The first blast of winter has the Harbor Country Chamber of Commerce office gearing up for the phone calls that usually come with the snow. Where can I go skiing? Where can I rent a snowmobile? Is there an ice skating rink?
Harbor Country offers lots of trails for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and hiking. There are groomed and ungroomed trails at Chikaming Township Parks, Preserves managed by Chikaming Open Lands, and Warren Dunes State Park. There are ski rentals at two Berrien County Parks –Madeline Bertrand in Niles and Love Creek in Berrien Springs. Love Creek also offers showshoe and fat tire bike rentals. There is no downhill skiing in Berrien County.
Michigan is a top destination for snowmobiling, however, Harbor Country’s more “tropical” climate often does not produce enough snow to have a robust snowmobiling season. There is a 21 mile trail that starts in New Buffalo, so if you have your own sled, bring it and go for a ride. You’ll have to cruise to Kalamazoo to find the closest snowmobile rentals.
There are ice skating rinks in New Buffalo and Harbert, weather permitting. Both are outdoor rinks that are popular with families as well as hockey fans. The rink at Harbert Community Park offers skate rental for a nominal fee.
Winter is also a great time for surfing if you’ve got the gear and know-how and can’t wait until summer to dip your toes in Lake Michigan!
Find more ideas for enjoying Harbor Country’s Winter Wonderland.