Top 10 Winter Activities in the Grand Haven Area
While summer is the most popular time of the year in the Grand Haven Area, we are a huge fan of the winter months. The cold weather and snow bring with them a whole host of annual events, outdoor activities, and holiday festivities. Continue reading below for some cold-weather inspiration on things to do during the winter months in the Grand Haven Area.
Photo: Ed Post
One of the hidden gems in Grand Haven is the Mulligan’s Hollow Ski Bowl located near the waterfront just behind the Tri-Cities YMCA and next to the Imagination Station. Experience family friendly downhill skiing and snowboarding on lighted paths in this city-owned park, including tow ropes, eight downhill runs, and snowmaking. Warm up on cold days at Mulligan’s Lodge next to the outdoor fire pit or inside with a warm drink next to the fireplace. Daily passes range from $8-16; pass booklets, seasonal passes, and lessons are available. Contact the Ski Bowl for hours. Mulligan’s Hollow also offers downhill ski and board rentals during regular hours and for lessons.
Photo: Marci Cisneros
The Grand Haven Area offers several opportunities for snowshoeing during the winter months. These and other new experiences come along with West Michigan turning into a winter wonderland. The pristine beauty of winter provides the perfect getaway, with plenty of opportunity for recreation and entertainment. Try your hand at snowshoeing along the miles and miles of groomed and un-groomed trails. Pigeon Creek Park and Hemlock Crossing offer snowshoe rentals as well as snowshoe trails for trekkers of all skill levels.
Photo: Bob Peskorse
No matter how old you are, we believe you are never too old to go sledding! The Grand Haven Area is home to many scenic parks with all the hills your heart desires. Pigeon Creek Park has a dedicated sledding hill that is even lighted for night sledding. So pack your sled, tubes and saucers and head this way! Don’t have a sled? No worries – many local and big box stores sell them during the winter months. The snow is falling. What are you waiting for?
Photo: Marci Cisneros
When it comes to winter sports, skiing is at the top of the list and the Grand Haven area has many options for cross-country skiing. Try your hand at cross-country skiing along the miles and miles of groomed and un-groomed trails. Pigeon Creek Park offers rentals and lessons on their lighted trails. You can also bring your skis to Hemlock Crossing park and North Ottawa Dunes park to ski along their many trails.
Pigeon Creek Park
Photo: Marci Cisneros
There is winter fun to be had for everyone at Pigeon Creek Park. Park activities and amenities include the Pigeon Creek Lodge, cross country ski trails, lighted and groomed for both traditional and skate skiing, ski rentals, a lighted sledding hill, snow shoe trails & rentals, a concession stand serving snacks and beverages, and ski lessons.
Hemlock Crossing Park
Photo: Marci Cisneros
Hemlock Crossing opened in 2003 and offers 239 acres of woods and wetlands along the Pigeon River. Over 6 miles of trails for hiking, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing meander through bottomland and upland forest, old pine plantations and along the river. Trails connect to Pine Bend on the west end of this property. A pedestrian bridge and numerous overlooks offer scenic views of the river corridor, wetlands, natural springs and woods. Hemlock Crossing is also the site for the Nature Education Center where you can rent snowshoes during the winter months.
Photo: Josh Herder
Fishing in the Grand Haven Area is a year-round activity. The frigid temperatures of the winter season bring with them ice thick enough to use for ice fishing. There are many prime locations in the area for ice fishing including Bruce’s Bayou and Lloyd’s Bayou off the Grand River and Petty’s Bayou in Spring Lake. Anglers from all around Michigan come to the Grand Haven Area to fish for panfish, bluegill, northern pike, and crappies. Ice with ideal thickness usually shows up around Christmas depending on the weather. Be sure to always use proper safety equipment and a spud to check the ice thickness. For the inside scoop on local ice fishing, contact the experts at Fish On Bait & Tackle.
Fat Tire Biking
Whether it is snow or sand, the Grand Haven area offers miles of non-traditional terrain that make for great fat tire biking conditions. Pedal down along the beach paths of frozen Lake Michigan and enjoy the views, or take to the snow covered trails in our area parks for an exciting winter adventure.
Shopping & Dining
Photo: Stefanie Herder
An assortment of shops, galleries and markets make up the walkable downtown districts of the Grand Haven Area. Even in the winter months, downtown Grand Haven won’t disappoint, no matter the winter conditions. Even the sidewalks and streets have a special snowmelt system installed to keep you safe, comfortable, and surefooted as you shop. Plan your shopping trip, and find those off-the-beaten-path galleries, wineries, boutiques and specialty shops in and around Grand Haven, Spring Lake and Coopersville. After your shopping adventure is completed, make sure to grab a bite to eat at one of the area’s delicious restaurants and visit one of our coffee shops for a coffee or hot chocolate. If you need a little something extra to warm up, try a fall or winter beer from our beloved breweries or visit one of Grand Haven’s wine tasting rooms.
Since 1979, Winterfest has brought thousands outside to embrace and celebrate the winter season here in the Grand Haven area. Winterfest is an annual weekend full of winter fun during the last week of January. There are plenty of activities like the human sled race, bonfire bash, dumpster dive, sleepwalker run, cardboard sled race (pictured above!), and the hamster race to keep everyone warm and having a great time. Winterfest 2018 is going to be held January 25-28. If you want to learn more about Winterfest, check out their official website and full schedule of events!
There is always something going on in the Grand Haven Area and the winter season is no exception. Other popular winter events include Wine About Winter, Frozen In Time, Snow Jam, and Restaurant Week – there is always something to do in the Grand Haven area! Check out our master events calendar for details on everything going on in the Grand Haven Area all year long.
Pronto Pups also opens up for one weekend only every winter in case you are experiencing Pronto Pups withdrawals. Make sure to get in line as this year’s weekend is from January 19th-21st.
Winter is coming! So be sure to plan a trip to the Grand Haven area to enjoy it to its fullest. Don’t forget your hat and mittens!
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