Snowshoeing has gained popularity as a fun winter activity since it provides a great chance to get some exercise. In addition, snowshoeing in Michigan is a wonderful alternative if you don’t want to cross-country ski or snowboard. It’s also a great winter date activity or fun for the whole family.
We’ve created a list of recreation areas, parks, and trails where you can snowshoe while spending time with family and friends.
What Exactly Is Snowshoeing?
Basically, snowshoeing is hiking with snowshoes on instead of tennis shoes. You can head to many of the same trails that you would normally use for hiking or cross-country skiing.
Snowshoeing actually began as a mode of transportation during the harsh winter months for people back in the day. Over the years, it has now evolved into a fun-filled recreational activity for people with adventurous spirits.
To snowshoe, you need a pair of snowshoes, which have a wide frame for more even distribution of your weight over a larger area. They’re designed to achieve “flotation” so that your feet don’t sink into the snow. As a result, you can glide through gorgeous scenery.
Below is a detailed list of all the places throughout the beautiful state of Michigan that provide opportunities for you to snowshoe while taking in some of the most breathtaking scenery the state has to offer. Check it out before planning your next snowshoeing adventure.
Best Snowshoeing in the Upper Peninsula
The Upper Peninsula of Michigan offers several amazing places that allow you to strap on your snowshoes and head out on a winter wonderland adventure.
Mount Bohemia Ski Resort
Situated atop Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula in Houghton, Mount Bohemia Ski Resort offers the longest ski runs within the Upper Peninsula. It also has the deepest snow in the Midwest.
This amazing hidden gem boasts 12 miles of hiking paths that are just waiting for snowshoers to enjoy while taking in the gorgeous scenery. The average snowfall is a little over 270 inches across the 585 acres of land.
Michigan Tech Recreation Area
If you prefer terrain that’s flatter, you can head to the Paavola Wetlands Nature Area. Kids are welcome to snowshoe but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Snowshoes are provided, and limited transportation is available.
Mont Ripley Ski Area
The Mount Ripley Ski Area offers trails that overlook the Keweenaw Waterway. It’s another excellent snowshoeing location near Michigan Technological University.
The ski area is open to all ages and snowshoeing skill levels. Also, it offers cross-country ski trails and is the oldest ski area in the state of Michigan. There are 22 beautiful trails over 112 acres of land with scenic overlooks.
Porcupine Mountains Ski Area
Also known as The Porkies, the Porcupine Mountains Ski Area is situated near Ontonagon. It’s open for snowshoeing and offers fun for your entire family. This part of Michigan gets more than 200 inches of snow every year.
There are three trails to explore with tons of snowshoeing options. While the trails are groomed for skiers, snowshoers are welcome to use the same paths but off to the sides of the groomed trails to avoid disrupting the ski trails.
The ski area has several loops of different lengths, including the Union Spring Trail, Log Camp Trail, Nonesuch Trail, Big Hemlock Trail, and Deer Yard Trail. All of these offer opportunities for you to enjoy the Michigan wilderness and natural beauty.
Marquette Mountain Resort
The Marquette Mountain Resort is nestled near Marquette Michigan and offers an array of opportunities for fun and adventure, including snowshoeing. There are slopes for members of your group who would rather ski while providing you with amazing views of Lake Superior. It encompasses 330 acres of gorgeous land with an average snowfall of about 210 inches.
Tahquamenon Falls State Park
The Tahquamenon Falls State Park offers plenty of opportunities for skiers, hikers, and snowshoeing. Several trails are nestled near the Upper Falls and are easily accessible, not to mention lovely. They are maintained well throughout the winter and easy to access from the parking area.
Snowshoeing on Mackinac Island
Throughout the winter months, the entire east side of Mackinac Island is available only for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowboarding. There are 2 miles of beautiful pathways that snowshoers can enjoy and about 10 miles of groomed trails for cross-country skiers. Equipment rentals are available too.
Peek-A-Boo Hill Ski Trail
Located near the town of Cedarville Michigan, the Peek-A-Boo Hill Ski Trail is operated by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. It offers 5.5 km of trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, and it’s fun for all ages. This place is great for learning how to snowshoe or ski.
Top Snowshoeing Trails in Northern Michigan (Lower Peninsula)
The Northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan offers a variety of places that are welcoming to snowshoers. Whether you’re in Petoskey, Traverse City, Alpena, or Cadillac, you’ll find great opportunities for snowshoeing Michigan nearby.
Nub’s Nob Ski Resort
Nub’s Nob in Harbor Springs, Michigan offers three separate peaks and a variety of trails for snowshoeing and downhill skiing. Eight trails are considered the most difficult to navigate, while 21 trails are considered more difficult and 15 runs are considered easy for beginner and children.
Total, there are 53 ski runs on 243 acres of land with a magnificent landscape. A ski patrol is on site for added safety, and the resort has 315 snow-making guns to create amazing snow conditions even when Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate.
Located near Gaylord, the Otsego Resort offers a fantastic area for snowshoeing, as well as cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. You’ll have your choice of three terrain parks and 6.2 miles of luscious Nordic and Alpine trails.
If the weather doesn’t cooperate, there will still be plenty of snow to glide through with your snowshoes. The resort has plenty of snow-making capabilities.
Boyne Mountain Resort
Boyne Mountain Resort offers skiers a 2-km trail called “The Pancake” and a 4.5-km trail dubbed “The Vistas.” However, 35 km of trails are available for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
Located near Boyne Falls, this family-owned and operated resort is kid-friendly and even includes a spa and indoor water park. You get to take advantage of 60 different trails throughout the winter months.
Charlevoix Mt. McSauba Ski Hill
The Charlevoix Mt. McSauba Ski Hill in Charlevoix Michigan offers a winter playground for snowshoeing, skiing, and snowboarding. It has affordable rates for family-friendly adventures.
There are 80 acres of ungroomed trails for snowshoeing, as well as a snowboarding park and an ice-skating rink. There’s even a warming cabin on site as well as groomed trails for cross-country skiing.
Outstanding West Michigan Trails for Snowshoeing
From Kalamazoo to Grand Rapids, West Michigan offers several areas that are prime for snowshoe lovers.
Blandford Nature Center
Established in 1968, the Blandford Nature Center is located in Grand Rapids and is both an education center and a recreation center with 264 acres for snowshoers throughout the winter. Maps and trail guides are available to help you navigate the beautiful area and rentals are available.
In February, the center offers a Snowshoe With Your Sweetie event that includes several candlelit outdoor snowshoeing opportunities.
Located in West Olive only a 15-minute drive from Holland Michigan, Hemlock Crossing offers 239 acres of land with more than six trails for snowshoeing and exploring. It’s a pretty area that winds around the Pigeon River through a beautiful forest. Snowshoe rentals are available in three-hour intervals at the nature center.
Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park
Located 50 minutes from Grand Rapids in North Muskegon, the Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park has a snowshoe trail system that’s marked for visitors. It takes you from the forest filled with white pine trees to the top of the sand dunes at Lake Michigan. You’ll enjoy breathtaking views during the hike through this lovely area.
Best Snowshoeing Trails in Mid-Michigan
The mid-Michigan area also sports an array of beautiful locations for snowshoeing, including locations in the Mount Pleasant and Lansing areas.
Mid-Michigan College Trails
The Mid-Michigan College Trails include three paths that are designed for walking and running. The 1-mile-long trails connect to create a three-mile loop. They’re available in the wintertime for snowshoeing alongside 19 miles of mountain biking trails throughout the Clare County area.
Woldumar Nature Center
Located in Lansing, the Woldumar Nature Center boasts scenic views of the Grand River while you snowshoe along 1.25 miles of shoreline. Also, there are more than 5 miles of trails across 178 acres of woodlands, prairies, and a pine tree forest. You can snowshoe from dawn to dusk.
Lake Lansing Park North
Just east of Lansing in Haslett, Lake Lansing Park North has plenty of space for snowshoeing. The park is open as long as the weather allows. On Saturdays and Sundays, four pairs of snowshoes are available for rent on a first-come, first-served basis.
Top Places for Snowshoeing in East Michigan
From Saginaw to Flint, East Michigan offers an array of choices for snowshoeing fun.
Port Crescent State Park
Located in Austin Michigan, the Port Crescent State Park is nestled near the tip of Michigan’s “thumb.” Here, it rests along 3 miles of beautiful Lake Huron shoreline.
The park offers 4 miles of ski and snowshoe trails, a rental shop, and breathtaking views of the area. You can rent cabins along with canoes and kayaks if you want to take a break from the snow.
Mt. Holly Ski & Snowboard Resort
The Mount Holly Ski & Snowboard Resort is located near Holly Michigan, and offers plenty of trails and opportunities for snowshoeing. The trails consist of beginner to advanced terrains. The snowboarding and cross-country skiing resort has a large Bavarian lodge with two cafeterias and several fireplaces too.
Alpine Valley Ski Area
The Alpine Valley Ski Resort is located in Flushing, just 36 minutes from Flint. There are four terrain parks and 25 different slopes and trails for skiing, snowshoeing, and snowboarding.
Great Southcentral Michigan Areas for Snowshoeing
From Battle Creek to Adrian, there are many areas in Southcentral Michigan that offer snowshoers beautiful trails to explore while taking in the scenery.
Falling Waters Trail
The 10.5-mile Falling Waters Trail in Jackson County is a paved bike-hike path that runs between Jackson and Concord. The path is available for snowshoeing and skiing throughout the winter. Only half of the trail is kept clear for other uses during the colder months.
Waterloo State Recreation Area
The Waterloo State Recreation Area in Chelsea offers winding trails on a hilly landscape for snowshoeing and skiing at the park’s Gerald E. Eddy Discovery Center. It also connects with the Waterloo-Pinckney Trail which offers 50 more miles of winding trails and hills that are perfect for snowshoeing and skiing.
Rolling Hills Park
Families flock to the Rolling Hills Park near Ann Arbor during the summertime for the waterslides, wave pools, and lazy river. When the snow begins to fall, though, they come to snowshoe and ski on the 3 miles of trails. There’s even a torch-lit, half-mile trail for snowshoeing or skiing in the evening.
Best Snowshoeing in Michigan Around Metro Detroit
From Birmingham and Farmington Hills to Lake Orion and Bellevue, the Metro Detroit area offers a variety of parks and resorts with beautiful trails for snowshoers.
Detroit Exploration and Nature Center
The Detroit Exploration and Nature Center, also known as The DEN, is available for snowshoeing throughout the winter. It has several trails and offers snowshoe rentals for those who don’t own a pair.
Belle Isle Park
The 982-acre island park called Belle Isle Park is nestled in the Detroit River between the United States and Canada. It offers many trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. The island features an aquarium and conservatory to check out when you need to take a break indoors.
Mt. Brighton Ski Resort
With over 25 runs to embrace along with three terrain parks, the Mt. Brighton Ski Resort is a great place to snowshoe or ski. It has snow-making machines, so even if the weather doesn’t bring a lot of natural snow, you can have a beautiful snowshoeing experience at this resort.
Frequently Asked Questions About Snowshoeing in Michigan
How much skill do you need to snowshoe?
Snowshoeing is great for all ability levels and is just like walking, only with snowshoes on. It also offers a low-impact workout.
What are the benefits of snowshoeing?
Snowshoeing is a great cardiovascular workout and can burn up to 1,000 calories every hour. Additionally, it can build muscle and endurance. At the same time, snowshoeing connects you with nature.
How much do snowshoes cost?
You can either purchase snowshoes or rent them. Rentals are around $10 for adult sizes, or you can purchase a pair for about $100.