Situated on the southern shore of the largest freshwater lake in the world, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is covered with an extensive cross-country trail system that makes it a nordic skiers paradise! With more than 3,400 kilometers of groomed cross-country ski trails and a variety of terrain to suit every skill level, the skiing opportunities here are almost endless. Both of our stores are located in areas dense with cross-country skiing opportunities. Stop in to get a fresh coat of wax and chat with our staff about conditions. We’d be happy to show you a map and offer up some route suggestions.
Houghton Area XC Skiing
Here on the Keweenaw Peninsula we are quite fortunate to receive almost 250″ of snow each season. This snow combined with a large variety of terrain and a dedicated volunteer base has created quite the cross-country skiing mecca. The Tech Trails, Maasto Hiito trails and Swedetown trails are probably the most well known. However, we have quite a few smaller areas that are very scenic, have incredible snow, and offer a slightly more secluded experience. The Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club is responsible for much of the development and maintenance of the trails in our area. For more information concerning our trails check out their website.
Michigan Tech Trails – more info
The Michigan Tech Trails located on Michigan Tech’s campus offer 35km of well groomed skate and classic trails just minutes from downtown Houghton. The Tech Trails are easily some of the best trails in the country having hosted the 2006 Junior National Championships and the 2007 and 2008 U.S. Championships. With loops for all ability levels, 7.5km of lighted trails and daily grooming you are sure to have a great time and a good workout!
Maastohiihto & Churning Rapids – more info
The Maastohiihto & Churning Rapids trails consist of 25km of regularly groomed striding-only trails located just on the other side of the canal in Hancock. These trails provide more of a backcountry experience at one point winding through the John Christiansen Wildlife Preserve.
Swedetown Trails – more info
The Swedetown Trails are located 13 miles north of Houghton in the town of Calumet. They offer more than 30km of groomed cross-country skate and classic ski and snowshoe trails. The quality of the grooming is second to none and they even offer 5km of lighted trails for those of you that have to work late.
Marquette Area XC Skiing
The Noquemanon Trail Network is an organization dedicated to developing, mapping and maintaining non-motorized trails in Marquette and Alger counties. They are responsible for the majority of the grooming in these areas and funding for these efforts is provided through membership and a ski pass system. To find out more check out their website.
Noquemanon – more info
The Noquemanon trail have been described by some as – the most beautiful trails I have ever skied on, never dull, and deceptively tough. We think it’s fair to say that the Noquemanon trail has many faces, ranging from gently rolling hills and flat lake crossings to challenging climbs and hair-raising descents. Throughout it all one thing remains constant — the beautifully rugged U.P. wilderness that surrounds skiers throughout the course. The Noquemanon trail is a 45km trail system with multiple trailheads.
Valley Spur – more info
This 45km trail system located near Munising is groomed for both skate and classic skiing from December through March. There are no lighted trails and headlamps are recommended if heading out after dark.
Al Quaal – more info
Al Quaal is a 300-acre park on the north side of Ishpeming near Teal Lake. Al Quaal has an abundance of backwood trails that are great for cross country skiing. The main ski trails in Al Quaal are the Deer Lake Trail, Olympic Trail, Teal Lake Trail, and Baby Lake Trail. In total there are roughly 20km of trails.
Big Bay – more info
This is a relatively small trail system with only 16km of classic skiing. However the terrain is quite varied and these trails are a lot of fun. If you need a change of pace or are just looking for something different this is not a bad place to check out.
Blueberry – more info
One of Michigan’s most varied and picturesque trail systems lies in the red and jack pine forests only a few minutes south of the Upper Peninsula’s largest city. It has the bumps for advanced skiers and the flats for beginners, with plenty of scenery to please everyone, including a trail that’s lighted every night of the season. Groomed regularly. Traditional loops are double tracked. Skating loops are single tracked.
Saux Head – more info
Saux Head Lake winds through rugged Huron Mountain land and is one of the best winter trails in the area with gorgeous vistas of Saux Head Lake and lake Superior.