“The Snowmobile Capital of the Midwest”
All photos are courtesy of the Munising Visitors Bureau unless otherwise noted
With a 13-year average showing nearly 235 inches of snow, hundreds of miles of groomed trails, and plenty of restaurants, lodging and gas stations along the way, it’s no wonder the Munising area is considered the “Snowmobile Capital of the Midwest.”
Nestled in the heart of Alger County, there are 10 snowmobile trails near Munising that cover over 300 miles and are groomed daily, depending on prevailing conditions. The trail system reaches from Shingleton to Grand Marais, Seney, Marquette, Chatham, Manistique, and Rapid River. Snowmobile trails in Michigan are open from Dec. 1 to March 31.
Riders exploring around Munising can bask in the beauty of countless hardwoods and spruce/fir trees, visit numerous lakes, streams, waterfalls, forests and countless other pristine places including the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. An abundance of snow combined with breathtaking landscapes make Munising a dream for any snowmobiler.
The following is a list of must stop destinations for those snowmobiling in the Munising area:
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
During the winter, snowmobiles are permitted on designated portions of roadways and lakes in Pictured Rocks park. According to the National Park Service – which manages the park – the designated routes for snowmobiles are the frozen waters of Lake Superior and Grande Sable Lake, and the major lakeshore roads used by motorists in the summer. These unplowed roads and shoulders of plowed park roads are open to snowmobiling in conformance with state law.
Designated snowmobile routes in the Pictured Rocks park are as follows:
-Sand Point Road from the park boundary to Lake Superior.
-Trail from the park boundary off City Limits Road southwest to the Becker Farm, and down to Sand Point Road.
-Down Miners Castle Road from H-58 to the roads and parking areas for Miners Falls, Miners Castle, and Miners Beach.
-Down Chapel Road from H-58 to the Chapel/Mosquito trailhead parking area.
-Road from H-58 to Little Beaver Lake Campground.
-Road from H-58 to Twelvemile Beach Campground.
-Road from H-58 to Hurricane River Campground.
-Road from H-58 to the Log Slide parking area.
-Road from H-58 to the Sable Falls parking area.
-The frozen waters of Lake Superior and Grand Sable Lake.
Eben Ice Caves
The Eben Ice Caves form each winter as water seeps through the walls of the Rock River Gorge. Although not “true” caves, they are made up of vertical walls of ice formed by the seeping water, making this a great place to explore. The ice caves are located 25 miles east of Marquette and 15 miles west of Munising.
To get there by snowmobile, take Trail 419 east of Munising to Trail 8 and go west of Eben Junction. There, you will see the New Moon Bar. Make a right-hand turn and travel north approximately 1½ miles to make a right-hand turn onto Frey Road. At the curve, park and begin walking east across the big field. The trail is roughly one mile. Motorized vehicles are prohibited.
Lakenenland Sculpture Park
Lakenenland is a sculpture park along M-28 between Munising and Marquette that showcases a slew of unique creations that property-owner Tom Lakenen built from scrap metal. The park is located off snowmobile trail #417, making it a popular stop for snowmobilers – especially since there’s a bon fire area next to a pavilion that the public can use to warm up.
The sign says it all – snowmobilers welcome.
Buckhorn Resort and its restaurant overlooks Hovey Lake and is just footsteps from miles of beautiful trails. The resort is located along Buckhorn Road just 4 miles east from M-94 or 5 miles west of Forest Highway 13, and less than 10 miles south of Munising. The resort offers a bar and restaurant – open 11 a.m. daily, motel, lodge, and premium ethanol-free gasoline. The 20-room motel offers three types of rooms and the 11-bed or 6-bed lodges are perfect for large groups and families.
Bear Trap Inn
The Bear Trap Inn is a restaurant and bar located right off trail #8, making it a convenient stop for snowmobilers. Serving a full menu of delicious food as well as a full bar, visitors can unwind with friends or watch the big game on one of its several televisions. The Bear Trap Inn is a great stop for anyone traveling between Grand Marais and Munising, snowmobilers – since the parking lot and restaurant can accommodate larger groups, or as a destination for a tasty meal.
Cherrywood and Econo Lodge
Cherrywood Lodge is a restaurant and bar adjacent to Econo Lodge along M-28, making it a perfect stop for those not only looking for a place to grab a bite to eat, but also unwind in a hotel room or by the pool and spa. Snowmobilers can get the perfect start to their day as the establishment offers a hot deluxe breakfast served daily from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Located right on snowmobile trail #8, Tanglewood Inn offers a restaurant and bar with daily specials, premium ethanol free gasoline, motel suites, and a large 3-bedroom cabin.
Foggy’s Steakhouse & Lounge
From family dining to night life, Foggy’s Steakhouse along M-28 in Christmas strives to please those of all ages and tastes. Family-owned and operated since 1982, Foggy’s offers impressive menu options, a full bar and a grill where anyone can cook their own steak. Started by Floyd “Foggy” St. Amour, the establishment was handed down to his sons Shaun and Chad.
Kewadin Casino is located along M-28 around 7 miles west of Munising. The Christmas Casino is open seven days a week and has Vegas style gaming including slots, Blackjack, Let it Ride and 3 Card Poker and more. Amenities include Frosty’s Bar & Grill, the Northern Lights gift shop, free parking, and the Northern Rewards Players Club. A gas station and hotel share the casino’s parking lot.
Founded by Jeff Van Bremen and Deb Molitor over 30 years ago, the Brownstone prides itself on fresh, creative flavor combinations, an extensive beverage menu, and dedicated staff. The popular restaurant is located 15 miles west of Munising along M-28.
Boarders Inn & Suites/Half Pint Pub
Visitors receive “Big City Quality, Small Town Values…” each stay at Boarders Inn & Suites. The hotel not only offers a pool and hot tub, exercise room and so forth, but a pub inside the establishment as well. Whether or not you’re staying at the hotel, the pub is open to the public and is located right off M-28 in Wetmore, just west of Cherrywood Lodge.
Chatham, Eben Junction and Trenary
Smaller towns on the outskirts of Munising are worth checking out as well.
Built in 1926 as a pool hall during Prohibition, the Chatham Village Pub is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike as its centrally located, has a wonderful food menu and full bar, and great service.
Visiting the Eben Ice Caves? Make sure to stop at the New Moon Bar along the way before you turn off M-94. Or, if you find yourself in Trenary, be sure to check out one or all several establishments. Whether it’s the Trenary Co-op, Silver Dollar Bar, Trenary Tavern, Trenary Home Bakery, there’s something sure to satisfy everyone’s appetite.
For more information about the Munising area, visit www.munising.org
Snowmobile rentals: www.munisingsnowmobilerentals.com/
Trail conditions: www.algersorva.com/snowmobile-trail-report/