Great weekend getaways happening here in Superiorland

A new year in the Upper Peninsula means plenty of snow for the next few months, a boatload of new year’s resolutions — some of which will be kept, and many others which will fall by the wayside by February — and dropping temperatures. This is the season when many Yoopers will consider getting away from the snow for a while and venturing south for warmer weather — but with all that the U.P. has to offer in the coming weeks, we feel a stay-cation is a much better (and also, much cheaper) option.

Aside from the vast, winding trails across God’s country that offer everything from cross-country skiing, fat-tire biking, snowmobiling and snowshoeing, there are plenty of options for entertainment in the Marquette area.

On Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m., Van Riper State Park in Champion will be holding a lantern-lit snowshoe hike.

Other hikes at the site are scheduled for Feb. 9 and March 16.

The 1.25-mile Van Riper snowshoe trail begins seven/tenths of a mile west of the main campground entrance at the rustic Peshekee Cabin.

There will be a fire to warm up by inside the cabin along with snacks, coffee and hot cocoa.

“A lot of people snowshoe during the day, so it has a whole different atmosphere,” Melanie Brand, accounting assistant at Van Riper, told the Journal.

There will also be a guided snowshoe hike at the Vielmetti-Peters Conservation Reserve in Negaunee Township on Jan. 19.

Upper Peninsula Land Conservancy Executive Director Andrea Denham will lead the excursion where participants can learn about the UPLC’s plans for the future of the reserve.

“It’s a beautiful hike,” Denham said. “It’ll take people ‘over the river and through the woods.'”

Those woods, she noted, include various types of forestland.

“It’s a fairly easy terrain,” Denham said. “There’s lots of rolling hills, up and down.”

The 2019 Heikki Lunta Festival will be held Jan. 18-19 in Negaunee in the Old Town and Iron Street locations. For a full list of events for this year’s festival, visit Heikki Lunta 2019 on Facebook.

Have a dog, a pair of cross-country skis and a desire to use them both at the same time? The Noquemanon Skijor Club is hosting Skijor Nights from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays through March 26 at the Noquemanon Trail Network’s Forestville Trailhead in Marquette Township.

Skijorers of all skill levels are welcome, and equipment is available to rent for beginners. Participants are asked to bring a headlamp since trails are not lighted.

For more information visit the club’s Facebook page or

Speaking of the Noquemanon, the 2019 ski marathon will be held Jan. 25-27 in Marquette. More information is available at

On the west end, the 132nd annual Suicide Hill Ski Tournament is slated for 6 p.m. Jan. 22 at the Suicide Ski Bowl, located at the Ishpeming Ski Club in Negaunee.

And of course, the U.P. 200 will be held from Feb. 15-17, with the Midnight Run on Feb. 15 and Jack Pine 30 on Feb. 16. Registration and additional information can be found at In addition, the Michigan Ice Fest will be held Feb. 13-17 in Munising. For more information, visit

We are just scratching the surface of activities offered in the Marquette area in the coming weeks. We hope you’ll consider coming out of the winter hibernation season to enjoy some of them.