“Don’t hibernate, recreate!”
That seems to be the unofficial motto for the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. That phrase was uttered by the announcers at the start of the U.P. 200 and the sentiment was confirmed by the some of the locals I had the pleasure to meet and talk with about what life was like in the U.P. Michigan’s upper peninsula typically sees its first measurable snowfall starting mid-October (the rest of the state typically sees measurable snowfall mid-November or later) and doesn’t melt away until some time in May! To live and thrive in an environment that has that much snow on the ground requires one to get outside, be active and enjoy the unique beauty of winter.
During our time in Marquette we took that motto to heart, grabbed our snowshoes and headed out to find a trail. With over 96 miles of trails in Marquette County you are never far from the opportunity to get out and explore nature. This was our 3rd experience snowshoeing in the U.P. while visiting for the sled dog races. The first was in the city of Munising and we went with a small group led by a park ranger. The second time was about 5 years ago when we were in Grand Marais and were able to snowshoe a trail inside Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. This year we wanted to stay closer to the city of Marquette; the salesman who sold me my boots gave us a tip about a trail in nearby Presque Isle Park which sounded perfect.
Presque Isle Park is a short 7 mile drive from downtown Marquette and is a small peninsula that juts out into Lake Superior and afford some truly incredible views, especially in winter! There is a paved road that encircles the 323 acre forested land so it is really impossible to get lost…in one direction you’ll find the road, go in the other direction and you will come to the water. The 2 mile road that runs through the park is closed during the winter months so there is no fear of having to deal with cars while on the trail. We spent about 3 hours on the trail, taking our time to explore, stopping for photos and just enjoying fresh air.