Cross Country Sking & Snowshoeing
Located at the southern end of the UP on the shore of Lake Huron is Woods & Water Eco Tours where snowshoeing and cross country skiing are among the fun things offered. Owned by professional guide and ecologist Jessie Hadley and operated out of her Cedarville, MI base camp, either she or professional guide and high school teacher Jim Patrick III host guided tours out across the ice and through the woods. Tours can be as little 2 hours or as long as several days. As ecologists, both Jessi and Jim are committed to conducting travel through natural setting while teaching about eco systems, natural history, and how the environment can be enjoyed without leaving any evidence that you've been there (except for the prints of skis and snowshoes in the snow). During the summer they host biking, hiking, birding, family trips, teambuilding, school groups and extended kayak adventures. Telephone: 906-484-4157; www.woodswaterecotours.com
Along with pickup trucks, snowmobiles rule in the UP! Trails lace the City of Ste. St. Marie (pronounced Soo Saint Marie) on the southeast corner of Lake Superior as well as all along the south shore line of Lake Superior, out past the City of Marquette. People come from all over to ride snowmobiles (their own or they can rent them) on the hundreds of miles of well groomed trails that lace the Upper Peninsula. During winter this is big business in the UP.
There's one event that underscores what an important fixture the snowmobile is in the life of a Yooper. During the months of January or February the City of Sault Ste. Marie hosts a 500 mile snowmobile race (I-500) that draws riders from as far away as Alaska, Sweden, North Carolina and France. The locals live for this 500 mile endurance competition that is run on a one-mile oval track built thirty-plus years ago for the express purpose of hosting this 500 mile snowmobile race.
Down the back stretch speeds reaching 120 mph are often clocked and historically the I-500 race takes between six and ten hours to complete. The longest I-500 ever run lasted in the neighborhood of fourteen hours. And get this! There are some competitors who drive the entire race (the entire five hundred miles) without a relief driver or without taking a break other than during pit stops and caution flags. Need any more be said about the Paul Bunion factor? What these snowmobile racers do is phenomenal! www.i-500.com