Happy New Year friends! January is a beautiful time for resolutions- for fresh starts, goals, and all the planning your heart can do.
I always start the year with a journaling night. I like to list out travels, campgrounds we’d love to visit, and just jot down my hopes for the year. No matter the fun I come up with though- winter trips are always on my mind.
A lot of places have snow but Michigan has some kind of magic in the winter. The UP especially has an organic, raw beauty I find breathtaking, even though I’ve seen it a hundred times.
Where is all of this going you might ask? I thought Id list a few fun adventures I found while out cruising the interwebs for fun winter activities. Every year I think I know what’s going on in this great state, something else pops up and surprises me.
So without further ado – read on for something fun to do in the mitten this winter and- don’t forget the mittens! 🙂
What is it? The Eben Ice Caves, form when the melting snow runs over the edge of a cliff and freezes. The caves are found just outside of Marquette county in the tiny town of Eben Junction. The closest known larger town is probably Au Train.
To get to the caves there’s a .75 mile trek. Not a long hike by any means, however in the winter, you really never know what the conditions may be like following a snowstorm. I would highly reccomend taking the snowshoes, as well as ice cleats. While these are not necessary to see the caves, it may be nice to have them in the car if you’ve got them! I do find the facebook page always has the most up-to-date info so be sure to check there for weather updates.
From M-94 in Eben Junction, turn north onto Eben Road and drive about 1.5 miles to Frey Road. Turn right on Frey Road and drive to the end. Eben Road and Frey Road have yellow signs on them that say “Ice Caves” as well.
*Photo credit: Mlive.com
A family friendly winter event hosting snow sculpting and ice carving competitions, children’s area, petting zoo, fireworks, warming tent and more. Apparently Zehnder’s Snowfest is one of the top snow sculpting events in North America for the past 26 years! There is SO much to do in Frankenmuth on a non-festival weekend- I can imagine that this is a crazy fun event.
*Photo credit: Pure Michigan
Chateau Chantal will host the first of its kind in the Michigan Ice Wine Harvest Festival January 26-28, 2018.
Ice wine is made from grapes frozen on the vine. Harvested during temperatures between 15 to 18 degrees F, the grapes are pressed while still frozen. The dessert wine is known for its sweetness- and is SO good!
In celebration of their amazing wine, the festival events include family friendly snowman building, ice bowling, and ice sculpting- as well as outdoor fire pits with roasted treats. The winery’s walking trail will be open for snowshoeing or skiing with a scavenger hunt and prizes. The festival will culminate with a multi-course Ice Wine education dinner on Saturday, including a tour of the cellar and winemaking process. Samples of multiple Ice Wines will be on hand all weekend along with a specially paired dessert item.
Entrance to the festival is free, with a fee to sample and attend the wine dinner. Ice Wine is a must-try experience that represents one of the most unique abilities of our Northern wine growing climate, something our famed California wineries to the West cannot produce!
*Photo credit Pure Michigan
Ice-coated boat- Traverse City
This CRAZY little gem is at the Maritime Academy docks in Traverse City. There is not more beautiful in Michigan than the ice covered lighthouses in winter- however- look at this boat. Go check it out! Beautifully captured by photographer Ken Scott.
*Photo credit Ken Scott obtained at Mynorth.com
This last one is the one I’m most excited about sharing. I have always wanted to try dog sledding. It looks SO fun. Nature’s Kennel Sled Dog Racing and Adventures offers winter adventures including overnight trips where you can stay the night in a yurt. Seriously. What? They also offer a winter photography workshop and dogsledding adventure. Check them out online and cross one off the bucket list!
Photo Credit: Pure Michigan
I hope you found something here that excites you, or at the very least, I hope I’ve gotten you at least a little bit more excited about the snow out there. It is warming up to 30 degrees this weekend, so that’s something! Don’t forget the thousands and thousands of trails to snowshoe! Straits State Park in Saint Ignace and Tahquamenon Falls are a couple of our favorite places to winter hike!
Happy adventuring friends!