When the snowflakes begin to fall in Northern Michigan and mittens are pulled from the back of the closet, it’s time to hit up the Northern Michigan outdoors on the slopes, grab some skates. Grab some hot cocoa and head to Petoskey–a destination for winter sports with its first-class ski resorts, sledding hills and ice rinks. Don’t let the cold stop you, the hilly terrain of Northern Michigan’s great outdoors is meant to be enjoyed year round.
1100 Winter Park Lane, Winter: 231.347.1252, Summer: 231.347.2500
It’s endless winter at Petoskey Winter Sports Park with its sledding, ice skating, hockey, skiing and snowboarding. Admission to the park is free and it typically opens in December and closes in March. The ice rinks are resurfaced daily, and you can rent skates for $5. There are also a few sleds available if you need one. Once you’ve been out on the rink or slopes for a while, thaw your frozen appendages at the fireplace in the warming house or grab a cup of hot chocolate at the concession stand. There is also free wireless Internet access and seating if you need a break.
Widely acclaimed for its first-class snow conditions and perfectly groomed slopes, Nubs Nob has a 427-foot vertical, 53 slopes, three separate peaks, 9 lifts, and sick terrain parks. There are 248 acres of terrain for skiers ranging from beginners to experts. Though the area gets an average of 123 inches of snow fall each year, Nubs Nob can create 5,000 gallons of snow per minute with its patented snow guns. This ski resort isn’t just about the numbers though, the friendly staff and instructors keep the locals and guests coming back each year.
1 Boyne Mountain Rd., 855.688.7024
Winter in Northern Michigan isn’t complete without a trip to Boyne Mountain. With 60 runs, a 500 foot vertical and lodging that comes in all shapes and sizes it has to be on your list of vacation stops. Part of the Boyne USA ski resort kingdom, this winter destination also boasts cross-country trails, snowshoeing and ice skating— plus it’s only 20 miles from Charlevoix. Grab your gear, load up the car and head out.
600 Highland Dr., 855.688.7022
Part of the Boyne USA ski resorts, Boyne Highlands is a four-season resort that comes to life in the winter with 55 downhill runs, 8 lifts, 5 terrain parks, a 13-foot halfpipe, lodging, dining and more. On the mountain, skiers and snowboarders can enjoy great snow all season thanks to Boyne Highlands’ snowmaking system. Beginners can try North Peak Pass, the resort’s longest run at 1.25 miles, while experts head down Black Diamond Glade. When you’re not on the slopes, go tubing, snowshoeing, horseback riding, dog sledding or swimming in one of Boyne Highlands’ heated pools.