You’ve probably heard about Upper Peninsula winters ... and the rumors are true! We know snow, and nothing stops Yoopers from spending their days outdoors. While you’re here, don’t let the weather stop you. The best way to stay warm is to stay active. From the trails to the slopes, there are plenty of ways to play in the snow all winter long.
If you’re into downhill skiing, we’ve got it down pat. Marquette Mountain, just five minutes from downtown Marquette, has terrain for all types on its 170 acres with 20+ runs. Carve into corduroy on well-groomed runs, hit more rugged riding on backcountry trails or test your skills at the newly rebuilt Terrain Park, full of rail sets and tabletops. With three chairlifts and a tow rope, you’ll catch fresh views of the city and Superior on your way up the slopes.
Get a full ski gear setup at the rental shop and after you shred the gnar, hit the T-Bar.
Not big into downhill? Marquette’s Noquemanon Trail Network (NTN) features miles of snow-packed XC ski trails for Nordic enthusiasts, including paths for inexperienced and advanced skiers, as well as dog-friendly loops via the Tourist Park Trailhead.
Then head to the West End for more expertly groomed trails. Al Quaal Recreation Area is a local favorite, offering 18k of exciting classic or skate trails, or hop on the Iron Ore Heritage Trail at 3rd Street in Ishpeming and ski your way to Jackson Mine Park in Negaunee. Be sure to stop at the signs along the way to brush up on U.P. mining history and take in views of the wintergreen scenery. Looking for something more remote? Slip into the quiet and scenic wilderness of Noquemanon Trail Network’s Saux Head Lake system. Located halfway between Marquette and Big Bay, the Saux head trails feature several inner and outer loops lined with beautiful hemlocks and old-growth white pines that will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
Marquette County is also home to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame. The museum is located in the birthplace of organized skiing — Ishpeming, a roughly 20-minute drive from Marquette. If you pass the 18-foot ski jumper statue, you’ve gone too far.
The museum recognizes notable skiers throughout history and showcases the evolution of ski equipment throughout time.
See skiers soar in January 2023 at the 136th Annual Ishpeming Ski Jumping Tournament. Not only is it one of the longest-running events in the country, but it’s been touted as the “Greatest Exhibition of Skiing Ever Witnessed in America.” Local and international skiers meet at the Suicide Ski Bowl in Negaunee to launch off a 90-meter ski jump and compete for the greatest distance. You’re sure to be in awe of the courage and technique of these flyers and have a great time tailgating around some of the biggest bonfires you’ve probably ever seen.
If you need any gear before braving the temp on the trails or slopes, check out Down Wind Sports, The Compound, Sports Rack, and Getz’s in Marquette, and West End Ski & Trail in Ishpeming.