Marquette County is a hotbed for a plethora of outdoor recreational activities and events, especially in the winter season. When the snow is falling and the temperature drops, don’t sit inside and shy away from the incredible opportunities that nature and winter present. Instead, step outdoors and check out or participate in these three breath-taking winter recreational events unique to Marquette County.
1. UP 200 Sled Dog Race
It’s not too often one finds oneself standing on a packed downtown street watching teams of sled dogs run and howl as they pull mushers on sleds, but this is exactly what you can expect in downtown Marquette every February. In its 25th anniversary, the UP 200 dog sled race has been one of the most predominant winter events in the state of Michigan.
An Iditarod qualifying event with its start and finish line located in downtown Marquette, the 200+ mile trail stretches from Marquette to Grand Marais along the Upper Peninsula’s northern coast bordering Lake Superior. The week-long race allows spectators to seek out one of many incredible viewing locations along the trail, but many prefer to pack in tight to take in the action of the start and finish in downtown Marquette. A spectacular, unique, and thrilling winter event with an immense amount of support by the Marquette community, this is one wintery week you’ll want to be in town to catch all the excitement! If you’re looking for more information on the UP 200, check out their website at up200.org
2. Noquemanon Ski Marathon
One of the Midwest’s premier cross country skiing marathons, the Noquemanon Ski Marathon is one of the largest and most exciting winter recreational events to see in Marquette. Pulling in over two thousand competitors from all parts of the Midwest, both classic and freestyle skiers compete in their choice of eight different length skiing events (the longest being 51 Kilometers) over some of the most beautiful trails in the country stretching from Ishpeming to Marquette.
Convening on the last weekend of January, hundreds of spectators gather at the finish of the marathon behind Marquette’s Superior Dome to cheer for the dedicated competitors who battle through the harshest of winter’s elements. Cheers, noisemakers, and bells ring out in celebration as the skiers, frozen facial hair and all, ski to the finish with all their might at the completion of this exhilarating and celebrated event. Whether you’re a fan of skiing or not, this is one event you simply won’t want to miss! For more information on the Noquemanon Ski Marathon, check out www.noquemanon.com
3. 906 Polar Roll
In its first year, the 906 Polar Roll fat tire snow biking race makes our list as one of the three must-see winter recreational events in Marquette County. Silent sports have been all the craze over the past few years, but fat tire snow biking takes winter silent sports to a whole new level. A 35-mile event, the 906 Polar Roll delivers a competitive cross-country winter bike racing experience on groomed winter biking trails that stretch from Ishpeming to Marquette.
Elite bike racers battle tough terrain and harsh winter elements on bikes with knobby tires measuring 5-inches wide. Complete with built-in hand warmers, full suspension shock systems, disc brakes and huge gear bags, fat bikes are built to handle incredibly rough terrain all while maintaining grip over the ice and snow. If you want to sense that winter rush of adrenaline, the 906 Polar Roll is guaranteed to deliver!
Experience Marquette’s Winter!
There’s plenty more than just these three reasons to check out Marquette County in the winter. With its pristine natural surroundings, Lake Superior shoreline, excellent dining options and an incredible arts and culture scene, it’s no mystery why Marquette is a qualified four-season destination, let alone a standout winter paradise. Plan your visit today at travelmarquettemichigan.com!