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Cross Country Ski Trails in Northern Michigan

When the rolling hills of Northern Michigan are draped in freshly fallen snow and the lakes become like mirrors, the woods beckon invitingly, it is time to put on the cross country skis and explore the incredible beauty that winter brings us. Just a short drive from Harbor Springs or Petoskey are more than a dozen cross country ski trails in Emmet County. Wind your way over hills, through deep pine forests, past small frozen lakes- the scenery is spectacular.

So spectacular that you will quickly forget what good exercise you are getting. Cross country skiing provides one of the best all-around workouts because it uses all the body’s muscles in smooth, non-stressful motions. With so many paths in the area, beginners to advanced skiers can always find a trail to match abilities and time schedules. Nordic skiing and snowshoeing attract more and more people each year because it is fun and can be done in so many different locations.

Here are a few of the Northern Michigan trails in Emmet County available to skiers and snowshoers:

Birchwood County Club – This groomed-for-striding trail system has a 3.2K flat loop along with steeper inclines. Located just outside Harbor Springs. (231) 526-2166.

The Highlands at Harbor Springs – The Highlands offers a variety of options for golf course skiing and striding along with hillier access by chair lifts. (231) 526-3000.

Boyne Mountain – The Boyne Nordican has it all for gliders, skaters, and telemark skiers. Groomed for skating and striding, here you’ll find 50K of trails, with 12 loops. (855) 688-7024.

Elmer Johnston Preserve – This Good Hart nature preserve has 1.5 miles of ungroomed trails. Located on Church Road, 1 mile east of Good Hart. (231) 347-0991.

Goodhart Farms Preserve – Both flat and hilly terrain on 5.2 miles of groomed trails. Located on Robinson Road, two miles east of Good Hart. (231) 347-0991.

The Headlands – Located two miles west of Mackinaw City with 4.5 miles of ungroomed trails. (231) 436-4051.

McCune Preserve – With 168 acres and three miles of ungroomed trails, this Petoskey reserve is a popular one. (231) 347-0991.

North Central Michigan College – Ski along the Bear River in the three mile ungroomed trail with three loops. The trail is located on the college campus in Petoskey. (8880 298-6605.

Nub’s Nob – A flat, lighted loop is available for night skiers. The Nub’s trail system climbs to some spectacular bay views. 10K of trails with two loops are groomed and power tilled for skating and striding. (231) 526-2131.

Offield Preserve – Located at Quick and Hedrick Roads, Harbor Springs, with 3.7 miles of groomed trails. (231) 347-0991.

Petoskey State Park – Ski through the woods, across the dunes, or along the waterfront in 5.5K of ungroomed trails. (231) 347-2311.

Pond Hill Farm – Two mile groomed cross country/snow shoe/fat tire biking trail. And a full service cafe open daily. (231) 526-3276.

Round Lake Nature Preserve – This Petoskey 60 acre preserve has just under a mile of ungroomed trails with two loops. (231) 347-0991.

Trout Creek – Here you’ll find 14K of trails with four loops. A flatter beginner’s trail along with an intermediate loop and two experienced loops on packed trails are available. (231) 526-2148.

Wilderness State Park – Just outside Mackinaw City has 7.1 miles of trails plus 18 miles of multi use trails. (231) 436-5391.

Wildwood Hills – This popular site has rolling hills along with flat trails. Groomed for skating and striding, Wildwood has something for skiers of every ability in 15K of groomed trails with five loops. (989) 732-3541.

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