Michigan in the winter is a beautiful place to be if you love cross-country skiing. In the Midwest, the state’s rolling hills and beautiful forests create the perfect scenic backdrop for your outdoor activities. In particular, West Michigan cross country ski trails are fun to explore.
Grab your family and friends and spend the day working your way through some of the most beautiful cross-country ski trails this winter in West Michigan.
Best Grand Rapids Cross Country Ski Trails
Cannonsburg Ski Area
Located in Belmont, Cannonsburg Ski Area is one of the top-ranking, small ski resorts in the country. For downhill skiers, the resort has the longest vertical drop in the southwestern portion of the state. It’s over 1,500 feet long and well maintained.
The resort covers over 100 acres that are ideal for cross-country skiing and snowboarding. Also, the area hosts many events throughout the year, including the Glowing Forest. Lights are placed throughout the trails for evening runs during the holiday season.
Located just outside of Grand Rapids to the east in Ada, Seidman Park is 400 acres of scenic trails and spurs. Cross-country skiers can explore the blue and red trails that run throughout the park. Trails are well marked and well maintained to provide a safe and fun experience for everyone who visits.
Together, the trails add up to almost 5 miles in length. Cross-country skiers can enjoy the trails and spend time exploring the park.
Kent County Parks Department
The Kent County Parks Department oversees 42 properties across over 6,800 acres in the Kent County/Grand Rapids area. The only two park properties that offer groomed trails are Millennium Park and Palmer Park, which feature ski rental equipment and heated restrooms.
Each of the cross-country ski areas has trails with varied difficulties. Although many of the parks aren’t maintained in the winter, cross-country skiing is allowed.
Top Cross Country Ski Trails Near Holland Michigan
Riley Trails is located in Holland just off Riley Street. With over 300 acres, the area includes a small lake and an elaborate system of trails. A dense forest full of maple, pine, and beech trees and rolling hills are the perfect environments for cross-country skiers.
The trails are open to the public until 8 p.m. in the winter and 10 p.m. in the summer. Although the ski trails aren’t groomed regularly, the entire area is well maintained to allow for a safe and enjoyable experience.
Mulligan’s Hollow Ski Bowl
Mulligan’s Hollow Ski Bowl is located in Holland and is a family-friendly facility that’s managed by the Ski Bowl Association. There are seven groomed runs that are well maintained. The facility also offers 5 tow ropes.
A snowboard park was recently added, along with a first aid station and warming hut. Ski equipment rentals are available, but supplies are limited sometimes. There’s an ice skating rink and other popular winter sports activities for enthusiasts as well.
In addition, a season pass and ski lessons are offered. Events are posted throughout the year for people of all ages to enjoy.
Pigeon Creek Park
Pigeon Creek Park in West Olive is one of West Michigan’s best-kept secrets. There are over 10 miles of groomed cross-country ski trails that travel through 282 acres of deciduous forests and old pine plantations.
Each ski trail is groomed and reset as often as necessary to provide the best possible ski experience. Over 3 miles of skiing trails are lit, allowing for night skiing.
The park is open until 10 p.m. all year long. The lodge is open when snow and ski trail conditions are at their best.
Excellent Muskegon Cross Country Ski Trails
Muskegon State Park
Located in North Muskegon, Muskegon State Park offers cross-country skiers a one-of-a-kind experience. The park runs along the Lake Michigan shoreline for 3 miles, giving cross-country skiers the opportunity to see beautiful vistas while skiing.
Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park
The Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park, which is within Muskegon State Park, offers a little of everything that winter enthusiasts love. With 16 miles of West Michigan cross-country ski trails, every member of the family can enjoy a day in the snow.
The terrain is gentle, and 2.5 miles of trails are lit. You can enjoy the dunes or the forest whether you’re classic cross-country skiing or skate skiing. Reservations are available to guarantee access to your favorite attractions.
P.J. Hoffmaster State Park
P.J. Hoffmaster State Park is located between Norton Shores and Muskegon. The state park runs along 3 miles of Lake Michigan’s shoreline and offers a 10-mile network of trails that can be used for hiking or cross-country skiing. The park also includes dunes and other hiking trails to explore.
North Ottawa Dunes
Spring Lake is home to North Ottawa Dunes. Over 593 acres of tree-studded dunes that lie along the shore of Lake Michigan make for some of the best cross-country ski trails. The 10-mile trail system runs through the dunes to create scenic vistas.
Although the trails are ungroomed, they aren’t difficult to ski. There are eight dunes throughout the area, some as high as 750 feet.
Other Awesome West Michigan Cross Country Ski Trails
Ionia State Recreational Area
Ionia State Recreational Area is located in Ionia County off David Highway. The recreational area is made up of 4,500 acres of beautiful scenery. From rolling hills to open meadows, it’s a cross-country skier’s dream.
No matter where you go within the recreational area, you’ll find terrain for skiing until your heart is content. The recreational area includes a small lake and river that adds to the location’s natural beauty.
Yankee Springs Recreational Area
Located just outside of Middleville, Yankee Springs Recreational Area sits on over 5,800 acres. Nordic ski trails take up almost 10 acres of land, allowing cross-country skiers to enjoy spending time in nature. There are two lakes at Yankee Springs (Gun Lake and Deep Lake).
Cross-country skiers are able to visit other areas of the park as well. What started out as Algonquin hunting grounds has turned into one of the biggest recreational areas in the southern portion of the state. Yankee Springs is one of the most lovely natural getaways and will provide hours of fun and enjoyment.
Bittersweet Ski Resort
Bittersweet Ski Resort is located outside of Otsego (near Kalamazoo) and offers many amenities. There are 20 ski runs with varying degrees of difficulty. Chairlifts and wonder carpets are also available.
If you like downhill skiing in southern Michigan, the resort hill has a 350-foot vertical drop. There’s a snowboarding park with multiple terrain options too.
The resort offers ski season passes and lessons to help skiers advance their skills. The property features a restaurant that serves many American favorites. In West Michigan, Bittersweet is one of the most popular ski areas.
Best Cross Country Ski Trails in West Michigan
If you live in West Michigan or are just visiting the area, check out a few of the cross-country ski trails. Many of them are easy to find and a few are inside the city limits. The ski trails and resorts offer everything that ski enthusiasts look for when exploring the world around them.
No matter your skill level, lessons are offered at many of the more popular ski resorts in West Michigan. If you like a challenge, there are ungroomed trails that will allow you to test your abilities. As a result, this region is a fantastic area to take off for a weekend and hit the slopes.
However, this only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Michigan cross country ski trails. You’ll also find some amazing cross country ski trails in Mid-Michigan. Additionally, there are many Metro Detroit cross country ski trails worth visiting.