Written by: Jessica Hetrick
The Upper Peninsula is well known for being a winter wonderland. But lets admit it, sometimes we can fall into those moods where the only thing that sounds good is curling up on the couch with the fluffiest blanket ever created, the warm beverage of your choice and binge-watching everything on Netflix until the snow melts and you can find your car again. But that probably isn’t the best idea for our social and mental health, and there is something invigorating about climbing an icy slope with friends (falling a few times along the way) and finally reaching the top. So to help you combat the call of the couch, I’ve put together a list of hot things to do when temps are freezing.
- The Ice Caves – This winter-time right of passage is something all Marquette area residents (whether permanent or seasonal) have tackled. The best way to attack this adventure is to collect a few friends, bundle up and head on out. In my experience, I would suggest at least one person bringing a backpack that you can put a bottle of water and a thermos of warm liquid in. It is a bit of a hike and you will get thirsty. I would also suggest wearing waterproof boots, gloves and snow pants in addition to your winter coat. The path can get slippery and the last thing you want is to be miserable with freezing hands, soaked legs and feet, and a salty mood. This adventure is not advised for the elderly, young children who still have trouble walking (although they can be carried, they will get heavy), or for those with a physical disabilities which affect their ability to walk. Click here for directions.
- NMU Hockey Games – GO WILDCATS! Or the number of non-college teams that play in the area. Hockey is a huge deal up here and you never really have to go far to go to a game. There is the Marquette rink where NMU plays, the Negaunee arena, and numerous outdoor rinks. You may have to still wear your coat and hat to watch the game unless you get one of the box seats (which are free at the Negunee rink) but with some hot chocolate from the concessions, you wont even notice the chill. This year’s schedule for NMU can be found here.
- Marquette Mountain – The go-to for snowboarding and skiing, you can get passes to fit how often you plan on hitting the slopes. They also have a restaurant should you need to refuel before heading back up. For more info, click here.
- Snow shoeing – Not for the weak of heart, this activity is certainly going to fulfill your daily workout quota and then some. However, it is a great way to get outside and adventure in some of the untouched forestry that the Upper Peninsula has to offer. Again, this is an activity that I would suggest bringing waterproof clothing and a hot thermos of your favorite beverage. Click here for trails.
- Snow biking – Yes, this is a thing here. If you ever see bikes with extra large tires, called fat tires, this is what they are for. Click here for trails.
- Ice fishing – Although it does requires different equipment from what you use throughout the rest of the year, and if you are brave enough to venture out onto the frozen lake, I’ve heard it can be a lot of fun. Who says fishing is only a summertime activity. For more info, click here.
- Snowmobiling – There are actually some people who come to the area just for snowmobiling and spend their entire time here, only doing this one activity. And there is no wonder why. Its a ton of fun! Be sure to dress super warm and be aware of frost bite. Click here for more info.
Got a favorite outdoor winter activity not mentioned above? Send us a message and I’ll make a post specifically dedicated to it!