising Falls. Photo by Christine Snow
Viewing Ice Caves, Frozen Waterfalls, and Ice Formations
Don’t miss the beauty of the frozen waterfalls and ice formations during your visit. There are several easily accessible options available. Stop first to view the formations along the ledges between Munising Falls and Sand Point. Park at Sand Point Beach and walk along Sand Point Road. Ice will be visible through the trees. To reach the formations, look for packed snow trails leading from the road.
It’s a short hike to Munising Falls, another popular viewing spot. 800 feet of packed trail lead from the Munising Falls parking area to the falls. During the winter, the main platform is open for viewing. Climbing on and around the falls is prohibited.
- Wagner Falls – Munising, Michigan. Photo by Christine Snow.
Wagner Falls, located just outside of Munising, is also accessible during the winter. Park in the small area near the entrance. It’s a 1/2 mile hike to the falls.
If you want to get a little more adventurous, make the short hike to Tannery and Twin Memorial Falls. From H-58, turn left on Washington Street. There’s a small lot next to a utility building. Cross H-58 on foot and look for the paths headed up the hill from the road. Signs are posted near this area. The climb to the top of the hill is a bit challenging, but the views of the frozen falls are worth the effort!
- Dave and Sharon Buck, of Traverse City, Michigan cross-country skiing on the Hiawatha National Forest Valley Spur Trail. Photo courtesy of Valley Spur Trail System – Hiawatha National Forest/Sharon Buck.
Cross-Country Skiing in Hiawatha National Forest
If you enjoy cross-country skiing, this is the place to be! Located five miles outside of Munising, the Hiawatha National Forest Valley Spur Trail is a groomed 27-mile trail system. Gorgeous scenery and challenging trail options make this a must-do for cross-country skiing enthusiasts.
Another option is the 20-mile groomed trail system inside Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Blue diamonds mark the trails and maps are available at each intersection. Munising Trails (C and D) feature interpretive wayside stops related to the human and natural history of the area. To find out more visit the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore cross-country skiing guide.