For those whose desire is to go softly through the woods on snowshoes, there are snowshoe trails around Brule Mountain and at The Listening Inn. Snowshoe enthusiasts can also “bushwhack” almost any direction they wish, with terrain from nearly level to rolling landscapes.
Snowshoe through the woods, breathing air filled with smells of the forest, hearing nothing but the sound of your own footsteps. Snowshoeing in Michigan offers outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers a respite among picturesque trails and terrains. A silent sport, snowshoeing offers a unique opportunity to meld into your surroundings and feel what ancient cultures must have experienced as snowshoeing is one of the oldest forms of transportation. Snowshoeing lets you enjoy the snow’s tranquility in a Pure Michigan winter.
Ski Brule’s 32 km cross-country ski trail system winds through the wooded and rolling terrain of the Brule River Valley. The trail is flat groomed for ski skating and tracked for traditional Nordic skiing. The trail system winds along the base of the mountain and the Brule River, offering ample scenic views to enjoy. Rentals and instruction available.
The Ge-Che Cross-Country Trail weaves around three lakes, Hagerman, Brule and Ottawa, in the U.S. Forest Service’s Ottawa National Forest in southwest Iron County. Ge-Che (“Big Lake” in Ojibwa) was named for Lake Ottawa. The trail totals 10.8 km over gentle and rolling terrain and connects Lake Ottawa with Hagerman Lake across the road. A couple of loops are classified as expert but are easily avoided by those with lesser skills. The trail is groomed by the nearby Covenant Point Bible Camp, which is the recommended trailhead for skiers. The trailhead at Lake Ottawa is not plowed, but fishermen do put the snow blade down on occasion. There is no trail fee but donations are welcome. Trail maps are available at the Covenant Point trailhead. Call Covenant Point (906) 265-2117 for more information.
The Iron River Nordic Cross- Country Ski Center at the George Young Recreational Complex (906-265-3401) offers 6 km of meticulously groomed trails, prepared for both classical and skating techniques. Follow the trails to explore Wagner Lake or wind through the wooded expanse of the complex. Varying terrain provides excellent skiing for all ability levels, from novice to expert. Trails open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (open Wed-Sun). No fee for trail use; rental equipment available.
Lake Mary Plains Pathway, located off M-69 in Mansfield Township, between Sagola and Crystal Falls, features 9.6 miles of DNRE maintained trails. Three loops totaling 19 km are marked, groomed mostly for classical skiing, which will appeal to novice and intermediate cross-country skiers. For more information, contact the DNRE office at (906) 875-6622.
Bewabic State Park, 4 miles west of Crystal Falls on US-2, has a 2.5 mile groomed classic style ski trail. Trailhead is at south end of day use parking lot. Park headquarters (906) 875-3324
Bear Paw Trails are at The Listening Inn Bed & Breakfast in Crystal Falls. A total of 14.5 km of groomed, classic-only trails wind over creeks and through hardwoods and virgin stands of pine. Loops range from beginner to intermediate. There are separate and well-marked snowshoe trails. Open to the public for a small fee. Rentals. (906) 822-7738
Iron County is one of the Upper Peninsula’s best kept secrets. From camping to fishing, hunting to canoeing, mountain biking to forest bathing – no matter your interests, the great outdoors and clear crisp air await you here.