Thursday, November 1, 2018

During the Winter Months Activity Can Remain Strong!

Physical activity is the elixir to a healthy life style.  There is nothing as exhilarating as a crisp morning hike, the snow crisply crunching with each step and exhilarated by the incredible vistas that lay before you.  South of Paradise there is a striking non-motorized trail along the wild Tahquamenon River, the Tahqua Trail Hike maintained by the Hiawatha Shore to Shore Chapter of the North Country Trail.  Don't feel like venturing out on your own?  The group organizes a number of hikes throughout the winter months.  Get a great start on New Year's Day with their first hike on the first.

The Tahquamenon Falls State Park offers lantern lit trails for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing Saturday evenings in February.  The 50,000 acre park itself hosts miles and miles of the best hiking trails in the Upper Peninsula.  Afterward, enjoy a Black Bear Stout at Camp 33, a natural celebration of a day well spent.  December 1, the park offers a traditional snow shoe building workshop. 

Maybe your interest falls in motorized trails.  Paradise is located within a 120 plus mile complex of groomed snowmobile trails maintained by the Paradise Area Night Riders
Courtesy Terry Humphrey
Traveling from Whitefish Point to the Tahquamenon Upper Falls, take a break and walk the 1/2 mile to take in the incredible site of the Upper Falls in winter, then continuing north, northwest to Pine Stump Junction among the hard woods is a trek favored by many Michigan and Wisconsin snowmobile enthusiasts.

Snowmobile racing  reaches its peak with the Soo 500, held Saturday, February 2, 2019.  The i-500 brings racers from around the world to test the endurance of some 38 drivers and machines over a one mile oval ice track in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan just 60 miles from Paradise. There is a full week of special activities building up to race day, Saturday, the 2nd.

Compliments Nature's Kennel
Dog sled rides with Nature's Kennel and dog sled races are another activity to enjoy during the winter months.  Sled dogs have been used to transport people and goods through snow since the beginning of time.  Nature's Kennel has developed multiple excursion possibilities for everyone in the family.  On  January 5 2019 the Tahquamenon Country Sled Dog Races will offer their 20th race near Muskallonge Lake State Park, 45 miles north west of Paradise.

Maybe photography is more your style.  The world class sunrises and sunsets are as powerful in the winter months as they are in summer.
Whitefish Point Light Station Courtesy Local Photographer, Terry Humphrey

Ice climbing and ice cave explorations are activities that involve a hint of danger.  The combination of lake effect snow, waterfalls, the presence of  sandstone cliffs, and the water that flows between rock layers to create curtains of ice make Munising a prime location. A mecca for Ice climbing guides and adventures just a 90 minute ride from Paradise.  These adventures offer unique experiences in Ice climbing and cave explorations but a word of caution, take steps to be careful.

Ice fishing is a local favorite in the winter months.  Fish caught in the ice cold water of the region take on an invigorating flavor, freshness that suits the finest of culinary officiants.   Curtis Michigan, no more 65 miles south west of Paradise offers their annual 4th Frostbite Pike Fishing Contest, January 29.  If you haven't iced fish for some time, make plans to get out on the ice in 2019 and savor the flavor of your catch.

Have you considered fat bike riding or winter cycling?  Why stay inside on a stationary bike when you can get out on the trails of the eastern UP on a fat bike?  Better yet, bring your friends and take a fat bike for a spin!

There is no reason to be inactive in the winter months.  If you are cold, long johns and wool, make for the perfect body temperatures especially when you are active.  Your footing gets a bit slippery?  Try cleats on your favorite hiking boots.  Given today's technology and advances in thermal clothing and winter footwear, stay active this winter, for the health and shear beauty of it.


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