Tahquamenon and Beyond: Michigan’s Best Quiet Winter Recreation Spots

Interest in quiet winter recreation – think snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and winter camping – led to recent improvements at Tahquamenon Falls State Park.

The upgrades will make the Lower Falls more accessible for winter enthusiasts.

“We’ve seen an increase in the quiet wintertime sports,” said Kevin Dennis, park unit supervisor.

The popular Upper Peninsula tourist destination now features two marked snowshoe loops and a half-mile packed walking trail. An enlarged plowed parking area and trailhead are also part of the improvements at the park. Dog sled rides will be offered on weekends, as snow depth permits.

Read full details about the improvements here.

The demand for a way to enjoy a beautiful Michigan winter day (or night) in peace and quiet got us thinking about other places around the state that offer the same sort of experience. If you enjoy hearing your own thoughts and being outside in the state’s frosty temps, here are some other great spots to check out.

  • Fumee Lake Natural Area in the Upper Peninsula’s Dickinson County has trails that vary in length, difficulty and terrain, suitable for snow shoeing and cross country skiing.
  • While Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is a packed summer tourist destination, winter affords visitors a little more solitude and a beautiful backdrop for quiet winter sports and winter camping.
  • The Leelanau Conservancy website lists cross country skiing or snow shoeing at Kehl Lake Natural Area as something to put on your Leelanau bucket list. “The snowy hemlocks here make for a magical trail.”
  • Enjoy 60,000 acres of pristine wilderness at the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. Snowshoe, cross-country ski and winter camp to your heart’s content in the “Porkies”.
  • Known for its luge track, the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex is also a family-friendly place to enjoy cross-country skiing and snow shoeing.
  • If you’re new to snow shoeing, the Ludington State Park offers guided snowshoe walks on select Saturdays in January and February. The park stays open year-round for hiking and snowshoeing so you can enjoy the pristine beauty of Lake Michigan in winter.
  • Kensington Metropark is located in Milford and offers wooded, hilly terrain surrounding Kent Lake. Ski or snowshoe on the park’s trails or fish or skate on frozen lake waters.
  • Cross-country skiing at Waterloo Recreation Area, the largest park in the Lower Peninsula, starts at the Gerald E. Eddy Discovery Center. The more than 20,000-acre park is located in Chelsea.

Where do you go when you want to enjoy the peace and quiet of a wintry Michigan day? Tell us your favorite spots in the comments. 

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Photo credit: Kate Ter Haar via Flickr

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