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this is a picture of East Jordan Michigan in the winter
A Michigan river, cuts through a swath of pine trees in this winter wonderland of East Jordan

Are you looking for a really great place to spend the winter months? If you are, you should consider East Jordan, MI. Whether you already live here or are looking for a place for a great vacation, chances are good that you are already zeroing in on a place that’s a lot warmer than it is here. If that’s the case, you are missing out on someplace really special, where there are a lot of places where you can feel truly comfortable and relaxed, and when it’s time to get really energized, we have plenty of opportunities for that too.

Skiing/Snowboarding

What would a winter wonderland be without plenty of opportunities for skiing and snowboarding? Add to this the paradise views that East Jordan offers, and you have so many options available for fun that it would be hard to count them all. There are so many, in fact, that you won’t have to wonder about where to go, but where to go first. East Jordan resorts have a lot to offer. When you are ready to find out what the skiing and snowboarding in northern Michigan is all about, why not join all of your friends where the action and adventure are? We think that once you discover what our resorts have to offer, there will be more than enough to shake a ski or a snowboard.

In East Jordan, we’re all about friends, family, and good times, with a generous side helping of cool. Fortunately, this is what makes skiing and snowboarding in East Jordan so much fun. And if you consider skiing and snowboarding two sports that you either enjoy or would like to, they are here for the asking. Just pack up your friends and family and take them out to one of the resorts. If you are new to either sport, plenty of resorts have lessons available for a cost that would make it easy for the whole family to take part in. If, on the other hand, you are an old hat at the sports, there are so many slopes that can accommodate nearly any skill level that it would be impossible not to have fun, regardless of where you went.

One of the best things about skiing and snowboarding is that even though they are both enjoyed the snow, they are also very different in that they are enjoyed on surfaces that can be very different. For skiers, the slopes abound, from beginners to the most advanced, there is something for everyone in East Jordan. Likewise for snowboarders, who can take advantage of courses and special setups nearly everywhere.

And once you get better at your sport, most areas of East Jordan offer events for nearly any skill level to show off their stuff for prizes.

Gondola Rides

Winter might not be the time of year when most people think of taking a gondola ride, but in East Jordan, we haven’t thought of a good reason why such a conveyance shouldn’t be an enjoyable travel option. Even if you aren’t skiing or riding, you can still enjoy one of the greatest views available in the area. Just climb aboard a gondola with your friends and your camera and prepare for the views of a lifetime. Be prepared, because these are rides will leave you breathless and wanting more but that’s okay because several of these rides have stopping points where you can get out on your own and walk around for extended viewing of all the surrounding area.

Wherever you find the gondola ride you want to take, there are plenty of opportunities to stop for hot cocoa before you start, and make sure you do because you will want to be warm enough to enjoy all the scenic beauty you can handle once you get started without having to stop. There are even rides that feature lodges and places where you can stay once you get there.

The truth is that gondola rides are not only a great way to get where you want to go, but the trip is, in and of itself, the experience of a lifetime. Even if heights don’t appeal to you one bit, gondolas are perfectly safe for everyone, from the youngest to the youngest at heart. In fact, when you go for a gondola ride, you won’t think of anything but the spectacular beauty that surrounds you wherever you look.

Snowcat Rides

Say the word Snowcat and chances are good that you will get mental images of scientists, soldiers, explorers and others making their way across the polar icecaps on their way to remote mission locations. What most people don’t think about is that Snowcats are used by ordinary people too, especially those who are interested in just taking a ride in the snowy wilderness. After all, if that’s what you want to do, there’s no sense in trying to do it in a vehicle that isn’t up to the task, and for tackling extreme terrain, there is probably nothing that will match the job quite like a Snowcat.

Grab your friends and load them up in a Snowcat, and learn what really roughing it across the toughest terrain you can imagine is really like, all while enjoying an interior environment that’s more like a country club than an all-terrain vehicle, because even though it might be below zero on the outside, on the inside it’s warm and toasty. One of the biggest benefits of getting someplace in a Snowcat is that there is literally no place you can’t go since instead of wheels providing the get-go, you have tracks that don’t know the meaning of the word “roads out.”

Most Snowcats that are available for public use are rented and driven by their owner, but a growing number of people are buying them for their own use. Snowcats aren’t cheap, so many people buy older, used models that have been rotated out of service by government and industrial users and have them restored for their use. Snowcats are a lot of fun to ride in, but they are very rugged, and quite the visceral experience if you get the chance to drive one. The engine sits between the driver and the passenger, so it is loud, but also warm. It should also be noted that you feel every bump in your seat, so it is a unique experience. There is one guarantee, however, riding in a Snowcat will give you the ice-kicking of a lifetime.

Snowmobiling

There probably isn’t anybody, anywhere who doesn’t know that snowmobiles are one of the best ways to get from one point to another when it’s cold and snowy outside. But just in case you haven’t noticed, snowmobiling is a whole lot of fun as well. Snowmobile rentals are available just about everywhere in East Jordan, especially at resorts. And once you have one rented, only a short introduction is needed to make sure you know how to handle one. From there on it, it’s all about containing all the fun you can have once you get on one.

If you thought your first car ride was a thrill, just wait until you have your first snowmobile ride. Unlike your car, taking a snowmobile through the snowy lofts, wherever they might be is no comparison. Not only that, but most snowmobiles are big and hefty enough to pile the whole family on the back for a day in the snowy outback. Perhaps best of all, if you are cautious when you use one, a snowmobile is really very safe to ride, and once you are going, it’s a thrill a minute. In fact, once many people try one, they buy one.

Nearly anywhere you look throughout the East Jordan area, there are snowmobiles and places to enjoy them. It doesn’t take going very far in or around East Jordan before you discover more snowmobile trails than anywhere else even close. Not only do these trails wander through some of the most breathtakingly beautiful woods filled with thick green pines and cedars, but nearly everywhere you look you will find snow-addled rivers, trails that run along ice-bound lakes and wooded hills, and even huge stands of oak where deer run beside the pathways.

The blend of backwoods appreciation and conveniences is what most people call “snowmobiling East Jordan style,” but where else can you enjoy the scenic splendor of the deepest woods, then arrive trailside at your hotel and a casino where you can spend the night, not to mention a few dollars? Besides, who needs big-city luxuries when you not only have something fun to do and a place to stay as well as fun time to be had?

Dog Sledding

How about taking a walk on the wild side? Unlike a lot of wintertime sports, dog sledding isn’t something you can just go out and rent. It takes a lot of skill and experience to manage a dog sled. That’s why when you want to take in a day of mushing, you need to hire a sled and a musher, but once you do, you can be assured of plenty of things to see and do.

Riding in a dog sled is like experiencing the north as it was originally experienced. Rest assured, however, that when you are seen in a dog sled you will be looked upon with envy. Not only is dog sledding something that must be experienced at least once, once is all it takes to make a true believer out of you. Once you and your friends and loved ones are bundled up and riding in a dog sled you will be transformed into the golden days of cold weather travel.

Are you looking to take in some wild and wooly times with your family and friends? There are several companies that offer group adventures to points of excitement throughout the area, all via dog sled. Without too much effort you could be on your way to any of a number of enchanting places where only a dog sled will get you there. Just pack and steer your sled full of your group’s supplies, manage your dog team, and you are on your way. Learn to stay warm, break trails, and transform your own harsh environment into your very own winter wonderland. Dog sledding this way isn’t a journey, it’s an adventure.

And even if you don’t want to experience dog sledding yourself, you can still enjoy dog sledding races, which are held throughout the East Jordan area all during the winter season.

Snowshoeing

If you thought that snowshoeing was something that only mountain men did to get from one point to another, you would be half right. For those of us who are members of the other half, snowshoeing is a whole lot of fun that can be enjoyed anywhere at practically anytime there’s snow on the ground. It doesn’t matter whether you want to strap on a pair of animal sinew and wood snowshoes, or one of the newfangled high tech versions, snowshoeing is one sport that must be experienced to be fully appreciated.

But don’t think for a minute that snowshoeing is just a method of getting someplace. It actually takes a knack to get used to it, and once you do, it’s quite a workout too.

You can buy or rent snowshoes practically everywhere, especially resorts. Most rental or sales shops even have people who are experts at their craft who can help you make an intelligent choice on what you want and need. Take special advantage of these folks since most of them also enjoy the sport as well as sell their products.

Once you get out in the snow, however, you will be in for a totally new definition of the word fun. There are not only several resorts that offer special snowshoe trails that take you through some of the most scenic areas anywhere, but there are also private organizations such as the Trails Council that offer specially created trails that let you explore existing or soon to be constructed trails. The Trails Council alone offers more than 300 miles of dedicated trails for your snowshoeing pleasure. Most of these are along old railroad corridors, so you can rest assured they can be very remote.

Once you have been outfitted, go the distance on nearly any course available for those who enjoy snowshoeing. It’s been said that if you can walk, you can snowshoe, but it takes a little more than just that. Fortunately, once you do it once, you will probably never want to stop.

Ice Skating

What would any winter wonderland be without adding ice skating to your list of things to do? Even better is the fact that most public rinks offer much more than just skating, so it’s a sport that nearly anyone can enjoy. And even if you do spend more time on your rear end than anyone else, you can still get a taste of one of the most elegant sports in the snowbound world.

It doesn’t take long to realize after you strap on a pair of skates that even though it might not be as easy to do as it might look, ice skating is something that nearly anyone can do, even if they don’t aspire to be an Olympic champion. But whether you decide to channel your inner Peggy Fleming or Scott Hamilton, or just remain a humble amateur, ice skating is a sport you can always enjoy.

Whether you decide to take lessons or just learn on your own from the ground up—pun intended—ice skating in East Jordan is unlike nearly anyplace in America. In East Jordan, not only is ice skating enjoyed at nearly all resorts, but even small neighborhoods enjoy their own private homemade rinks.

Cross-Country Skiing

If you love skiing, but you are willing to provide more of your own locomotion, you should try cross-country skiing. And if you have never tried this form of the sport, you should. Not only is cross-country skiing a great way to see hundreds of miles of beautiful country in and around East Jordan, but doing so will pack in a workout that would be hard to match anyplace else.

It used to be the cross-country skiing was something for only the most serious athlete to enjoy. Not anymore. The truth is that cross-country skiing is a lot of fun, and very easy to do. Once you have the principles of movement down, you are on your own to enjoy your travels in and around practically anyplace.

Nearly all of the resorts around East Jordan have their own cross-country skiing paths, but even outside, paths that are used for biking and walking during the spring and summer usually become cross-country paths to enjoy. Even just the most maintained paths total more than 300 miles, and that doesn’t even begin to count those paths that are not formally maintained.

Perhaps best of all about cross-country skiing is that it doesn’t take much of an investment to get started, with resorts having their own rental shops or independents scattered throughout East Jordan, you are sure to find all the gear to help make your cross-country adventures not only fun and safe but plentiful as well.

Ziplining

When most people think of zip lining, they think of summertime coasting over the treetops with spectacular views nearly everywhere they turn. Fortunately, when it comes to wintertime, zip lining takes on a whole new meaning. If you thought to see a wintertime view from the top down was awe-inspiring, you need to try zip lining from the same perspective. The truth is that many people who enjoy zip lining during the summer change their opinions of the sport once they try it during the winter.

Once you get past the incredible views that you get to enjoy while zip-lining, there is the thrill of the race like few others. Most resorts have several unique lines (some as many as eight!) for your enjoyment. Imagine flying over the hills and treetops at speeds of up to 25 to 30 miles per hour. Ziplining will give you the opportunity to experience northern Michigan like you never have before.

Several resorts offer what they call “Hike and Zip” trips that allow participants to traverse a network of zip line courses, between which you hike from the end of one to the beginning of eh next. And even if you can’t complete one or just a few, you can still enjoy what you can and come back for more another time.

Fat Tire Winter Biking

For most people, bike riding is something you do during the summer months, but in our neck of the woods, bike riding is something you can enjoy every day of the year. In fact, many people here believe that until you have gone bike riding during the winter, you have never been bike riding at all. The difference is the fat tires, which are specially designed for holding the road, even when there is no road to hold. These fat, knobby tires allow you to keep going, even in the slickest, ice-covered roads, but when you decide to go off the beaten path, you are still good to go, because these tires will keep you going, even in the snow.

All it takes is one chance at fat tire winter biking and you will probably never think about bike riding in the same way again. Just as is the case with so many other activities that are enjoyed on trails, fat tire bike riding is most often taken in on these trails to the enjoyment of youth as well as oldsters. Given these trials as well as the already abundant roads, and you can enjoy fat tire bike riding year-round in East Jordan, where there really is something for everyone.

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