Hello CAMBr folks, Basically having way too much fun skate skiing (I think I have 25 days in this year) at the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex and wanted to share this incredible place with you. I am good friends with some of the staff there, who are very fun people and have an incredible facility and I wanted to make sure the CAMBr crew knows about it. http://www.msports.org/snowstatus
Luge is incredible fun (hitting an ice banked turn at 35 MPH is a good thing), hockey, ice skating through the forest, xc skiing, snowshoeing all available 10-10 every day. They also have a party tent available and I think its possible to rent the luge run as a group during the week.
The complex is located within the Muskegon State Park which is right on the beach, which is infinite and beyond beautiful, and a bit dangerous too- itís a good idea to have a couple people, crampon type things and be roped in if you are getting close to the water. I know they have a yurt that can be rented, but winter camping is also available- right in the dunes next to the beach, which is right across the street from the sports complex.http://www.michigandnr.com/parksandtrails/Details.aspx?type=SPRK&id=475
There is also incredible trail (probably 15-20 miles with loops) and backcountry skiing in the forested dunes at Hoffmaster State Park.http://www.michigandnr.com/parksandtrails/Details.aspx?type=SPRK&id=457
Its definitely colder and snowier here than Chicago and conditions are currently very good, but you should check weather & call the complex hotline before you come if you intend to luge. The downtown also has a hockey team & a few good eateries and brewpubs.
Hope to see y'all soon, Will