Escape the ordinary this weekend by finding an outside adventure.
Spring may be just around the corner, but that doesn’t mean you should say goodbye to winter just yet! Escape to parks in Michigan and Wisconsin to enjoy one last magical winter scene before you break out your summer clothes. The below parks in offer snowshoe hikes by lanterns, which provides a perfect opportunity to step outside of your usual routine and enjoy the little things (and add an enviable photo to your Instagram feed). Snowshoeing is growing in popularity, and these trails provide the perfect opportunity to get outside and enjoy the beautiful winter scenery. And really what is better than cozying up after a fun day out on the snow?
Upper Tahquamenon Falls
Guided Snowshoe Hike and Lantern-Lit Trail on February 23rd
7.5 hours from Chicago, 5.5 hours from Detroit, 6 hours from Milwaukee
You can enjoy winter at the Upper Falls by taking a guided snowshoe hike with the park naturalist at 2 pm.
According to the hike information, “Nearly 80 old-fashioned kerosene lanterns will illuminate a 1-mile trail every Saturday night in February from 6-8:30 pm, starting at the Upper Falls parking area.”
If you prefer cross-country skiing, tracks are laid for classic skiers, but as a snowshoer you have the freedom to create your own trail next to the tracks along the lighted loop. To conclude your winter adventure, join the park staff for a campfire and refreshments. The park notes that while the ski trail is rated “easy”, skiing and snowshoeing at night is always challenging and a headlamp or flashlight is recommended.
Snowshoes are available on a first-come-first-served basis. While the activities are free, a Recreation Passport is required for entry. More event information can be here.
Also make sure to check out this site for a list of other trails to visit while you’re in the area.
If you’re traveling from far away or just want to stay overnight, Tahquamenon Suites Lodging is a great nearby option for making the most of a snow-filled weekend. Don’t be fooled if this place looks a little rustic. The hotel has great reviews and books up fast.
Use our site TripLlama.com to find other hotel options in the vicinity, discover other parks to check out along the way, and get up-to-date information on snow depth.
Hartwick Pines State Park
5 hours from Chicago, 3 hours from Detroit
Full Moon Snowshoe Hike
Friday, February 22, 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm EST
Who needs lanterns when you have the moon? The hike starts at the contact station. Several pairs of snowshoes are available on a first come, first served basis if you don’t have your own, and the snowshoe fitting begins at 7:30pm. The roughly 2 mile hike itself starts at 8pm. Similar to the above, this event is free, but a Michigan Recreation Passport is required for entry to the park. In the event of bad weather, call the Visitor Center with questions at 989-348-2537 or visit the park’s Facebook page.
Guided Snowshoe Hike in the Old Growth Forest at Hartwick Pines State Park
Saturday, February 23, 10 am – 3 pm EST
Visit the Old Growth Forest at Hartwick Pines State Park for your winter adventure! Guided hikes are offered, and they start at 10am & 1pm on Saturday, February 23. The hike size is limited, and requires that you pre-register by calling the Visitor Center at (989) 348-2537. Don’t worry if you’re not in winter-hiking shape–these hikes are suitable for all levels. The hike ends at the Logging Museum where you can enjoy a cup of cider heated over an open fire. If you don’t have your own snowshoes, you can borrow them from the Visitor Center. As with other hikes, this event is free but a Michigan Recreation Passport is required for entry to the park.
Rib Mountain State Park
4.5 hours from Chicago, 3 hours from Milwaukee, 3 hours from Minneapolis
Candle Light Snowshoe Hike
Saturday, February 23, 6pm – 8pm CST
The Friends of Rib Mountain State Park is inviting everyone to explore Rib Mountain State Park in snowshoes. After you enjoy the crisp air, warm up with the provided hot chocolate, hot cider, and special goodies, as well as marshmallows to roast around the campfire. The hike starts at the new Friends Gathering Space, just past the Park office. While there are snowshoes available, it is recommended that you bring your own if you have them. The event is free, but donations to cover costs are welcome. A park annual or daily admission sticker is required. Also note that parking is limited. For more information or if the weather is questionable, you can check the Friends’ website at www.ribmountain.org or call the Park at 715-842-2522.
Pattison State Park
7 hours from Chicago, 2.5 hours from Minneapolis, 6 hours from Milwaukee
Winterfest and Candlelight Snowshoe/Hike
Saturday, February 23, 4pm – 8pm
At over 1,400 acres, is there a better place to enjoy a winter night than at Pattison State Park? For this magical hike, glowing luminaries will line your path for classic skiing and hiking/snowshoeing. If you prefer more fun and less work, try the sledding hill. As part of the Winterfest, the Friends of Pattison and Amnicon Falls will be providing crafts in the Historic CCC Shelter Building where there will be two giant fireplaces to warm up and a place to cook hot dogs or marshmallows for s’more’s. The Friends will provide all the supplies for s’mores, plus chili, hot cocoa, cookies and coffee. Event information can be found here.
Island Lake Recreation Area
4.5 hours from Chicago, 6 hours from Milwaukee, 1 hour from Detroit
Saturday, February 23, 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST
If none of the others on this list strike your fancy, try Island Lake Recreation Area for their lantern-lit hikes along part of the Hickory Ridge hiking trail. The hikes begin in the first parking lot of the Kent Lake unit. From there you can hike, snowshoe or ski as you follow the lanterns for one mile to a warming station, complete with a campfire and hot chocolate with the Friends of Island Lake State Recreation Area. Even though it’s in Michigan, snow isn’t a guarantee in this area, so make sure you check out the snow depth before you go.
Hoffmaster State Park
3.5 hours from Chicago, 3 hours from Detroit, 5 hours from Milwaukee
Gillette Visitor Center – Snowshoe Hike
Saturday, February 23rd, 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM
While this isn’t a candle lit event, it’s still a way to cure the winter blues. Join the Friends of Hoffmaster State Park for a snowshoe hike in the beautiful wooded dunes. You can bring your own snowshoes or reserve a pair from the park by calling 231-798-3573. Due to the limited number of snowshoes available, reservations will be limited to 2 per person. For more information, contact the park interpreter at Brockwellemail@example.com.
Want to go somewhere this weekend, but not sure where? Use our site TripLlama.com to find other destinations based on your availability, hotels near those destinations, and up-to-date information on snow depth.