Despite the frigid conditions found in the Keweenaw this time of year, many get out and embrace what winter has to offer through a series of outdoor activities put on by the Department of Natural Resources.
Many state parks close for the winter months, but one park that remains open all winter is the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.
While some come for the miles of snowmobile trails, and others for the down hill slopes, the DNR is hosting a series of guided snowshoe hikes that offer folks another way to enjoy the beauty of the Porkies.
“We ride the chairlift here at the ski hill up to the top, then we snowshoe down the backside and work our way back down to the parking lot down here. It’s about a two mile round trip snowshoe hike through a lot of fresh snow and it’s pretty scenic. It’s a nice hike,” said Park Interpreter Bob Wild, who guided nearly 40 snowshoe hikers down the mountain Saturday afternoon, stopping at the East Vista for a hill top view of the mountain range.
Wild will be hosting three more guided hikes this winter.
Wild said, “We will do these hikes through the end of February. Come on out. It’s a great way to spend the winter. Beat those winter blues.”
Another family friendly activity that’s special to the park is a lantern lit cross country ski trail, where patrons glide or snowshoe through the evening hours.
“What they do is they take the old style lanterns and position them around the trail loop and it makes it a very nice atmosphere when you’re out snowshoeing or cross country skiing.”
In the middle of the loop is a concession stand with coffee, hot chocolate and, of course, a warm fire.
“It’s definitely one of the most popular activities that we have during the wintertime at our state parks.”
More information can be found at Michigan.gov/DNR.