Free winter events at Northern Michigan’s Little Traverse Conservancy take families into the outdoors for a day of winter hiking, snowshoeing, birding and wildlife—and all at no cost! Check out what’s happening and get your gang out to these events in Charlevoix and more!

Winter Snowshoe Hike at The Hill

Saturday, January 18,   noon-3pm
The Hill Preserve, Charlevoix County
Join Little Traverse Conservancy for a winter outing through The Hill Nature Preserve in Boyne City. There will be hot chocolate and snacks at the viewing area where we will have amazing view of Lake Charlevoix and the surrounding area.

Need to get some snowshoes? Check out this quick look at how to choose and size snowshoes.

Family Bird and Nature Program on Snowshoes

Saturday, January 18,  10am-noon
Offield Family Preserve, Emmet County

Join local birder Mary Trout and LTC educator Melissa Hansen as they look for birds and mammals that brave the Northern Michigan woods winter. Listen and look for birds and discover how they survive our cold, frozen winters. Search for tracks and trails of wildlife and learn about animal survivor skills.  You’ll end your time back at the Little Traverse Conservancy office to warm up with some hot cocoa and make an edible bird seed wreath to take home for your feathered friends. Snowshoes and binoculars will be provided, but please bring your own if you have them.

Winter Celebration

Saturday, January 25,   3-7 pm
Reed’s Pigeon River Preserve, Cheboygan County

Explore the two miles of trails on 109 acres at this new Cheboygan County preserve that includes 4,400 feet of frontage along the beautiful Pigeon River. Warm drinks and snacks will be provided. All guided tours depart from the Cabin. This will be an open house with a variety of guided tours:

3:00 – 7:00 Open House – ski and snowshoe trails on your own, warm up at the Cabin

  3:30 – Winter River Ecology – guided ski/snow shoe tour with Little Traverse Conservancy stewardship director Doug Fuller and water resource specialist Dan Myers from Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council
  4:00 – Kids Snowshoe Adventure – with Little Traverse Conservancy environmental educator Sarah Mayhew

4:00 – Winter Tracking – guided snowshoe tour with Little Traverse Conservancy director of land protection. Kieran Fleming and retired MDNR wildlife biologist Glen Matthews.

5:30 – Winter Star Stories – at the cabin campfire with The Headlands International Dark Sky Park Program Director and Star Lore Historian Mary Stewart Adams

Goodhart Farms Nordic Adventure

Saturday February 1, 10am-noon
Emmet County

No pass required! Come ski groomed trails within the beautiful woods of Goodhart Farms. All abilities welcome, though be ready for a variety of terrain. Meet at the Robinson Road parking area.

Get some tips from the Northern Michigan coaches to get the most out of your cross country ski.

Derby Preserve Winter Exploration

Saturday, February 1,   10am-noon
Mackinac County

Come ski or snowshoe the newest three miles of trail in the Les Cheneaux region with Little Traverse Conservancy education assistant Caitlin Donnelly. This beautiful new trail meanders through rock gardens, forest, and along the rugged shore of Lake Huron.

Winter Wildlife Adventure

Saturday, February 8,   10am-noon
Greenwood Sanctuary
Windswept Gate – Cheboygan County

Greenwood Sanctuary is a privately-owned property near Wolverine, protected with a conservation easement held by Little Traverse Conservancy. Greenwood welcomes the public to enjoy and explore this almost 1,400-acre property for this special event. Groomed trails will offer a chance to find respite in the beauty of this winter wildlife haven.

Knee High Naturalists: A Snowy Home

Saturday February 22,    10-11am

Round Lake Preserve, Emmet County

Bring your 3-5 year old to explore animal life in winter! They’ll discover which animals are sleeping through the winter and which ones are active plus what special body parts or behaviors help them survive the harsh weather! This program will include a story, indoor component and outdoor hike. Siblings are welcome to tag along.

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Photo(s) by Angela Brown