Winter is one of the most wonderful times of year to adventure in Marquette, MI. Frozen scenic landscapes and quieter trails offer peaceful explorations ideal for all skill levels. But before you hit the trails, let's talk trail etiquette, pets, tips & tricks, and how to best prepare for our cold, snowy conditions.
Winter Trail Etiquette
Remember to walk to the side of groomed ski and snow bike tracks.Why? Hiking in snow can create post-holing, where your feet sink deep into the snow. Deeper holes like this can make it difficult to maintain even and well-groomed tracks that are safe for skiers. Wear snowshoes if going for a hike on groomed trails to avoid post-holing.
The season may have changed but the importance of picking up your dog's waste hasn’t. Don’t forget your doggie bags before hitting the trails, and always remember to pack out waste to the nearest trash can.
Be sure to double-check if your dog is allowed on the trails you are going. Many groomed ski trails do not allow dogs.
Remember to keep your dog leashed on trails- it’s the law!
Tips and Tricks
Do: Wear ice cleats on your boots for better traction on icy trails
Do: Use hand and toe warmers, and consider investing in reusable ones.
Don't: Overdo it on the sock layers
Why? Too many socks can cut off circulation to your feet and make them colder. Leave enough room to be able to wiggle your toes in your boots.
Do: Add insoles to your boots. You lose heat faster simply by standing on cold surfaces, insoles can help with this.
Consider this: When buying winter boots, consider sizing up a little from your usual size to account for wearing thick socks or adding insoles. This will optimize your heat retention. That way you can keep lots of heat in without your feet being squeezed too tight and your circulation being cut off.
Must-haves for any Winter Adventure
Hot tea is a great go-to, it keeps you hydrated and warm!
Choose calorically dense food, such as nuts or energy bars, hard cheeses, or jerky, and keep it close to your body so it stays warm.
In the winter wet = cold, so dress to stay dry. Stay away from cotton layers, “cotton kills” as the saying goes. The material is a very poor insulator once wet and will keep you cold instead of warm. Instead, wear a moisture-wicking base layer.
An obvious necessity if going out at night, but it’s good to grab one if going out in the afternoon as well, in case of emergencies.
✓ Neck Buff
Most know to grab their hat and gloves before heading outside in the winter but a warm neck buff goes a long way and is a great additional layer to keep you warm.
✓ Compass and map
It’s not uncommon to lose service in Marquette County, and phones can often malfunction in freezing temperatures. Bringing along a paper map of the area you are at, as well as a compass, is a great way to ensure proper navigation.