The frigid mornings, cloudy skies, and the leaves on the ground mean that another Michigan winter is coming soon. The cold weather and the snow bring new possibilities for activities all across the Mitten State, bringing people together during the winter months.
Snow on the slopes can only mean one thing: Skiing and snowboarding. According to Pure Michigan, the state of Michigan ranks second in the country for the number of ski areas found around the state. More than 40 ski areas, with a variety of prices, allow all ski lovers to enjoy themselves on the slopes.
“Our family likes to downhill snow ski, [so] we like to go up north,” DHS math teacher Rhonda Carey said. “Our favorite place to ski is Nubs Nob, so we’ll go up there.”
Michiganders also love their fair share of hunting. The diversity of Michigan’s ecology makes it a real treat. The Upper Peninsula’s vast woods combined with the rolling hills and acres of farmlands located in the Lower Peninsula make for an original experience every time.
Michigan has a wide variety of animals to hunt, but the main seasons for the wintertime are deer season and rabbit season, with deer season being the more popular of the two. Deer season stretches over a three-month period, with archery only already in full swing. Archery concludes Nov. 14 and deer season swiftly transitions to rifle, starting Nov. 15. Rabbit season began Sept. 15 and concludes March 31, giving hunters plenty of time to stock up.
Finding land to hunt on isn’t a problem in Michigan either. According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Michigan has more acres of public land than any other state east of the Mississippi River, allowing for easy access to hunting for anyone interested in the pastime. Private land is also an option for those who are serious connoisseurs but can come with a hefty price tag.
“Usually [my family and I] go up to Grayling on state land,” sophomore Jordyn Groulx said. “My grandpa also has property. I feel like this is where we find the most success.”
Groulx enjoys his hunting not just because of the experience, but because of the tradition.
“It’s something that my family has always done and I enjoy going out with my grandpa and stepdad,” said Groulx said. “It’s something we can do to connect with each other.”
While Carey may not enjoy the thrill of the hunt, her husband and three boys enjoy it, adding some extra fun to their hunting adventures.
“I don’t necessarily go but my family goes to a hunting cabin up in the UP,” Carey said. “It’s deep in the Upper Peninsula near Iron Mountain. They like to go up there to quad or snowmobile or hunt.”
The Midland City Forest is a local place with plenty of winter activities to enjoy during the season. It offers activities such as ice skating and tobogganing, but the most notable has to be the giant hill in the middle of the park. The sledding hill brings joy to a lot of families during the wintertime and is a perfect place to bond with siblings.
“Sometimes I like to go sledding with my family,” Groulx said. “My sister finds it fun, so I like to do that with her.”
Although the concept behind winter is finding warmth and shelter, Michigan has been able to gift a plethora of different experiences outdoors. Winter activities are diverse enough for everyone to enjoy the season. These activities allow friends, families, and even strangers to connect over the beautiful Michigan winters and what it has to offer, helping bring people together over the holiday season.