Traverse City is transformed into a glittering fairyland each winter -- the perfect backdrop for a day of snowshoeing!
Right within the Traverse City limits snowshoers will find ample opportunity to enjoy this silent sport. The Grand Traverse County Natural Education Reserve is a 420-acre tract that includes excellent habitat for beaver, otter, mink, fox, deer, and birds. The Grand Traverse Commons Natural Area has over 300 acres of trails, and Hickory Meadows is a 112.5-acre site with several miles of free trails that meander through meadows and upland forests.
Venture out to Old Mission Peninsula to experience some of the most stunning scenery in the North. At the base is a 62-acre preserve of upland meadows and mature forest where barred owls are regularly seen. Near Bower's Harbor you'll find a mile-long loop of trail through a unique wooded dune ridge area that’s home to winter wrens, woodpeckers, and owls. And at the tip of this narrow peninsula, Old Mission Lighthouse stands above a vast rocky shoal, surrounded by a 513-acre park crisscrossed by 7.5 miles of trails.
Head east of town to discover the pristine, 2,800-acre nature preserve known as the Sands Lake Quiet Area. Between Alden and Bellaire on Antrim County's Chain of Lakes, you'll find the Grass River Natural Area comprising 1,325 acres with 7.5 miles of winding trails.
And of course Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is internationally renowned for its beautiful trails year round. The park’s 13 trails range from 1.5 miles to 14.7 miles in length, and offer opportunities for hikers of all ability levels.
Trail Etiquette: Please be aware that most of the area’s trail systems are used by both snowshoers and cross-country skiers, and many are also groomed for cross-country skiing. Please respect other users by keeping to one side of the groomed portion of the trail and staying out of the ski tracks.