Motorcycle touring along Lake Superior.
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One of Marquette's 77 waterfalls!
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Mountain bikers on Marquette's south trails
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A Kayaker plunges down Dead River Falls
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Carp River Falls
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Making The Most of Every Season

marquette mi backcountry skiing 3

Marquette County encompasses one of America’s greatest small cities and a collection of historic towns and villages. Located in the heart of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula,here life happens at a different pace. The best nature has to offer is never more than a moment away. Proud waters, rugged landscape and hardwood forests thatstretch as far as the eye can see.

There’s a reason they call it Human Nature. We were meant to be outdoors. We were meant to play under the big blue sky. We were meant to adventure beyond our own backyard; to feel the sun and wind on our faces.

Marquette County is a place where humans and nature go together in every minute, every day and all year, always.

So, ask yourself a question. What’s your human nature? Whatever it is, you’ll find it here in Marquette County.

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Marquette’s Downtown Showdown Rail Jam Gaining Popularity
Photo by Aaron Peterson

Photo by Aaron Peterson

On February 21st, skiers and snowboarders alike will flock to the streets of downtown Marquette to compete in the third annual Downtown Showdown Rail Jam ski and snowboard trick competition sponsored by Ore Dock Brewing Company and Range Bank.

Terrain park skiing and snowboarding has continually grown in popularity over the last decade, but Marquette, the largest town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, puts its own ‘spin’ on terrain style competition by taking the park experience found on ski hills across the county and placing the excitement right in its downtown streets.

Over the past two years, the Downtown Showdown Rail Jam has featured some of the Midwest’s best skiers and snowboarders taking flight off gigantic jumps and delivering incredible rail grinds in this unique grassroots event.

Photo by Aaron Peterson

Photo by Aaron Peterson

Now in its third year, the Rail Jam sits alone on its own dedicated weekend no longer scheduled in conjunction with the ever popular UP 200 Dog Sled Race and features a steeper and longer course starting atop the North Front Street hill just south of Ridge Street and finishing at Washington Street. This new course will add more complexity and faster speeds to the mix. The competition kicks off at 3:00 pm.

Athletes are judged on a ‘per trick’ basis. Experienced skiers and snowboarders and equipment specialists from The Compound, the Marquette ski and snowboard shop, judge the event. With nearly fifty contestants last year, some traveling from as far away as southern Wisconsin, the level of competition is fierce and truly exciting.

Photo by Aaron Peterson

Photo by Aaron Peterson

Tara Lasse-McKinney, the Promotion and Events Coordinator for the Marquette Downtown Development Authority, is pleased with the amount of hype and anticipation circling the Rail Jam this year. “We’re definitely expecting more numbers for this year’s Downtown Showdown Rail Jam. It’s always been more of a local push with word of mouth advertising, but there’s been an increase in support and local sponsorship. There’s been more talk going around this year, so I’m excited to see how it goes.”

The Rail Jam will be followed by an after party at the Ore Dock Brewing Company, where local band Not Quite Canada will take the stage. This is an event you won’t want to miss!

Registration is open online at https://downtownmarquette.org until the day of the event. More information can be found on the Downtown Showdown Rail Jam Facebook page.