If you’re about to watch the Winter Olympics and are wondering how you too can ski, luge, figure skate, and take part in other winter sports, the answer may be easier — and closer — than you think.
All you need to do is visit Marquette, Michigan, on the Lake Superior shore in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. That’s because Marquette will be home to the inaugural Meijer State Winter Games, which will take place from February 25 to 27. And if you don’t feel like competing, you can also ski on Marquette Mountain, snowshoe in the forest around Marquette, and even luge on the Upper Peninsula Luge Club’s luge track.
“Our small-town feel paired with our wintery backdrop makes Marquette the perfect destination for those looking to experience some of the best winter sporting in the country,” Susan Estler, executive director of Travel Marquette, told Travel Awaits. “We have an abundance of activities right here, and invite pros, amateurs, and those who simply like to watch to visit Marquette this winter season.”
2022 Meijer State Winter Games
Registration for the 2022 Meijer State Winter Games is already open. The games will even feature an opening ceremony on February 25, presented by Northern Michigan University.
Athletes of all ages and skill levels are invited to compete in eight winter sports events: Cross-country skiing, curling, figure skating, ice hockey, luge, Nordic combined, ski and snowboard, and ski jumping.
You can find more information and even register to compete here.
Ski On Marquette Mountain
If you’re a skier, you’ll need to check out Marquette Mountain.
Located just 5 minutes from downtown Marquette, Marquette Mountain has 170 skiable acres with more than 20 runs for everyone from beginners to expert skiers. For the boarders, there’s even a newly rebuilt terrain park full of rail sets and tabletops.
You can find more information about skiing and snowboarding here.
If racing down an icy track at speeds around 90 miles per hour sounds like fun, you need to visit the Upper Peninsula Luge Club. Its Lucy Hill luge track is a half-mile-long track with a drop of more than 280 feet! The Upper Peninsula Luge Club notes that “U.S. athletes train here before traveling to World Cup and World Championship competitions in Europe.”
What’s even more exciting is that Lucy Hill is a “Naturbahn,” or natural track, that winds down a natural, unrefrigerated hill. The track is bordered by snowbanks and boards.
You can learn more about the Upper Peninsula Luge Club and its luge track here.
Other Winter Sports And Activities
U.S. Ski And Snowboard Hall Of Fame
Located in Ishpeming, which is about 20 minutes from Marquette, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum is intended to “honor and celebrate the athletes, pioneers, and visionaries of the United States who have significantly enriched the global sports of skiing and snowboarding, and to showcase their stories and historic memorabilia,” it explains. Among other exhibits, it features historic artifacts and educational displays.
You can learn more about the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum here.
If you enjoy — or would like to try — snowshoeing, the area around Marquette features numerous hiking trails that are ideal for snowshoeing. The scenic trails pass tall pines, icy rivers, and frozen waterfalls.
Fat-tire biking, as the name implies, uses oversized tires on mountain bikes so it’s easier to peddle through the snow. There are more than 60 miles of manicured trails near Marquette, making it ideal for beginner, intermediate, and expert fat-tire bikers.
Know Before You Go
Marquette has a strong maritime and mining history, and its historic downtown pays homage to those industries. Marquette’s downtown area is also home to numerous restaurants, craft breweries, and a thriving art scene.
If you’d like to learn more about Marquette and the nearby Pictured Rocks National Shoreline, be sure to read: