West Michigan Winter Hiking Guide with Happy People Hike
By: Kelly Brown
Strap on your winter hiking boots and embrace the cold this season by exploring one of our many beautiful hikes in West Michigan. Alison Glowinski, owner of Happy People Hike, shared her tips and top picks for winter hikes throughout the area. Happy People Hike is an apparel and lifestyle brand on a mission to take people outdoors to experience the best parts of nature through an activity available to all size, gender and ages…hiking!
Why do you enjoy hiking West Michigan trails in winter?
I enjoy winter hiking because of how peaceful it is. The trails are significantly less crowded this time of year and there is something magical about hiking in the snow. Normally in the summer months I prefer hiking with a group. In winter, it’s more about some quiet time to myself.
Is there a specific time of day you enjoy hiking in winter?
Sunrise! I prefer there to be some light but enjoy going as early in the day as possible. If we’re lucky enough to get some sun this time of year, a snowy sunrise hike is beautiful!
What are your top tips for making hiking in the cold weather more enjoyable?
Lots and lots of layers. I am always cold so making sure I have a good base layer and that everything on top is removable in case I do get too warm. Warm socks and boots with good traction are key. You want to be able to enjoy your time out there and not worry about being too cold or sliding around. If the hike is long enough, add a thermos of warm coffee to your backpack.
What are your top 5 favorite winter hiking trails in West Michigan?
Richmond Park – It’s the perfect spot for a shorter, hilly hike.
Highlands at Blandford Nature Center – The area is more open so it’s a nice change of scenery from the typical wooded trails.
Pickeral Lake – It’s just really pretty and a fairly easy loop around the lake with beautiful views the whole way.
Siedman Park – I like this one because you can add some distance with the various loops, and it has some hilly parts. This is a good spot for more of a workout hike.
Coolbough Natural Area – It’s a little further out of town (Newaygo) but absolutely worth the drive. It’s never busy and has a wide range of terrain. I think it’s more beautiful in the winter than summer.
How can people stay connected and up to date with Happy People Hike?
We’re on Instagram and Facebook @happypeoplehike or visit our website where you can sign up for our newsletter!
Kelly Brown is a writer, marketer and fitness instructor located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She has over 10 years of experience coaching competitive gymnastics and cheerleading and has taught group fitness classes such as barre, pilates, mobility, and bootcamp. When she isn’t teaching or writing, she’s usually at a CrossFit class or hiking on a local trail.