Nestled on the shores of Little Traverse Bay in Northwest Michigan is the tiny town of Petoskey. It has earned a reputation of being an idyllic place to spend a vacation, and the Petoskey Winter Sports Park is one of the city’s premier attractions.
When Petoskey is blanketed in snow, the WSP becomes an excellent winter playground. But, did you know that you can enjoy summer activities here too? Here are all the juicy details to know before your next visit.
The Petoskey Winter Sports Park: The Best Place to Be in Petoskey
Noting the city’s unique location and the ability to enjoy wintertime activities due to lake effect snow, community planners in Petoskey devised a way to provide a space to stay active and play all winter long. As a result, the Petoskey Winter Sports Park was developed.
Located on Winter Park Lane, this sprawling community venue is meant to be a welcoming and safe space to enjoy a variety of winter activities. It’s divided into sections, allowing people to access designated spaces for favorite sports — sledding, ice skating, skiing, snowboarding, and hockey.
In addition to having designated areas for each activity, the WSP features amenities that simply make life easier and more fun when you’re making the most out of the fresh fallen snow in Michigan.
A Favorite for Locals & Visitors
The park has quickly become a favorite place among local residents. They love having a convenient place to go for their favorite outdoor activities.
Travelers, particularly those who have vacation homes and cottages in the Petoskey area, love it too. For them, the city is a home away from home, and the park helps them make the most out of their time in Northern Michigan.
Winter Activities to Try at the Petoskey Winter Sports Park
One of the best things about the Petoskey Winter Sports Park is that admission is free. That makes this an accessible and inviting place for people to visit and enjoy.
While there’s no cost to enter the park, there may be costs for specific outdoor activities or equipment rentals. Check out all the winter recreational activities that you can enjoy at the WSP:
The large sledding hill at the park is perfect for sledders of all ages. There’s plenty of room on the hill, so it’s a preferred sledding spot among parents who want to make sure that their kids can have fun and stay safe while gliding on the snow.
We recommend bringing your own sled to this hill because there’s a limited supply of sleds to use for free. Also, be mindful of the fact that the sledding hill is only for sledding — not for skiing or snowboarding.
There’s an outdoor ice rink at the park on which visitors are only allowed to ice skate. You can bring your own ice skates, or you can rent a pair of skates for the day for $7 per pair.
This ice rink is ideal for those who are experienced skaters, but it’s also a viable option for those who are new to the sport. There are small ice scooters available for those who don’t feel quite as steady on their feet when they’re skating along the frozen surface.
There’s a separate ice rink at the park for those who want to play a game of ice hockey. The hockey rink is recommended for those who are familiar with the sport and have some kind of experience playing it.
You’ll probably want to bring your own equipment, but skate rentals are available for $7 per pair. There’s also a skate sharpening station at the park, so you can have your hockey skates sharpened for a fee of $7 before you get on the ice.
Skiing and Snowboarding
To make sure that everyone can have a good time while staying safe, the WSP has a separate ski area. It’s open to both skiers and snowboarders and is a popular winter spot among locals who like to be out on the slopes as much as possible.
“Love the huge sledding hill and the large ice skating rink surrounded by beautiful pines! Skate rentals are super affordable and the skate helpers are really nice for my little guy. There is also a small hill for snowboarding, a separate hockey rink, warming shelter, and bathrooms.” — Audrey B
The Petoskey Winter Sports Park Operating Hours
The Petoskey Winter Sports Park operating hours are often contingent upon weather conditions. Generally, it’s open from late December until early March, which is when the bulk of the snow falls in the winter months.
The park won’t open to the public regularly until weather conditions allow the ice rinks to freeze completely and the staff has had the opportunity to prepare them for use. If there’s a snowfall, the park is often available for those who want to go sledding, skiing, and snowboarding.
When the park is open to the public, it’s open from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends. The versatile operating hours make this one of the easiest places to go to take advantage of a fresh snowfall in Petoskey.
Staying Warm at the Petoskey Winter Sports Park
Most people come to the Petoskey Winter Sports Park to surround themselves in snow and enjoy the best that winter has to offer in Northern Michigan. Yet, it’s always good to know that there’s a place to warm up if you need it.
At this park, there’s an wonderful warming house. And, it includes a variety of features and amenities too.
It’s easy to work up an appetite when you spend the day in the sun and snow. The concession stand at the warming station serves up a variety of treats and beverages — hot chocolate, hot dogs, pizza, pretzels, pop, water, and candy.
It’s important to stay hydrated while you’re playing outside in the snow as well. So, you can stop by the nearby drinking fountain.
Having access to convenient restrooms is key to enjoying a full day of winter fun. Fortunately, the cozy warming house has descent restrooms for all visitors.
The lounge at the warming station is the most comfortable place to be. Whether you need a break to warm up by the fire or want to watch a TV show while your friends finish up their ice hockey games, you’ll find that the lounge is the best place to relax, recover, and ready yourself for more outdoor fun.
While you’re in the lounge, you can stay connected with the world outside. Just link up to the complimentary Wi-Fi.
Board Game Rentals
Board game rentals are available for visitors who want to spend more time in the lounge than out in the elements. There’s a fun selection to keep you entertained.
“The Winter Sports Park is great. To have this place available to us (in Petoskey) is amazing. My boys learned to skate here (through Petoskey Parks & Rec) and we now enjoy it as a family. A great sledding hill and other activities as well. Plus being able to sit by a fire as my boys play is a bonus every parent should have.” — Shawn C
Private Group Rentals at the Petoskey Winter Sports Park
There are some options available for large groups who would like to rent the park for an upcoming event or activity. School groups are the only groups that are allowed to schedule private use of the entire park, as long as they contact the park staff in advance to finalize the reservation.
In addition, larger groups have the opportunity to reserve the ice hockey rink in one-hour increments. Any teams who want to reserve the rink or groups who want to celebrate on the ice should contact the park directly with their requests.
Summertime at the Petoskey Winter Sports Park
The name of the park itself proves that this is a winter destination. However, local residents and visitors may be surprised to learn that they can visit the park during the summer months as well.
While you obviously won’t be able to enjoy all of your favorite snow-filled activities in June, July, and August, you’ll find that this is a fun place to stay active if you’re spending the summer in Petoskey. Some of the facilities that are available during the summer include:
- Basketball hoops
- Tee-ball field
- Lacrosse field
- Flag football field
- Kid’s Camp
Frequently Asked Questions About the Petoskey Winter Sports Park
Is there a fee to enter the WSP?
No, admission to the park is free. However, some services are only available for an additional cost, such as skate rentals and skate sharpening.
What types of payment are accepted at the park?
Visitors can pay with cash or credit card if they rent skates, have their skates sharpened, rent board games, and purchase snacks and drinks at the concession stand in the warming house.
Can I bring my own equipment to the park?
Yes, you can take your own equipment for sledding, skating, skiing, or snowboarding. If you don’t have skates, you can rent skates for both the ice skating rink and the ice hockey rink. If you don’t have a sled, there’s a limited number of sleds available to use for free while you’re at the park.
When is the WSP open?
The park is open seasonally and weather permitting. Typically, it opens in late December and closes in early March.
More Activities to Enjoy in Petoskey and Michigan
The Petoskey Winter Sports Park is only one of the marvelous winter attractions that draw people to Petoskey and Northern Michigan. There are many other winter things to do in Petoskey, Harbor Springs, and the surround area.