Winter in Northern Michigan is wonderful! With over 120 inches of fresh snow each year, there are lots of great activities just waiting for you to try this winter. Whether you enjoy snowshoeing, downhill skiing or snowboarding, ice skating, winter rafting, or cross-country skiing, there are lots of great trails ready to explore this winter.
It's really important to be prepared for colder temps and snowfall. While it may seem obvious, sometimes the cold will sneak up on you while you're enjoying the fresh powder. It may seem simple, but being aware of your surroundings, knowing the daily forecast, and dressing appropriately for cooler temps can be crucial to your success while being outside. Here are a couple of tips and things we highly recommend when you are hitting the trails or simply celebrating winter.
1. Carry a backpack with water, snacks, extra socks, and gloves with you when you are using the trails. Cold hands and feet can quickly make for a less-than-ideal outdoor experience.
2. Use the buddy system. While this may seem obvious, having a buddy is really important while you're on the back trails or frozen lakes.
3. Dress for the weather. If you're going out on the trails, make sure your clothes will keep you warm. Layers are optimal. If you forgot something, head downtown for a variety of cold-weather gear. Click here to learn more about downtown shopping.
4. Make sure your cell phone is fully charged. Cold weather can decrease your battery really quickly. If you keep your phone in an interior coat pocket, your battery will last longer.
5. Stick to the trail. You will be able to safely navigate the trail without any issues. Tip: download the trail map from the Conservancy (iPhone, Android), some parks and nature preserves do not have cell service. This way you will always know your path.
6. Use caution when venturing out on the ice. Not only should you be checking the weather forecast to see if there have been any warm spells, check-in with the DNR. They will be able to tell you the current conditions of the ice. Learn more here.
Whether you are trying a new activity or simply don't have the equipment, you can get a variety of equipment rentals in and around the Charlevoix area. Following businesses offering rentals to the public, we would encourage you to call ahead to reserve your equipment.
1. Fat Tire Bikes | Revolution Bike
2. Snow Shoes | Mt. McSauba Ski Hill or Charlevoix Public Library
3. Cross Country Skis | Mt. McSauba Ski Hill
4. Skis or Snowboards | Mt. McSauba Ski Hill, Boyne Mountain/Highlands, Nubs Nob, Schuss Mountain
5. Rafts, Kayaks or Canoes | Jordan Valley Outfitters
6. Ice Skates| Mt. McSauba Ice Rink