It’s smooth sailing at Brooks Nature Center in Marshall, where flat trails take you through prairie and woodland by Stuart Lake. It’s recommended for skiing and snow shoes. Word of advice: GPS isn’t always accurate for finding Brooks, so make sure it takes you to the northern tip of Stuart Lake.
Dog sled training
Bring your dogs and dog sled to the Calhoun County Trailway in Battle Creek, which offers a cultivated trail through two different woods with enough room for you and your dogs.
Fort Custer Recreation Area in Augusta hosts dog sled races in the winter. It’s a state park, so all you need is a Michigan Recreation Passport for access to the longest and most varied trails in the area.
The advantage of snowshoes is that they don’t require a manicured paths and allow you to enjoy wildlife.
The Whitehouse Nature Preserve is part of the Albion College campus. It serves double duty as an outdoor classroom and a place to enjoy being outdoors.
Woodland Park and Nature Preserve is a little piece of wilderness in the city of Battle Creek.
Binder Park Golf Course doesn’t offer tee times in the winter, but the elevation changes that make this city course a great golf experience also make it fun for snowshoes when everything is covered in snow. Binder Park also offers sleds and cross-country skis for borrowing.
Ott Biological Preserve has a combination of flat trails and then some more challenging hiking, with rough ground and natural obstacles. But it’s worth it when you come across a beaver den or a lake.
Disc golf is a year-round sport in Battle Creek. Snow doesn’t stop the clubs from playing. Two popular courses are located at Begg Park and Irving Park. Or try the course at Territorial Brewing Co. and have a beer afterwards.
Sledding at Leila Arboretum is a tradition for Battle Creek kids. There are a couple big hills where you can get good speed. And because it’s a park, you don’t have to worry about trying to stop before you hit a road.
The stars seem especially bright in winter. Historic Bridge Park in Battle Creek is a great spot to park and look up at the night sky. Be sure to bundle up while sitting at a picnic table by the river. There are also park grills where you could roast some potatoes or maybe s’mores.