Cross-country Skiing and Snowshoeing on Eastern National Forests

Imagine being encircled by snowflakes as you glide through a trail winding around a national scenic river glistening with a fresh white covering. A picturesque and serene landscape awaits you this winter in Michigan’s Huron-Manistee National Forests. And with all the recent snow, the Forest’s trails are primed and ready for your visit!

For cross-country and snowshoeing enthusiasts, the Forests offer a plethora of options:

  • Highbanks River Trail runs along the Au Sable River and provides visitors several scenic views of the river and surrounding river valley.  This trail accesses many of the recreation sites along the river, including Lumberman's Monument Visitor Center. This trail is not groomed in winter, and the parking lot is not plowed. 
  • Eagle Run Cross-country Ski and Hiking Trail provides a loop trail system with scenic views of the Au Sable River and a quiet setting where visitors can enjoy nature firsthand. The trail is groomed in winter, and the parking lot is plowed.
  • The Forest Discovery Trail offers a rustic trail for more experienced users. It features a path through the grounds of the visitor center to the overlook deck; however, it is not groomed.
  • The River Road National Scenic Byway offers quiet trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.


Other Eastern National Forests also offer amazing places to cross-country ski and snowshoe:



  • Snowshoe the Hiawatha National Forest’s segment of the North Country Scenic Trail-Sault Ste. Marie. Beginning in New York and ending in North Dakota, the trail’s segment through the Hiawatha meanders 83 miles through the heart of both the St. Ignace and Sault St. Marie Range Districts. And, the best part, the skill level is easy, so you can take in the beautiful scenery all-around you! If you’re interested in checking out another area, there are a plethora of options!
  • The Ottawa NF offers almost one million acres available for snowshoe enthusiasts! Visit the Black River Harbor area, where you can snowshoe along a segment of the North Country Trail along the Black River and enjoy the wonder of a cascading waterfall frozen in mid-rush.


  • The Chippewa National Forest offers 298 miles of non-motorized trails!
  •  The Superior National Forest boasts a variety of trails for both cross-country skiing and snowshoeing!

New Hampshire

  • The White Mountain National Forest’s Greeley Ponds Trail provides an excellent backcountry skiing opportunity from Livermore Trail to Lower Greeley Pond. Segments of the trail were rerouted away from the banks of the Mad River utilizing a segment of the Timber Camp Trail and some new trail construction.


  • The Allegheny National Forest offers some beautiful scenic trails.

Vermont & New York

West Virginia

  • Check out some wonderful spots on the Monongahela National Forest!


  • Chequamegon-Nicolet’s winter recreation trails are open for business! The Forest offers 20 cross-country ski trails, of varying distances and experience levels; and a cross-country ski report with current conditions is posted weekly on the Forest’s website.


And, remember the most important part of a winter recreation adventure is safety!

Be responsible: Your safety and the safety of others around you is your primary responsibility. What you wear, where you go, the equipment you carry and how you conduct yourself is vitally important. There are some good guidelines to follow for general outdoor safety. However, there are some specific hazards to be aware of in the winter; they include Avalanches and Hypothermia.

Remember, the weather can change suddenly and dramatically, so be prepared by monitoring local weather conditions before you set out for the day. And, make sure you leave your travel plans with someone before you leave.

Winter activities can be fun and exciting as long as we all play it safe. Plan your trip today, adventure awaits!