Enjoying Winter Around Lake Charlevoix

By Jeff Wellman

Downhill Skiing

Mt. McSauba is a quaint ski hill near Charlevoix that offers something for the whole family or group to enjoy. The slopes are perfect for the beginner or intermediate skier, with some of the best snowmaking operations in Michigan.  In addition to downhill skiing, they also have a skating rink, a lighted sledding hill and a cross-country ski trail. Many refer to this ski hill as “Little Nub’s Nob.” The entire property is 80 acres in size, and overlooks Lake Michigan’s sand dunes. It even has beach frontage on the water. The view from the atop the ski hill are breathtaking and allow you to take in a panoramic view the islands of Lake Michigan, and neighboring towns of Harbor Springs, Petoskey and Boyne City.

Ice Fishing

The third-largest lake in Michigan, Lake Charlevoix is a great spot to go ice fishing, with plenty of great holes for anglers looking to catch fish under the ice. Once the ice has frozen, you’ll notice many ice shanties out on the frozen waters of Lake Charlevoix and other Inland lakes like Walloon Lake, Crooked Lake, Burt Lake, Torch Lake and more. Bundle up, grab some ice fishing gear, and try your hand at catching some of our local species, pike, perch, walleye and lake trout being common catches. Local tip: the bottom of Lake Charlevoix around Hemingway Point is full of rocks and gravel, making an ideal habitat for many species of fish. Other good spots to try are near Young State Park, and near the mouth of the Boyne River. Have fun and be careful!

Cross Country Skiing

If you’re looking for a great workout while taking in the scenery of Northern Michigan, cross country, or Nordic, skiing is a great option. There are plenty of trails, whether you are a  beginner or expert skier. Here are some of my favorites. Avalanche Mountain Preserve is located near Boyne City and offers 5.6 miles of well-maintained trails. Charles A Ransom Preserve, located just north of Horton Bay, has 1.5 miles of ungroomed trails on 80 acres of beautiful land. Nathan Barry Diggers Preserve is between Horton Bay and Charlevoix and boasts 1.5 miles of groomed trails on a 75-acre nature preserve.


With a high annual snowfall, Charlevoix and Northern Michigan in general are popular places for locals and visitors alike to come and hit the snowmobile trails. With miles of trails rolling over our scenic hills and crisscrossing across our terrain, there are plenty of places to explore. Our local snowmobile club is devoted to maintaining old and creating new trails. There are plenty of restaurants, pubs, and lodging options to explore along the way. Northern Michigan is a fantastic place to bring the sleds and head out on a snowy adventure.

Jeff Wellman
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