For years, I’ve been winter backpacking all over the county from Utah to Maine! But the scenic trails we have right here at home are some of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of exploring.

My most recent winter hike with friends is a tradition that we try to plan for every year and this one took place on the banks of the Manistee river. Not only is the Manistee a great source to filter water from but it’s also home to a wide variety of birds and wildlife of every type. From swans to wood ducks and owls with some deer and squirrels – we saw it all on this trip!

The diversity of terrain here is amazing! From 800ft bluffs to deep valleys near the river, the ever changing conditions add a sense that anything could happen and it keeps me coming back for more. We covered many miles and made an overnight camping trip of it. So many great memories created and stories shared around the camp fire!

The fun of backpacking for us is that struggle that stakes us against the cold realities of a Northern Michigan winter environment. Fire is hard to make, your water supply can freeze and so will your food. It’s not exactly easy but that’s why we enjoy it!

You can find maps and more information on our trails here at: