Of all the ways to experience the magic of winter, sleigh rides in Michigan might be one of the most special.
Whether it’s the middle of the afternoon on a sunny day or early evening with the chill of winter in the air, a Michigan sleigh ride can be an unforgettable experience — one that’s perfect to do with family and friends.
The stillness of the air and the quiet sound of hooves guiding a sleigh along wooded trails and through forests is something that has to be experienced to be fully appreciated. As it happens, there are lots of places where Michiganders and out-of-town visitors can have that special experience for themselves.
3962 Wilkinson Rd, Gaylord, MI, 49735
Visitors to this Northern Michigan resort in Gaylord can fully embrace the winter spirit with a magical sleigh ride. They can bundle up, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate, and take a ride under the late afternoon sun or under dark early evening skies.
Rides are weather-dependent and may be done in a wagon depending on the weather. Large groups can rent sleighs for private rides, and youngsters must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
4282 Hayes Tower Rd, Gaylord, MI 49735
Families looking for some winter fun or couples in search of a romantic getaway can join the staff at Cook Family Farm for a 40-minute sleigh ride followed by delicious hot chocolate and cookies.
Visitors can choose from two sleigh ride options. One is a full sleigh experience for one to 12 adults. The second is a small sleigh option for two to four adults and is ideal for romantic sleigh rides.
Sleigh rides are offered on weekdays and weekends, and visitors are encouraged to call and reserve a time.
5980 N 7 Mile Rd, Lake City, MI 49651
Visitors to this Northwest Michigan farm have two sleigh options — big party or small party — for a nearly 45-minute scenic ride. Each ride includes a stop at the on-site cabin, coffee and hot chocolate, and a warmup by the fire.
This is the perfect activity for friends and family looking for a new way to experience the magic of winter or couples looking for an outdoor date activity. Either way, it puts the beauty of Northern Michigan on full display.
27800 M-32, Hillman, MI 49746
One of the most popular activities in Northeast Michigan invites visitors to have a one-of-a-kind experience complete with wildlife viewing, wine, and a gourmet meal.
The journey starts in a sleigh (or horse-drawn carriage) and whisks visitors through the woods to catch glimpses of Rocky Mountain elk. These majestic animals thrive in Montmorency County in and are a real treat to see up close.
After the ride, visitors can warm up inside Elk Antler Cabin where they will enjoy an elegant five-course meal, with up to a half dozen wines while being entertained by guests’ stories.
7216 W Walker Rd, Manton, MI 49663
If there’s something better than riding in a sleigh pulled by beautiful draft horses down Northern Michigan snow trails with the chill of winter in the air, we’re not sure we want to hear about it.
The fresh snowfall on the trails here turns CJ’s property into a lovely winter wonderland. CJ’s offers two-seat bob sleds, large group sleigh rides, and vis-a-vis sleighs for small groups.
Guests are allowed to bring their own beverages (no glass) and snacks. Also, CJ’s provides blankets for the ride and hot chocolate and coffee.
6841 Brown Bridge Rd, Traverse City, MI 49696
This four-season family resort wants to help families have a good time and create lasting traditions, and one of the ways it achieves that is by offering winter sleigh rides in Traverse City Michigan.
Ranch Rudolf offers horse-drawn winter hayrides, allowing visitors to spend a perfect winter afternoon in a sleigh (or wagon, depending on the weather). Trips begin and end at the main lodge and take visitors through the Boardman River Valley, along the Boardman River, and down seasonal roads.
This is a great family-friendly activity, and visitors are encouraged to bundle up for an approximately 40-minute ride.
17271 Marilla Rd, Copemish, MI, 49625
McCarry’s offers visitors of all ages a chance to enjoy sleigh rides led by majestic Clydesdales.
NOTE: Sleigh rides at the farm will be offered during the 2023-24 winter season from December 26 through January 2, and interested visitors are encouraged to watch Facebook for updates.
4700 Wallaker Rd, Benzonia, MI 49616
This 120-acre farm in Benzie County has been family-owned since 1966 and serves visitors all year long with wagon rides during the spring, summer, and fall. In the winter, Fantail adds a bit of winter magic to its farm with winter sleigh rides.
Visitors who come for the sleigh rides are treated to comfortable horse-drawn strolls across open fields and through forests on an amazing countryside experience.
The rides operate on weekdays and weekends during the winter until sometime in February or later (weather-dependent). They last 45-55 minutes, and visitors are asked to bring lap blankets. Reservations can be made over the phone.
6259 M-72, Williamsburg, MI 49690
Since 1982, Antler Ridge has been providing rides on old-fashioned sleighs through the countryside. Visitors are invited to take scenic rides out to the woods for a warming bonfire that includes tasty hot chocolate and marshmallows.
The sleigh is pulled by a mother-son horse team — Dixie and Danny — and comfortably leads visitors through the woods on a memorable journey.
12500 Crystal Mountain Dr, Thompsonville, MI 49683
Visitors of all ages can be whisked away into the Northern Michigan countryside by a team of Belgian horses on a short 20-25-minute ride that wraps up with cups of hot chocolate.
Visitors are asked to dress for the occasion and are allowed to bring their own blankets for the ride. Rides are available on select dates from November through March, and interested visitors are asked to make reservations to secure a spot.
171 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Whether you’re looking for a fun way to spend an evening, an exciting addition to holiday plans, or just a new way to experience Grand Rapids Michigan, Classic Carriage has something for every occasion.
That includes the winter season when sleighs are adorned with sleigh bells and garlands to make visitors get into the holiday spirit even more. The sleighs range from small (for two people) to bigger (for four to six people).
3665 15 Mile Rd NW, Kent City, MI 49330
Sleigh rides can be ultimate romantic experiences, and Common Gentry offers sleigh rides in authentic 1800s horse-drawn sleighs.
Rides through downtown include an optional narrated tour. The narration, sound of sleigh bells, and click-clack of hooves can put riders at ease quickly. Tours last about an hour and can be scheduled either by reservation or walk-up.
11966 Fruit Ridge Ave, Kent City, MI 49330
Fruit Ridge has something to offer visitors during all seasons, including hayrides during the spring, summer, and fall. But its winter sleigh rides are something special.
Visitors can take an hour-long ride through this West Michigan wonderland, which can be combined with a one-hour campfire before or after the ride. These special rides allow visitors to see beautiful scenery before gathering around the warm campfire.
12600 Buchanan Rd, Stanwood, MI 49346
From December to February, visitors can enjoy a horse-drawn ride through Healy’s Outback Ranch. Friends and family can enjoy a 35-minute ride through the woods and warm up with hot chocolate and homemade goodies when the ride is over.
Additionally, the ranch offers accommodations as a bed and breakfast, so a comfortable sleigh ride can be just one memorable experience during a weekend or extended stay.
5081 Bauer Rd, Hudsonville, MI 49426
The best of Michigan’s winter wonderland can be experienced in a one (or two) horse open sleigh. The soothing sound of sleigh bells will fill the winter air as you explore this 80-acre farm, sipping a cup of hot chocolate.
Rides are by reservation only and weather permitting. Private group sleigh rides are available with a reservation.
1861 52nd St, Fennville, MI 49408
Grab your coats, hats, scarves, and gloves, and head to this West Michigan ranch in Fennville for a small private sleigh ride through the woods.
Rides at Wild West are by appointment only and weather dependent. They last between 40 and 45 minutes and are perfect for a romantic adventure.
A visit to Michigan’s Little Bavaria is special in the wintertime, and the unmistakable click-clack of hooves is hard to miss, as is the sight of horse-drawn carriages.
Frankenmuth has a lot to see and do, and a comfortable carriage ride down the city streets only adds a touch of magic to the experience.
Tours run frequently during the holiday season, and carriages can most often be found in the parking lots of both Bavarian Inn and Zehnders. Visitors can call to find out the operating hours if they’re planning a visit.
4570 Huron River Parkway, Milford, MI 48380
Children and adults alike can enjoy a visit to the Farm Center and take a sleigh ride through the woods and fields around the property. Not only is the ride enjoyable, but visitors are treated to incredible views of water and nature.
165 S Ray Quincy Rd, Quincy, MI 49082
Loveberry’s may be known for its Christmas trees, but visitors of all ages can take their visit here to another level by taking a horse-drawn sleigh out to the fields to select their perfect tree in Southcentral Michigan.
Christmas enthusiasts can warm up in front of a bonfire with a fresh cup of coffee or hot cocoa. All the elements — the sight and smell of Christmas trees, the fire, the sleigh, and the warm beverages — all add up to the perfect winter day.
Take a Magical Sleigh Ride in Michigan Today
The classic Christmas carol “Jingle Bells” made a good point when it was released: “Oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh.”
That’s a sentiment Michiganders young and old can agree with, and a horse-drawn sleigh ride is a one-of-kind experience that almost feels like it’s something out of a fairytale.
This holiday activity can be enjoyed by anyone, and there’s just something comforting about taking a relaxing ride while being tucked under a cozy blanket and spending time with loved ones.
This magical winter adventure is usually only available for a short time each winter, so don’t delay. Reserve your spot for an unforgettable Michigan sleigh ride!