Hi-Oh! Hi-Oh! Into The Trees We Go – Ski Area Lays Out New Plans

Summit of Marquette Mountain Ski Area overlooking Lake Superior in the distance

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Those that have been up north to the “UP” understand that it gives you a break from the heat in the summer and access to a snow-filled paradise in the winter. A true four-season outdoor destination. And this summer, Marquette Mountain is laying out plans to expand fun for both winter AND summer activities.

 

Marquette MI Skiing

Front of lodge at Marquette Mountain Mi during winter
Image appears courtesy: Marquette Mountain

We’ve talked a lot about the Midwest gem Mt. Bohemia, so it’s time we showed a little love to Marquette Mountain. Our good friends who are alumni at Northern Michigan University always reminisce about how fun this little ski area was during the semester. With a vertical drop of 600 feet, it’s one of the bigger hills in the region. Combine that with the copious amounts of good ‘ole ma natural’s snowmaking known as lake effect, and you have a winning combination.

Marquette Mountain Bike Park Is Re-Born

2 bikers enjoying singletrack at mountain bike park at Marquette Mountain
Image appears courtesy: Marquette Mountain

While popularity shifted further north in the mid-2000’s, Marquette Mountain shut-down it’s lift-accessed terrain in 2016. Around that time, the sport began to re-kindle itself in places like Houghton and Copper Harbor to the north. It was through the Marquette Trails festival that Midwest riders re-discovered its trails. In the annual event (one of the largest bike festivals in the Midwest), disciplines like enduro and downhill showcased just how good and demanding the terrain is. And so in 2019, shuttle service returned.

New Owners Upping The Ante

After three decades of running the ski area, Marquette Mountain was sold this February to Eric and Sarah Jorgensen. Not standing on the sideline, they’ve already announced pushing forward on investing in the future. For summer, they plan to create more mellow trails so that families and novice enthusiasts can get introduced to the gravity-fed fun of mountain biking. Also, the existing trails are being improved so that as soon as the ground thaws, it’s game on!

 

Cliffs, Glades, and More Terrain Oh My!

For skiers and snowboarders, there’s even bigger news. As many can attest, the forests in the Midwest can be a bit thick for glade skiing without some management. This summer, they’re clearing out portions of the ski area to increase skiable acreage and terrain diversity. Based on the articles we’ve read, the areas they’re focused on will access cliff bands and steep slopes to slash.

Where’s Marquette Michigan?

hiking near Marquette Mountain in the summer
Hiking Hogback Mountain near Marquette, Michigan. – Image appears courtesy: Travel Marquette – Photo by: Aaron Peterson

Even many Midwesterners might ask “Where is it?” Well, it’s a town located right on the beautiful shores of Lake Superior. In fact, it’s the largest town in all of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Due to this proximity, in the summer temperatures rarely get above 90 degrees making for perfect summer days. In the winter, Marquette Mountain just a few miles outside of Marquette receives over 120 inches of snow due to lake effect. With the nearest major airport nearly 200 miles away, this is the perfect place to get away from humanity and enjoy the great outdoors ANY time of year.

 

Winter Fun After Skiing

fat tire winter biking in Upper Peninsula Michigan on a sunny afternoon
Winter cycling fat biking snow biking in Marquette, Michigan. – Image appears courtesy: Travel Marquette – Photo by: Aaron Peterson

For an all-around vacation, Marquette has it all. In the snowy months it gives you access to thousands of miles of snowmobile trails, some of the country’s best fat bike trails, and an assortment of other winter-time fun like luge. Besides seeing the northern lights, be sure to set aside time to explore the Eden Ice Caves. Every year the excess snow and ice flows over the cliff edge forming an ice cave that even the Snow Queen Elsa would be impressed by.

Summer Shenanigans After Mountain Biking

Summer fun in Marquette Michigan overlooking Lake Superior
Photo by Max Bender on Unsplash

As old man winter loses his grasp, summer is home to a vast selection of other types of fun. If you’re a big fan of fishing, you’re right on the shore of the largest freshwater lake in the world. Take in a sunset from the top of Sugarloaf Mountain and experience the immensity of Superior. From there, you’ll feel less like it’s a lake and more like an inland sea.

 

In this stressful period of the unknown for the coming ski season, it’s exciting to hear positive news. If you hit Marquette Mountain this winter, be sure to tag #LocalFreshies and show us just how good it is.

For more on skiing and snowboarding in the central part of the country, check out our guide found here:

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