Winter Activities in the Copper Country

February 19, 2015 in Uncategorized

Hello Parents,

A photo a musher participating in the CopperDog 150

A photo a musher participating in the CopperDog 150

I hope you’re all having a great week! Campus has been busy with the Career Fair and all of the career prep events taking place this week. With the stress of school, finding a job at the Career Fair, exams, and studying, it can be good to take advantage of some of the winter activities that the Keweenaw has to offer.

Mont Ripley
Mont Ripley offers downhill skiing and snowboarding for both the beginner and advanced participant. With 24 open trails and three lifts, Mont Ripley can serve over 1000 users at any given time, and is an attraction for the local community, Tech students, and tourists alike. Since Mont Ripley is owned by Michigan Tech, the hill can be used with no cost to students via the Experience Tech fee.  The hill is open from 3:00 – 9:00 pm on Thursdays, 1:00 – 9:00 pm on Fridays, 10:00 am – 8:00 pm on Saturdays, and 10:00 am – 5:00 pm on Sundays. For more information about Mont Ripley, please visit their page on the Michigan Tech website.

Michigan Tech Trails
The Michigan Tech Trails are open year round for students and community members to enjoy. The winter activities include cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and snow biking. A snow bike has the frame of a bicycle with extra thick tires and traction to allow riders to cycle through the snow! There are trails for all three activities for both beginners and the advanced. The Nordic Ski Club offers a $10 cross country ski rental for the season for students, and the Outdoor Adventure Program offers snow bikes and snowshoes for students to utilize as well, with a student’s first snowshoe rental free of charge! For more information about trail usage, please visit the Michigan Tech Trail website. For a more about what the Outdoor Adventure Program has to offer, please visit the Student Activities website.

Snowmobiling
Snowmobiling is big part of the culture here in the Copper Country. There are over 233 miles of snowmobiling trails all throughout the Keweenaw that wind through Freda, Lake Linden, Gay, Eagle River, Eagle Harbor, Lac La Belle, Keweenaw Point, Brockway Mountain and many other areas! Tourists from around the country come to the UP for the snowmobiling action. There’s even a snowmobiling club on campus called the Sledheads. The Sledheads are a snowmobile-enthusiast student organization on campus that meets every week and goes snowmobiling together throughout the semester. If your student is interested in snowmobiling or would like to learn more about it, I would definitely recommend that they check out a meeting! For those that don’t own a snowmobile, there are many snowmobiling rental companies in the area as well. For more information about snowmobiling in the Copper Country and details about the trails, please visit the Keweenaw Visitors Bureau website.

As you can see, there are a lot of exciting winter activities offered in the Keweenaw! These are great stress relievers for students to take advantage of during the chaos that comes with going to college. The area is also so beautiful that it’s almost a crime not to explore it more! For more information and more ideas of what to participate in during the winter, please visit the Keweenaw Visitors Bureau website for more ideas.

Coming up next week is the sixth annual CopperDog150 and the CopperDog40, local sled-dog races that take mushers all around the beautiful Keweenaw peninsula. The CopperDog 150 is a 10-dog race that consists of over 135 miles of northern Keweenaw terrain, while the CopperDog40 takes 6-dog teams 42 miles around the Keweenaw. This yearly event attracts thousands of spectators from around the midwest to cheer on their favorite musher, and will take place this year from February 27 – March 1. Mushers from around the country and even Canada will participate in this event for $27,000 in total purse money! This is also a great opportunity for residents to get more involved in the community, as over 500 volunteers come together and donate their time and energy into putting on this event. In addition to the races themselves, the weekend consists of a variety of fun and entertaining activities including the inaugural night of great music and fantastic food. For more information about the CopperDog races, please visit the CopperDog website.

That’s all I have for you this week! If you have any questions about winter activities or the CopperDog races, please feel free to email me at vjtaglio@mtu.edu. Until next week!

-Valerie