As we cross the Mackinaw Bridge from Mackinaw City to St.Ignace there is an instant feeling that you’re in a whole new world. Something about the Upper Peninsula of Michigan that separates it from anywhere else I have ever been. Picture this: Virgin White Pine forests along one side of the road with a view of Lake Michigan on the other. Traffic is nonexistent. No billboards advertising the nearest McDonalds or skyscrapers in site. Now at this time of year add about 3 feet of snow plowed up along side the road and you’re set.
Northern Michigan in the winter can be pretty brutal: you get the intense lake effect snow from Lake Michigan. The brutally cold winter days and nights, barley getting above freezing; and the majority of the days are cloudy with a peak of sun occasionally. So why do I love it so much up there? Well that’s because the snow, coldness and peaks of sun are what make winter beautiful. When I think of winter I don’t think of 75 and sunny. In fact, weather like this makes me enjoy the other seasons so much more because I appreciate them so much.
Growing up I use to hate winter. I felt like all I could do was stay inside and do nothing. Well I sure was wrong! As I’ve gotten older I have started to expand my horizons (thanks to my wonderful Fiancé, Kwin) and gotten out to enjoy the beauty of winter. I look forward to snowshoeing, skiing, fat tire biking and all the other activities there are to do.
This past weekend in Marquette, MI was possibly one of the best winter weekends I can think of. It was one of those random sunny weekends (and lets be honest sun makes everything a little bit better). Kwin and I do not like to waste a second in a day, so here is a little rundown of what we did this weekend.
- Woke up before sunrise to get to one of our favorite hikes, Sugar Loaf Mountain, and were able to hike the beach and mountain to catch a beautiful sunrise.
- Went fat tire biking at the Marquette groomed winter trails. This was quite a challenge for me. See, I am still new at this Fat tire biking stuff and the beginning of the corse was NOT EASY! However, I never give up to a challenge and kept going. It ended up being such a beautiful, relaxing and fun ride too!
- Went Skiing at Mount Marquette. This ski resort was absolutely breath taking. At the top of most of the hills you had this amazing overlook of Lake Superior, plus the skiing conditions were absolutely perfect!
- Took our dog,Kanyon, for a hike along the pathway that goes for miles along Lake Superior. We love this pathway for many reasons: It’s perfect for biking and walking along, you’ve got a great view of sunrises and sunsets, and it’s right along Lake Superior!
- We ended our day by going to one of our favorite restaurants in Marquette, Sol Azteca (this place is a must!)
- Woke up, again before sunrise, and drove to Pictured Rocks to catch the sunrise there.
-Our plan here took a little bit of a twist. We thought that the road was plowed all the way to the coast line, however when driving down there we soon found out that it was a season road (meaning not plowed!) This did not stop us, instead we hopped on out Fat Tire bikes and rode the remaining three miles back.
- Our first stop was Miners Castle. This was absolutely beautiful with the sunrise hitting the colorful rocks and the crystal blue water.
- Second, we rode an additional one mile to the Miners Falls. This is a waterfall hidden in the Pictured Rocks National forest. This was my favorite stop of the weekend. The waterfall was breathtaking. 80% of it was frozen solid, but being how massive it is there was still some flowing water. When we got there the sun was hitting it so perfectly!
- We then finished our Fat Tire bike back and started our voyage home.
Marquette and Pictured Rocks are two of my favorite places in the Upper Peninsula, and maybe even Michigan in general. The rustic, wooded, outdoor feel that you get when you’re in the Upper Peninsula is something you can’t get anywhere else. If you are willing to endure the cold temperatures and snowy terrain, I would highly suggest going up there for a winter adventure!