Winter Recreation in the Porcupines Mountains Wilderness State Park
Winter activities at the park include downhill and cross country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, camping, backpacking and snowmobiling in the Porkies.
The large amount of snow the western Upper Peninsula receives is regarded by many as both a blessing and a curse, but it is perfect for winter fun. Lake-effect snow and warmer temperatures bring many to this all-natural-snow area. Warmer air passing over the lake picks up moisture, depositing up to 20 feet of powder snow per season.
The winter temperatures are often 10 to 20 degrees warmer than in inland ski areas. The winds coming off the water are picking up warmth along with the moisture from the unfrozen part of the lake. Uncrowded slopes and a spectacular view of Lake Superior make skiing the "Porkies" a memorable experience.
This 60,000 acre wilderness park contains the largest virgin hardwood-hemlock forest in the united States. The Porcupine Mountains consist of a series of undulating, irregular ranges whose slopes are covered with stands of virgin forest of the hardwood-hemlock type, with maple, birch, and basswood on the upper slopes.
The Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park Ski Area offers power-tilled runs through the magnificent old-growth forests and spectacular views of Lake Superior. Alpine skiers will find 15 runs, ranging from beginner to expert, accessible by four lifts. Nordic skiing through incomparable forests and a variety of terrain can be enjoyed along the 23 miles of groomed trails.
There are three ski-in cabins, located on cross country ski trails, to give visitors a taste of roughing it. These cabins are booked solid about a year in advance but park rangers advise anyone interested in renting a cabin to call in case of a cancellation (906 885-5275).
CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING, DOWNHILL SKIING, SNOWBOARDING, and SNOWSHOEING
Cross Country Skiing
Two warming shelters are on the trails, which park employees stock with wood. Skiers can build a fire in the stove, if one is not already going. Deer and other wildlife are in abundance. There are trails for all levels of experience from novice to advanced. The East and West Vistas overlook spectacular Lake Superior from the tip of the Porkies. Fresh powder snow off the Lake insures the best of conditions.
Dowhnill Skiing and
An A-frame ski chalet is located at the foot of Hiawatha. This attractive building has three fireplaces, food service, ski shop, rental service and National Ski Patrol first aid. The chalet can be rented by groups for evening use during the ski season.
The DNR has formed a partnership with the Ski Area Management Program at Gogebic Community College, allowing the students to operate the 400 acre ski hill. The ski area is open Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from 9 am to 5 pm. Rentals of alpine skis, snowboards, and boots available. Daily, half-day, and season passes.
Visit porkiesfun.com for additional information.
Gas, food, refreshments and lodging are found right on the trail. The snowmobile trail system interconnects with the Upper Peninsula's 2,500 miles of trails as well as Northern Wisconsin's trail system.
Skiing begins as soon as snow conditions permit, usually in late-December, sometimes earlier.
Call the Porcupine Mountains
State Park for more information
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