Top 5 Winter Hiking Trails

Here in Marquette County, we take hiking seriously year-round. Every season has something specific and special to offer. So what do we have in the winter that the rest of the Midwest is missing? Unparalleled snowfall. Whether you’re hiking to cover distance or ascend elevation, these snowscape trails are sure to have some stunning scenery this time of year.

Sign for the Baby Lake Trail at the Al Quaal Recreation Area a skiing and hiking trail spot in Ishpeming Michigan.

Noquemanon Trail Network

It’s simple, Baby Lake Trail is the perfect hike for a wintry trek as it is short, sweet, and scenic. But if you’re looking for a bit more excitement this season, NTN has plenty of trails to pick from. Teal Lake Trail is a 4K trek, with intermediate terrain, and even has lights for evening activity. There’s also Olympic Trail and Deer Lake Trail, both of which are more advanced terrain and more extensive routes.

Requirements:
Daily or Season Trail Pass Required for XC Skiing and Snow Biking. Passes can be purchased at the NTN, the US Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame, Wilderness Sports and City Hall. Purchase is Mandatory to grant access to trails.

Directions: Turn north from M-28 on Hickory Street, then take a left on Poplar Street, and continue straight ahead to the Al Quaal Recreation Area. As you pull into the parking lot you will see a sign for Teal Lake on your left, and the school to your right; Baby Lake Trail lies in between the two.

Helpful Links:

Trail Map

Noquemanon Trail Network 

US Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame

Wilderness Sports

City Hall

 


Iron Ore Heritage Trail

Want to explore the snow and soak up some history?

The Iron Ore Trail connects 5 Upper Peninsula mining communities through 47 miles of engaging trail. This multi-user trail is open to the public year-round. Whether you’re looking for an hourlong hike, a short snowshoe trip, or a XC skiing excursion, the Iron Ore trail has you covered this snow season.

Directions: Directions are dependent on which trailhead you chose to start from. Click for specific start-point directions, or to view a slew of trailhead options.

Helpful Links:

Iron Ore Heritage Trail Map

A man explores Lake Superior ice and rock formations on Little Presque Isle near Marquette, Michigan in winter.

Presque Isle

Presque Isle Park is known for being picturesque, and a pleasant hike around the 2 mile scenic stretch of Superior is especially peaceful in the snow. So leave your car and your worries in the front lot, and slip into bliss in this quiet, secluded winter wonderland; surrounded by nothing but frosty trees and a chilly lake-effect breeze.

Directions: From downtown Marquette, follow Lake Shore Boulevard north for about three miles and you will find yourself at the park’s entrance.

Helpful Links:

Presque Isle Park

North Country National Scenic Trail

The North Country Trail is the most extensive National Scenic Trail in the United States, spanning 4,600 miles across the nation. Established in 1981, The North Country Trail Association collaborated with the National Park Service to make the NCT possible. Everything from the trails’ projected layout, habitual up-keep, and user promotion are included in tasks that the volunteers take on to ensure that the North Country Trail runs, hikes, walks, and bikes smoothly year round.

The North Country Trail traverses through seven scenic US states: New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota. There are 18 trail towns in total, welcoming NCT travelers of all degrees along the way. Settled on the cusp of chilling Lake Superior is the historic trail town of Marquette, Michigan. Miles of North Country trail stretch across the freshwater shores of Superior, not far from several of the picturesque parks and flowing falls that Marquette has to offer.

Directions: The North Country Trail Hikers Chapter provides excellent details, directions, and descriptions of all Trail Segments that cross through our Trail Town of Marquette.

Helpful Links:

NCTA

North Country Trail Hikers Chapter

Interactive Trail Map

Trail Segment Map

Lake Superior from atop Sugarloaf Mountain near Marquette, Michigan.

Sugarloaf Mountain

No matter the season, the view from Sugarloaf is bound to be beautiful. And the quick trek up assures that the visit is always worth it. Some high altitude hikes can be tricky and slippery in the winter months, but Sugarloaf’s steps are actually pretty useful once the snows here to stay. But be prepared: Wool socks, warm boots, and mittens are a must for this trip.

Directions: From Presque Isle Ave take County Road 550 for a few miles, on your right you will see a sign for the parking lot.

Helpful Links:

SugarLoaf Mountain

 *To check current conditions on trails across Marquette County be sure to visit MARQUETTE SNOW REPORT.