Thrills and Chills: Snowmobiling Across Michigan's Wintry Wonderland

Michigan boasts more than 2,600 miles of prime snowmobile trails. The sport’s popularity fuels countless small businesses with spending on gas, food, lodging, and local sights.

Some friends joined us as we prepared for an epic overnight snowmobile adventure in northern Michigan. Braving the chilly teens, we donned insulated snow gear, thick jackets, and helmets with heated visors. Our sleds were complete with heated grips and mittens. We stayed toasty throughout the ride thanks to the exhaust heating beneath our seats and the engine warming our toes. We huddled to review the safety basics and communicate trail signals before embarking.

Snowmobilers on the trails in Michigan.
Snowmobile  trails surrounded by evergreen trees in the winter.
Sun shining on fresh snow through the trees.

Gliding and Dining: Lake Crossings and Trailside Eats in Northern Michigan

We fired up our snowmobiles and cruised over the lake, solidly frozen for weeks. It was a strategic move – crossing the icy expanse beat loading sleds for a drive to the north trailhead. Hugging the shoreline, we navigated with care, mindful of the ice’s cracks and the hand signals from our leader fresh in our minds.

Off the lake’s edge, we joined the trail, speeding northward. The cold nipped at us, but we were met with brilliant blue skies and gentle winds. The wilderness treated us to a parade of wildlife.

Thirty-five miles in, we turned off the trails and made our way over to Dead Bear Brewing Company for a well-deserved break in Grayling. Warm food, bathrooms, and some good stretching prepped us for the return to our frosty trail adventures.

Sign on snowmobile trail
Snowman decoration
Wooden tree decoration covered in snow

We hit “snirty” patches today, where dirt mingled with the snow. Though bumpier and rockier than before, we pushed on, reaching our destination by dinner.

People riding snowmobiles in the winter
Snowmobilers on the trails in Michigan
Winter wonderland in the forest

Snowmobiles and Supper: From Trail's End to the Lewiston Lodge

We parked our snowmobiles and got cozy in the Lewiston Lodge. Quick rest, then gathered for dinner – this quaint lakeside spot had the essentials.

Dinner was a chance to rehash the day’s chill thrills. Despite staggered service and some late plates, the food hit the spot. Post-meal, we set our plan for the next day and called it a three-hour feast.

All tuckered out from the day’s escapades, we tucked in. Yet, familiar as it might be, new beds never quite feel like home – our sleep was a bit restless.

Lasagana at the Lewiston Lodge
Breadsticks at the Lewiston Lodge
Chocolate cake with whipped cream at the Lewiston Lodge

Breaking Dawn: Lakeview Sunrise Beckons

I love greeting the dawn; it’s the best part of the day. Wrapped up warm, I stepped out to catch the lake’s sunrise.

Lewisville Lodge sign in snow
Sunrise over a snowy lake
Sunrise through the trees near the lake

Fueling Up for Fun

Later in the morning, we rallied for another trail day. Gear packed, snowmobiles prepped, we zipped into town for a steaming breakfast at The Menu. Hot eats, hotter coffee, and top-notch service started us right.

A quick fuel-up at the nearby gas station, and we were ready to hit the trails again.

Our table at The Menu
Hot breakfast of eggs, sausage and toast
Waffels with butter and syrup.

Braving the Elements: A Gusty Day on the Trails

Temperatures plunged into singles today, and the wind roared to life. Yet, it swept snow over muddy trail patches, much to our benefit. It seemed the groomers had also done their part in these areas.

In open stretches, the gusts whipped fiercely, obscuring our view. We eased off the throttle, keeping safety the priority.

Later, Dead Bear Brewery welcomed us again for a quick bite and a break before we embarked on our journey’s last stretch.

Snowmobiles in front parked for breakfast.
Checking directions on the snowmobile trails.
Snowy wonderland in Michigan

Wind-Whipped Wonders: Navigating Lake Hazards

The wind howled over the lake, whipping up near white-outs. But our leader deftly steered us past ice obstacles, and we arrived back home safely.

What an epic ride with friends! If you haven’t yet, you’ve got to try snowmobiling in Michigan!