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Embrace Michigan winter and try out cross-country skiing

Family enjoying cross country skiing at Bancroft Park in Lansing.
Posted at 5:59 PM, Jan 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-27 19:18:23-05

LANSING, Mich. — The snow hasn't been plentiful this year, but you can still cross-country ski right here in mid-Michigan. We found a couple of cool spots where you can go with the snow.

Fitzgerald Park
If you're looking for some winter fun, grab some warm clothes and head to Fitzgerald Park in Grand Ledge. The park has approximately three miles of trails that make it easy for you to have snow much fun.

"We have one loop that we kind of consider our beginner's loop. That's also the loop that we will light on ski fest nights on Friday and Saturday evenings for snow permitted. That's kind of an easier route. It has very few hills," said Naturalist and Operations Manager Jackie Blanc.

Cross Country Skiing at Fitzgerald Park in Grand Ledge
Cross Country Skiing at Fitzgerald Park in Grand Ledge

They also have trails farther back into the woods for those with more experience.

And, if you don't have the proper equipment they can hook you up with skis, poles, and boots.

"We rent cross country, skis, and snowshoes," Blanc said. "You can ski within our park boundaries or you can take them anywhere you want. We rent skis for $5 an hour or $15 a day or $50 for like a weekend."

You can check the Eaton County Parks and Recreation Facebook page and website to keep track of the snow conditions and if the trails are open.

Rental hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and on Sunday from noon until 5 p.m.

Lansing Ski Party
And if you're looking to connect with other folks who love to cross country ski then check out the Lansing Ski Party.

"We started this Lansing ski party to complement the Lansing bike party, which we do in the summer. So we often pick a central location like Bancroft Park, and we ski around after work," organizer Jeff Potter said. "We'll have an easy loop, like the field here at Bancroft, where you can ski around a half-mile loop and do that as much as you want. People go backward forward, say hi to each other, chat."

Cross Country Skiing on Groesbeck Golf Course
Cross Country Skiing on Groesbeck Golf Course

And depending on the weather, they will cut over to Groesbeck Golf Course to zoom down the hills. The Lansing Ski party is completely free. All you have to do is join their Facebook group. Potter says people post all the time and plan days to go out and ski.

It's open to all ages so, even the little ones can get out and join in on the fun.

"Cross-country skiing is like a challenge to go downhill. And I will like going fast," said 7-year-old A.J Keen.

His sister Madeline Keen also enjoys being able to get out and have fun with her family.

"I like it because it's fun and also it's fun to just get gliding," Madeline said.

Other Cross-County Skiing Opportunities
You can also try cross-country skiing at Burchfield park this weekend. The trails will be open Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until sunset.

Rental rates are $10 for adults and $5 for children under the age of 12.

The county website says they are still using the Waitlist App to reduce congestion inside the ski rental building because of COVID-19. They ask the public to be patient and wear a face covering when entering the building.

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