Many of us have been to Presque Isle during the summer to visit our favorite cliff jumping spot at Black Rocks or to enjoy a warm sunset at Sunset Point. But did you know how amazing this place is during the winter months?
Ice formations, beautiful scenery, and deer that will come right up to you…it is a sight to see!
During the winter months (from the first heavy snowfall to May-ish) the road that wraps around the Isle is not plowed and motor vehicles are prohibited.
Which makes it perfect for your winter activities like snowshoeing, cross country skiing, pulling your child in the sled as you hike, or even grabbing your snowboard for a couple of the hills in the park.
I titled this article ‘snowshoes around Presque Isle’ due to the fact that is the only way I’ve done it, but I have seen all of the above done!
There are a many routes you can take around the Isle. If you are just going for a stroll, hiking along the road is perhaps the easiest as it is the most traveled and clearly marked. If you are up for more of an adventure, go blaze your own trail!
There are many footprints around the island, both human and animal to follow. However, whichever path you take make sure to get out to the viewpoints or out on Black Rocks to see the ice formations on the lake. Sometimes the lake is completely frozen near the shore, sometimes you’ll get to see some great wave formations.
Depending on which route you take, plan for at least an hour to enjoy this area. The great part about Presque Isle during the winter is that it is completely family friendly. Take the whole family on a sunny winter day and you will not be disappointed. If you are lucky you will spot a deer or two who don’t mind if you come up to them!
My experience snowshoeing at Presque Isle
I probably go to Presque Isle three or four times a month during the wintertime. The ice is always changing around the Isle, which just amazes me.
I love to snowshoe on the road from the pavilion side of the Isle to Sunset point and then climb out on Black Rocks and blaze a trail from there depending on the weather and ice conditions.
I have also done some really sketchy, dangerous things like sliding on my belly out on ice shelves to get right to the edge and take a picture. If you do this, do it at your own risk and please make sure you have a friend ready to pull you out!
I usually make sure I have a two hour block of time to explore because I’m never sure what I am going to find to photograph or explore.
Bottom Line: If you love Presque Isle in the summer but you also love to be out in the snow, you will love Presque Isle in the winter as well.
Other Things to Note
1. Bundle up! Because Presque Isle is right on the lakeshore, the wind chill can sometimes be brutal even when it seems perfect in town. I recently went out when it was a comfortable 1 degree out (yeah, a single degree) and it was fine until I reached Black Rocks and the wind chill was probably near -30. That was cold!
2. Be careful on the ice covered rocks and ice formations. Sometimes the snow covers the ice and you don’t realize how slippery it is till it’s too late. I have a couple of bruises to prove it. I would keep young children away from them if you are on a family outing.
How to get there: If you are not familiar with the Marquette Area, Presque Isle is on the end of Lakeshore Boulevard right past the operating ore dock. Here’s more information on the park for your reading list: http://www.mqtcty.org/parks_presque_isle.html