Clark from InRugCo recently wrote a How to Dress for Winter Recreation blog on their website to provide tips on how to comfortably get in needed outdoor activity during our chilly Michiana winter months. After visiting their Mishawaka shop we invited Clark to help us provide a list of a variety of winter recreational activities in and around the Michiana region. We can't wait to try some of these out!
Picture yourself nordic skiing in a forest all by yourself, or exploring a serene frozen lakeshore with wind sculpted dunes.
Need more adrenaline? Imagine getting rowdy on groomed singletrack squeezing between trees and roaring downhill on a fatbike.
How about something more family friendly? Consider ice skating at newly renovated Howard Park or tubing and warming up fireside with hot chocolate at Wilson Park.
Welcome to winter in Michiana!
If you are looking for suggestions on where to go, this guide is for you. Always double check with each location to ensure accuracy.
This guide is broken down by activity.
- Winter Hiking / Snowshoeing
- XC or Nordic Skiing
- Downhill Skiing & Snowboarding
- Sledding / Tubing
- Ice Skating
Winter Hiking / Snowshoeing
St. Patrick’s - rents snowshoes
Madeline Bertrand - rents snowshoes
Anywhere you’ve hiked in the other three seasons is usually just fine for winter hiking.
Snowshoeing is an activity best enjoyed when there is sufficient snow (6” is ideal) to allow the snowshoes to “float” on the snow.
In icy conditions, microspikes are recommended for extra traction for winter hiking.
When you are considering mileage, keep in mind the average hiker walks about 2-3 miles an hour.
St. Patrick’s - grooms & rents skis
Madeline Bertrand - grooms & rents skis
Love Creek - grooms & rents skis
Bonneyville Mill - grooms
Boot Lake Nature Preserve - grooms
Your best bet for groomed XC ski trails are county parks. Typically, state parks do not groom at all or as frequently as county parks. Always check after a snowstorm, conditions are subject to change.
You can still XC ski at the other locations on this list, but you might have to break your own trail, or share the trails with hikers or snowshoers on the trail - which is still fun!
Downhill Skiing & Snowboarding
Closest to Michiana
3-5 Hour Drive
Many of these downhill ski resorts aren't within the Michiana area, but I thought a master list would be helpful.
I would always recommend checking conditions before planning a trip, especially their new or manmade snow totals.
Fat Bike Trails
Love Creek - grooms
Bonneyville Mill - grooms
Potato Creek - grooms
The mountain bike trails you ride in the summer can typically be ridden in the snow with a fat bike.
The majority of the trails on this list are groomed by volunteer mountain bikers.
When riding in groomed snow, you will want to lower your PSI typically between 0-8 to protect the trail.
Sledding / Tubing
Pokagon State Park - worth the drive - has a toboggan run!
Wilson Park - rents tubes
St. Patrick’s - rents tubes
There is no shortage of great sledding hills in Michiana!
Let me know in a comment below if I didn't include your favorite sledding spot.
Garden Ice Arena - they have ice bumper cars!
Ice Skating at the newly renovated Howard Park in South Bend in a must for a Michiana winter!
Every ice skating rink above offers rentals, so you will be good to go.
With all these outdoor recreation options, there's no excuse not to get outside and enjoy Michiana this winter!
If you have any questions, leave a comment below or come see us in person at InRugCo.
The below crew neck was what brought us in to InRugCo. The feeling of local pride in their family owned shop, from tees with sayings like "Keep Indiana Corny" to local milk and other products, is awesome to experience!