CROSS COUNTRY SKIING AND SNOWSHOEING
P.O. Box 217, Grayling, MI 49738
Year round, Grayling, Michigan offers casual adventures for outdoor enthusiasts for a family vacation, a weekend getaway, or just the desire for the total outdoor experience. Nicknamed the lower peninsula's "cross country" country. Visitors can get information about Grayling at 800-937-8837; www.grayling-mi.com/). Enjoy cross country skiing, snowshoeing, snowtubing, alpine skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling. In the other months there's biking, hiking, golfing, disc golfing, canoeing, kayaking and fishing on the AuSable and Manistee Rivers as well as endangered Kirtland's Warbler tours, geocaching, and historical sites. 70% of the land in Crawford County is owned by either the State or Federal government, allowing public access to literally thousands of acres. Trail conditions, events, and lodging options below.
Highlights for XC ski trails in the Grayling area include: Forbush Corner's expert Roller Coaster, which is very technical with hairpin climbs; The most scenic trails at the Mason Tract Pathway along the AuSable River's South Branch through untouched forest. The hilliest trail is Hanson Hills 12 km Red Loop and one of the flatest trails is at Cross Country Ski Headquarters on the Tall Pines Trail. Here's a summary of Grayling's prime trail locations:
Cross Country Ski Headquarters in Higgins Lake (800-832-2663; http://www.cross-country-ski.com/) is a leading XC ski outfitter and ski area in Michigan since 1974 and a premier destination for XC skiing in Midwest. The Higgins Lake location is in the heart of Michigan, with 19 km of trails on site meticulously groomed for classic and skate skiing for skiers of all abilities and there are also miles of trails all around the region. XC Ski HQ is known for its friendly and experienced staff and retail operation. Trails are groomed for classic and skate skiing 5% hilly, 40% moderate, 45% flat. Rentals and lessons available. For a full page of info click XC Ski HQ.
Forbush Corner in Frederic, MI (989-348-5989; http://www.forbushcorner.com/) has miles of rolling, wooded trails that are carefully designed for all levels of ability and immaculately groomed by the largest fleet of Nordic only grooming equipment in the Midwest. Combine that with the Frederic micro climate of early and frequent snowfalls.Trails are groomed for classic and skate skiing 5% steep, 45% hilly, 35% moderate, 15% flat. Rentals and lessons available.
Hanson Hills Recreation Area in Grayling, MI at 7601 Old Lake Road. 989-348-9266; http://www.hansonhills.org/ with more than 40 km of XC ski trails and 5 km of snowshoe trails in loops from 2 km to 12 km on trails that are 60% hilly, 30% moderate, 10% flat. Trails are groomed for classic and skate skiing. Rentals and lessons available. Tuesdays: Beginning January 7, 2014 2 for the price of one trails passes. Thursdays: Beginning January 9, 2014, Seniors (55+) $5 Trail pass. There is also an alpine ski area with a T-bar, tow rope and a few trails open Fri-Sun. Also snow tubing; mountain biking trails, disc golf and more.
Hartwick Pines State Park http://www.michigandnr.com/parksandtrails. Hartwick Pines is located in Crawford County, northeast of Grayling on M-93, Exit 259 off I-75. 18+ miles of trails rated novice to intermediate that are 3% steep, 7% hilly, 60% moderate, 30% flat with tracks that are set. Access to trails requires a Michigan Recreation Passport. The Passport is $11 for Michigan registered vehicles and $31.10 for non-Michigan registered vehicles and for more info click Michigan Passport.
North Higgins Lake State Park 11747 N. Higgins Lake Drive, Roscommon MI. 989-821-6125; http://www.michigandnr.com/parksandtrails/. 10+ miles of novice to intermediate trails that are 20% hilly, 30% moderate, 50% flat and groomed with tracks and a skating lane. Access to trails requires a Michigan Recreation Passport.
Mason Tract Pathway is off M-72 on Chase Bridge Road between Grayling and Roscommon. An ungroomed trail follows the AuSable River with 10+ miles of trails that are 5% Hilly, 85% moderate, 10% flat. No services or grooming. Access to trails requires a Michigan Recreation Passport.
Rayburn's at 1491 Richardson Road in Grayling has a 2 mile point-to-point trail that is 100% flat and crosses the AuSable River on a wooden bridge. No services or grooming. Free access to trails.
Wakeley Lake http://www.michigandnr.com/ east on M-72 about 10 miles to the entrance road and parking lot on the left (north) side of the road. Look for Wakeley Lake direction signs along M-72. It has 16+ miles of trails that are novice to intermediate difficulty that are 25% hilly, 55% moderate, 20% flat. Crawford County's Walden Pond is a sanctuary of nature & quiet. No services or grooming.
Click here for Grayling area Trail Conditions.
Click here for Grayling area Event Listings.
Click here for Grayling area Lodging Options
Retail dealers for XC ski and snowshoe products in the Grayling area include:The Cross Country Ski Shop at 6041 M-72 W, Grayling, MI 49738; 989-348-8558. There are also complete ski shops at XC ski areas including Cross Country Ski Headquarters in Higgins Lake 800-832-2663; and Forbush Corner in Frederic, MI 989-348-5989.
Directions to Grayling: Just north of the I-75 and U.S.127 intersection, Grayling is easily accessible to travelers. The main Grayling exit north is Exit #254.