The Upper Peninsula’s winter is known for one main thing, snow. We get it every year, and a lot of it. In fact many cities make it onto all sorts of snowiest places annually. Let's dive into some of these snowy areas and talk about things to do to enjoy the snow in the Upper Peninsula!
Let's start off with Sault Ste. Marie and snowmobiling. It is obvious that snowmobiling is fantastic in this area with all sorts of groomed trails and plenty of restaurants and hotels that are accessible by sled. A ride from downtown to the Mission Hill overlook is a fast ride with snow covered trees and trails that are kept up and groomed well.
For a family friendly day in the area, go to the Soo Seal Recreation area. It's an inexpensive way to have fun with the whole family and you don't have to drag your sled back to the top. They are some of the fastest tubing runs we have every been on. Seriously, if the snow is packed. They are FAST!
Next up, let's look at Marquette and Ishpeming. Let us be the first to say that they are two different towns with their own beauty but they do share one thing in common and that is a similar amount of snowfall, thus they share some outdoor winter activities. Marquette Mountain is a staple for the skiing snowboarding type but we are going to cover Snowshoeing because we fell in love with snowshoeing climbing to the top of Hogsback, and we mean climb. The amount of powder, ice and vertical accent will push anybody who considers the outdoors their comfort zone and the view! It's hard to beat. Before we move on to another city we want to mention fatbiking because Ishpeming and Marquette offer trails for beginners through advanced. We are somewhere in the middle and are still finding new trails to ride.
Next up is Ironwood. Everything we talked about before this applies to Ironwood and the western end of the UP. Plenty of snow means plenty of skiing and snowboarding, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing. Let’s break something down about snowshoeing. Snowshoes are a tool for winter recreation. They add to the enjoyment of the outdoors. They make otherwise untraversable areas traversable. They help grip on ice and float on top of powder.
Some winter trails require snowshoes in order to help preserve the trails for everybody. In those cases, always wear your shoes, but in times where you are being a little more adventurous, the snowshoes become another tool in your arsenal to help go farther and see more. In the case of hiking the Black River waterfalls we sometimes have our shoes on as we hike, and in other spots it can be easier to move about with our shoes off. Overall we are able to do more and see more falls because of one simple tool, our snowshoes.
Let's move onto the Keweenaw Peninsula. Now there is snow, and there is Keweenaw snow. If you are lucky you will be there when the snow drops and since it ranks as one of the snowiest places in the United States, chances are you will have luck. Mont Ripley make for a lovely day of riding, specifically because it sits on the Hancock side and overlooks Houghton. This means that when you are done riding for the day, It is just a few minute drive for dinner.
If the Keweenaw is your destination for skiing and snowboarding then our next suggestion probably comes as no surprise. Mt Bohemia is snowboarding like we have never experienced anywhere else Steep graded runs, rugged terrain, and more powder than we have found anywhere in the midwest. Their tagline is "no beginners allowed." It Works in two ways, to warn newbies, because they mean it, and to entice others looking for a challenge.
Now that we have went across the entire Upper Peninsula with just snippets of information for each stop, let us make some broader generalizations that might help people newer to snow sports. First off, rentals will help you decide if the sport is for you. We love snowmobiling but maintaining a sled all year is just not in the cards, so renting is a great option for for us who like to ride only a few times a year. Lessons for skiing and snowboarding will help you have fun faster and can help your entire family find a new sport everyone can do. Finally, snowshoes. Yes there are snowshoe rentals and that makes sense for your first time out, but the combination of a good pair of shoes paired with some of the snowiest spots in America is endless. So, step 1. snowshoes!
Check out the full video!