Leelanau State Park

Support The Winter Trails at Leelanau State Park with Just An Email!


Let's keep the momentum going! Help Bike Leelanau, NMMBA, and winter enthusiasts everywhere by raising your voice to keep the Winter Sports Trail for 2018-2019. 

This past winter, a big group of businesses, volunteers, and reps both the DNR and NMMBA came together to create, groom, and enjoy the Winter Sports Trail at the Leelanau State Park. The new winter-only trail offered more mileage and options for winter enthusiasts from all over Northern Michigan, especial Northport locals who could access the trail with just a short drive. By bike, ski, and snowshoe, adventure-seekers, families, and day-trippers enjoyed a whole new way to experience Leelanau County! 

We want to make sure this season trail is back in 2018-2019, but we need your help! If you had a chance ride, ski, or walk the trail, or if you're eager to give it a try, consider writing a quick email to make it happen. Email the LPS Lead Ranger Stephanie at ROSINSKIS@michigan.gov and let her know that you loved the trail, supported local businesses, or just can't wait to have it back next year. Your comments could prove vital to the bringing the trail back, or even expanding it! 

Thank you for your involvement! 



Weekend Plans: Trail Conditions For 2/17-18

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With temperatures over 40 degrees today and a quick deep freeze overnight, we wanted to help you plan you riding this weekend! 

A crucial element to maintaining groomed trails in these conditions is the cooperation of trail users. Please stay off the trails if you're leaving any sort of rut; with such little snow, it's very hard to level the trail back out. If we're all smart Thursday and Friday, we'll have a great ride Friday evening and through the weekend. 

Winter Sports Singletrack, Traverse City: Yeti's Revenge is closed for the season. The DNR gave us permission to groom this section, and we've heard a lot of positive feedback about it from you! Please respect the tape on the entrances to this loop and leave it be; if we leave it as good as we left it, we may have more opportunities next for season trails next winter! Riding conditions should be improved by Friday afternoon and Saturday, with warmer temperatures making Sunday morning the end of prime riding time until we get more cold weather.

Glacial Hills, Bellaire: The trail is open and ready to roll. Watch for hard packed conditions to return Friday with the cool down, as well as great opportunities to ride Sunday morning as well. At this point in the season, the grooming team has decided to suspend operations, unless there are significant changes to the long-range forecast. 

Leelanau State Park Winter Trails, Northport: The trail is CLOSED until Friday due to soft trail conditions. Please stay off the trail until we get that promised freeze and have a bit of time to groom a flat, safe surface. The weekend should be incredible, however, so don't miss your chance to get out there! 

Cadillac Pathways, Cadillac: There is very little snow and soft conditions currently. Please stay tuned to any changes to trail conditions in the near future, and if you do choose to ride, make sure you're running a low tire pressure and riding safely, especially as the trail freezes over heading into the weekend. 

Looking Ahead And Hoping For Snow


Well, after a frigid and nearly perfect start to winter in Northern Michigan, we're sat home and hoping for snow. After temperatures in the 40s all weekend and rain to bring us into the final full week of January, we're thumbing the calendar and refreshing the weather app to see what comes next. 

For now, we're hoping there may be some riding Tuesday, January 23. With temperatures up again by the end of the week, we may have a tough time getting the trails in any sort of state to enjoy without some serious snowfall and temperatures below freezing to help it set up. 

Unfortunately, we've had to make a tough call and cancelled the Cadillac Pathways Open House. There is too little snow and too much warm weather in the forecast to make it happen. We have a bit more time ahead of our first big event at the Winter Sports Trail at Leelanau State Park on February 3. Again, we'll keep everyone informed of event changes as those decisions are made. 

Just three weeks away, we're gearing up for the Vasa Fat Bike Race on February 10! We just need a bit of snow and some more riders on the start line to make this year another incredible edition of one of the fastest, most beautiful races of the fat bike season. You can also go for the Fatathalon title, taking on both the 28k freestyle ski and 42k fat bike race, a rather illustrious crown for the ultmate nordic athlete. 

And you won't want to miss the Short's Brewing Beer Tent after for awards! Have a beer, catch up with all the friends you couldn't catch up with during the race, and toast everyone who took on the challege. 

The fun doesn't stop there! We're taking the party down to Brew for a very casual and laid-back chat with IMBA Executive Director and mountain bike legend Dave Wiens. Dave will be talking trails and the future of the sport, as well as recounting his career as one of the most succesful mountain bikers in US history. In addition to six Leadville 100 victories, he also has won NORBA and World Cup races over the course of his memorable racing days. 

Watch for more trail updates, cross those fingers, and continue to be smart about how and when you access your local trail! 


Winter Sports Trail at Leelanau State Park Open House on February 3!


Here's another great chance to get outside this winter! We're so lucky to have opportunities to ride with pals, and over the next few months, there's no reason to be bored. From Winter Trails Day (1/7), our Annual Meeting (1/13), and the North American Vasa (2/10-11), your dance card is pretty full. Well, make room for a field trip to Northport on 2/3! 

All of the partners that have worked to bring you the Winter Sports Trail at Leelanau State Park invite you to check out the final product. We're excited to bring a a 7-mile multi-use winter trail system at Leelanau State Park, and this is a chance to show you the fruits of our labor. On February 3, bring your friends and pack your fat bikes, skis, and snowshoes to enjoy a look at this developing recreational opportunity! 

The trail officially opened on December 1st with a series of 2-3 mile groomed trail loops that offer fun and adventure to fat tire bikers, xc skiers, snowshoers, and winter hikers. The multi-use trail is meant to support a wide variety of activities and has been developing over time through a volunteer partnership between Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association (NMMBA), North Shore Outfitters, Suttons Bay Bikes, rangers at Leelanau State Park, and an organized group of bike advocates from Bike Leelanau. 

The Trailblazing Open House is family-friendly and teens and youth are encouraged to come and explore their newest community trail system. This event will feature members from the community talking about proper trail etiquette and use of the trail, free fat tire bike demos from Suttons Bay Bikes that can be taken out by riders throughout the day, food from Northport Outfitters, and information about Leelanau County biking opportunities from Bike Leelanau. 

There will be two group fat tire bike rides offered, one 3 mile loop for beginners and one 7- mile loop for a bit more of a challenge. The group rides will begin at 11:30 AM. Those wishing to test a demo for the event should call Suttons Bay Bikes at (231) 421- 6815 ahead of time to reserve their bike. 

Attendees can find parking at Leelanau State Park, at the Densmore Road Trailhead, located at the end of Densmore Road, past Woolsey Airport. 

Adults ages 21 and older are invited to continue the festivities at The Mitten Brewing Company in Northport for an after party happy hour from 2 - 4 PM. The Mitten Brewing Company is located at 112 W Nagonaba St, Northport, MI 49670

Working To Bring Fat Bike Trails To Leelanau State Park

A map of Leelanau State Park. The trails are not mapped here. 

A map of Leelanau State Park. The trails are not mapped here. 

Everyone loves fat biking, and we're working to bring winter riding even to another Northern Michigan town, Northport! 

A number of locals, as well as representatives from the DNR and Leelanau State Park are eager to get a winter-only fat bike trail in place this season, even with the snow already beginning to fall. We're sending our Vasa Singletrack Director, Chad Jordan, as well as a few other volunteers north again this weekend to help map and outline a 7-9 mile groomed trail that could be ready to ride this winter! 

The trail system is adjacent to another set of trails that have always been referred to as the "Airport Beach" trails, near Woolsey "International" Airport just north of the village of Northport. The new fat bike trails will overlap for two miles before veering off into its own network. The goal is to create a better trail experience for all users, which include classic skiers and snowshoers. There are plans to submit a trail proposal that could, in a few years, create a year-round mountain bike trail system to be in place. 

It's a project that we hope can have a big impact on the area. The goal is to have these trails draw people north in the same way that Glacial Hills help support the community of Bellaire. It will also serve as a way to gauge interest and support of summer trails as well. 

Much of the groundwork for this project has been by Will and Rachel, owners of Northshore Outfitters. They've been avid skiers and bikers for decades and love calling Northport home. Will has already volunteered a snowmobile for grooming, as well as his own time to keep the new trail open. He's called on a few pals from NMMBA to help make the trail ready as soon as this weekend, clearing deadfall and other debris to make things clear for the drag once the snow sticks. 

This is a very exciting project that has pulled locals, the DNR, and NMMBA together to create what will be another reason to travel to Northport and help that community grow, as well as a number of other villages in Leelanau County. We will keep you up-to-date on the trail as it develops, and we hope to add grooming reports, updates, and how you can support the trail on our website in the coming weeks!