St. Ignace is the beginning of hundreds of miles of groomed snowmobile trails across the entire Upper Peninsula of Michigan, so it’s the perfect place to start your adventure – especially since they can be directly accessed from area motels and you can easily rent a snowmobile. Follow trails to the frozen, copper waterfalls of Tahquamenon Falls State Park. Be sure to check here for trail conditions before you head out!
If it’s below zero with calm winds, it’s possible to snowmobile across the “Ice Bridge” that may form from St. Ignace to Mackinac Island. This is one of the only ways to reach the island at that time once winter conditions become too hazardous for ferries. Note: the coast guard cautions that this is a dangerous endeavor with conditions that can change quickly. St. Ignace Visitors Bureau also advises snowmobile owners to use the ice bridge at their own risk. Locals line up Christmas trees on the path when they want to try the crossing.
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Of course, if you’re an admirer or owner of an antique snowmobile, you won’t want to miss the Mackinac Bridge crossing of those great machines at Snowmobile the Mac! The caravan is certainly something to behold and drivers’ enthusiasm is contagious.
A trip to St. Ignace could see you cross-country skiing across majestic sand dunes with views of Lake Michigan! Sand Dune Cross Country Ski Trail contains groomed classic trails that vary in difficulty from beginner to expert and length from 1.5 to 7.6 miles. Your inner pioneer will love the warming cabin with a wood stove and outhouse.
As the trails are popular with locals, the paths at Straits State Park are often broken in. Conversely, trailblazers can make their own tracks at North Country Trail, which starts at the downtown boardwalk and heads northwest into the beautiful Hiawatha National Forest and features 3 shorelines of Michigan’s Great Lakes.
If downhill skiing is more your style, head to Doc Holle's Silver Mountain for two downhill runs for beginner and intermediate skiers and snowboarders with tow rope! Extend your time by visiting the warming chalet and snack bar located conveniently at the ski hill.
With over 200 teams and multiple divisions, St. Ignace hosts one of the biggest pond hockey tournaments in the US. The Labatt Blue UP Pond Hockey Championship in mid-February is a 3-day tournament on the ice of Lake Huron overlooking downtown St. Ignace and Mackinac Island – making it amazing to both participate in and watch. Even if you’re not a hockey fan, the annual meet-n-greet and Best Uniforms Contests are very entertaining.
Now this is real pond hockey! The Labatt Blue UP Pond Hockey Championship! 200 teams 1,400 players one trophy!
Posted by UpNorth Imaging from Charles Dawley on Wednesday, February 21, 2018
If you’re not in the area during the tournament, you can still play at Little Bear Arena in St. Ignace, where hockey players of all ages can participate in stick & puck skates as well as drop-in hockey. Check here for schedule!
4. Ice Skating
If you’re just looking to ice skate, Little Bear Arena’s got that covered, too, with open skates! If you don’t have your own equipment, the facility also offers skate rental and skate sharpening. Find open skate times here!
Snowshoeing is just a form of hiking in the winter, and St. Ignace is one of the best places to start your journey. The Hiawatha National Forest is a popular place to hike, home to the Gros Cap Trails as well as the stunning Eben Ice Caves. The North Country Trail has 40+ miles of trails that aren’t groomed in the winter, making conditions perfect for snowshoeing.
Of course, sledding is a winter classic that will never go out of style. Doc Holle's Silver Mountain has long hills ideal for sledding. You don’t even have to worry about the climb, as there’s a tow rope that will guide you to the top! The aforementioned warming chalet and a snack bar make it fun for everyone.
It was a beautiful day for tubing today!
Posted by Doc Holle's Silver Mountain on Sunday, February 18, 2018
There are plenty of things to do in winter in St. Ignace, Michigan, and whatever you find is bound to be a unique adventure you won’t soon forget. Be sure to book your winter getaway and request a free copy of our visitor’s guide! If you would like to stay up-to-date on the snowy conditions, upcoming events, and more, sign up for our newsletter! See you in St. Ignace.