There's plenty to do during the winter months in the Houghton Lake area. Whether you enjoy snowmobiling, cross-country or downhill skiing, snowshoeing or ice fishing, ice skating or winter festivals, the Houghton Lake area is a winter wonderland.
With roughly 200 miles of groomed snowmobile trails in Roscommon County, Houghton Lake is the perfect stop for the snowmobile enthusiast. It is clear to see why Houghton Lake attracts thousands of snowmobile enthusiasts each winter. With northern Michigan's extensive trail system, abundant snow and exciting terrain, it is the perfect setting for a snowmobiling adventure for all ages.
Cross-country skiing is one Northern Michigan’s most popular sports. There are hundreds of miles of marked and well-maintained ski trails in Roscommon County. These include family-friendly trails and more demanding routes for experienced skiers. These ski trails are free for all to enjoy.
Downhill skiing is a mainstay for winter fun. The Houghton Lake area has two nearby downhill ski venues.
Snowshoeing is fast becoming one of winter's most popular activities. Just minutes from your hotel room you will find a wide variety of state forest trails on which to experience the best that winter has to offer.
Experience the excitement of winter fishing on Houghton Lake, Higgins Lake and Lake St. Helen. Here you will find perch, crappie, small and large mouth bass, northern pike, walleye, pike, bluegill and more. Shanties MUST be removed by March 15 from all bodies of water.
Ice Skating / Hockey
All of the lakes will afford you the opportunity to skate on the lakes when they are completely frozen. Markey Township (Truman Gardens Park) has a maintained natural ice rink, which is cleared of snow and watered regularly.
Annual Winter Events
Tip-Up Town USA
Location: Houghton Lake
The premier ice fishing festival in north central Michigan that happens Friday, Saturday and Sunday, on the last two weekends in January. The festival is held at the southern DNR boat launch, off of M-55 near the Pines theater and Pineview Golf Course. Free parking is available at the High School and library with free shuttle service to and from Tip Up Town. Badge is required.
- Ice Fishing Contest (you must be registered)
- Carnival Rides and vendors
- Ice Slide
- Snowmobiling and SxS Racing on the ice
- Polar Bear Dip (preregistration required register at Chamber)
- Pie Eating Contest
- Family Fun Tent
- Adult Beverage Tent
- Entertainment both weekends
- and much, much more…
St. Helen Snow Run
Location: Snow Packers Clubhouse | 520 N Saint Helen Rd - Saint Helen
The Saint Helen Snowpackers Snowmobile Club is one of the oldest and largest snowmobile club located in Roscommon County, Michigan. The Club holds an annual Snow Run each February. Ride miles of groomed trails, check points, lunch on the trail, prizes and more.More Info >
Higgins Lake / Roscommon WinterFest
Location: Higgins Lake
The Higgins Lake/Roscommon WinterFest is a two-day celebration of winter in the Higgins Lake/Roscommon Area, held the same weekend as Michigan DNR’s Free Fishing weekend. Your badge will get you entry to events including pancake breakfast, cardboard sled race, broomball, Kids Karnival, chili cook-off and more. Hosted by the Higgins Lake/Roscommon Chamber of Commerce.More Info >