Instead of toiling the winter days away, cooped up indoors, why not venture out for some trail time and toddies? Newaygo County is the perfect destination for such an adventure, and we are going to tell you right where to start!
First….are you going to need winter hiking gear or snowshoes for your trek? If you are a first-timer, head over to 37 North in Newaygo. They have all the gear you need for your outdoor adventure including, of course, snowshoes, which they rent or sell. Don’t forget your layers, it’s cold out there and you’ll warm up a bit as you start exploring so you will want options!
Choose Your Trail
Newaygo has a diverse assortment of looped trail choices. Each offers access to well-marked trails, perfect for your winter hiking or snowshoeing adventure. Below are a few of our favorites for wandering in winter.
Coolbough Natural Area – Not too far from Newaygo you will find 400 acres of natural beauty awaiting at Coolbough Natural Area. This trail hiking destination offers looped trails of varied distances, the Wetland Loop including the Old Rail Trail (1.87 miles), Cathedral Pines Loop (.67 miles), Prairie Loop (1.29 miles) and Valley of the Ants (.47 miles). This trail system also connects with the North Country Trail if you are looking for a bigger adventure. Whichever you choose, we think you will find this is the perfect destination for your outdoor winter adventure.
Hungerford Lake Trail – For those looking for a real winter hiking trek, Hungerford Lake Trail has a 7-mile and a 12-mile loop. Light blue diamond blazes mark the trees along the trail to show you the way and posts keep you informed about the level of difficulty of the trail segments, so you know before you go. Be sure to gear up properly and keep an eye on the weather if you will be taking on a longer trek, and properly prepare for your winter day wandering in the woods.
Birch Grove Trail – Start your trek at the Diamond Lake Campground, where you will find the trailhead to a 9.8-mile loop along a route of forest roads, old railroad grades and foot paths leading from the North Country Trail. This looped trail is great spot for a full day of snowshoeing.
Loda Lake Sanctuary – North-east of Hesperia, this 1.5-mile loop, offers a pocket-sized adventure for those leaning more toward the toddies in the itinerary. Just far enough to get some fresh air and a bit of exercise. The trail features a small lake, marsh, and wooded area. You will find signage along the way, assuring you that you are still following the trail. This is the perfect spot for a first-time snowshoer or a trek with the kiddos.
Time for Toddies!
Once you have cured your cabin fever with some fresh air out on the trail, it will be time to come inside to warm up with a hot toddy or two. We have a few recommendations for local favorites that will fit the bill. You will also find great shopping and food suggestions on our Foodies & Shoppers page.
Schindy’s at Diamond Lake – A great new spot north of White Cloud, offering tons of Michigan-made goods and hand-made pizza. Schindy’s offers a wide variety of beer and wine for your enjoyment inside or around their heated outdoor seating area!
The Eleven-Seventeen Lounge – Conveniently located inside the Harrington Inn in Fremont, the Eleven-Seventeen lounge offers a tasty menu to enjoy in a cozy setting, complete with a fireplace to warm your toes after a long day outside.
Need a place to stay? We have just the spot, The Harrington Inn is open year-round and offers luxurious amenities that will keep you coming back to Fremont for the experience of small town hospitality.
Now you know just where to go to find a perfectly sized winter hiking or snowshoe experience and some great options for warm up after your trek. Grab your friends and head to Newaygo County for a getaway exploring our frozen wonderland!