With over 500 acres, Tech Trails is an expansive paradise for hikers, bikers and Nordic and cross-country skiers. One-half of the trail system is lighted, allowing for evening adventures during the winter. If you want to try cross-country skiing but you're not ready to commit to purchasing gear, Michigan Tech's Student Development Complex offers rental equipment for a nominal fee. The trail system, which has played host to the Junior Olympics and the US Cross Country Championships, was recently expanded and features a chalet with a great room, a fireplace, changing rooms and showers. Whether you're looking for a place to commune with nature or a gnarly trail to test your skills, Tech trails is the place to do it.
Ski Mont Ripley
Michigan Tech boasts the oldest ski hill in Michigan--Mont Ripley. Located across the Portage Canal from the University, Mont Ripley is as iconic as the Portage lift bridge. The Copper Hoist, one of three lifts operating at Mont Ripley, was added in 2007 and runs up the east side of the mountain, providing access to half a dozen ski runs. The T-bar runs up the middle of the hill, and the Husky Lift serves the west side. With three terrain parks, runs ranging from beginner to expert in difficulty, and a diverse offering of skiing and snowboarding lessons, there's something for everyone at Mont Ripley. Michigan Tech students can enjoy Mont Ripley for free through the Experience Tech initiative.
The Upper Peninsula is one of the predominant places for biking in the Midwest. The trails are abundant and so are the bicyclers who love a challenge. Explore the bike paths of the Tech Trails, conveniently located off Sharon Ave near Michigan Tech's Student Development Complex. You can go it alone or join one of many student or local biking organizations. The Copper Country Cycling Club (C4), a student organization, hosts the Copper Country Color Tour, an annual fall cycling tour of the Keweenaw Peninsula. It's a wonderful way to enjoy the fall colors.
With an abundance of rivers and lakes, the Keweenaw is a paddling mecca. Tour the beautiful shorelines of Lake Superior, which has the largest surface area of any freshwater lake in the world. Meet fellow paddlers at a weekly social paddle hosted by the Keweenaw Paddling Club at Michigan Tech. In the winter, brush off the snow and brush up on your skills—the club holds lessons on basic paddling maneuvers, including kayak rolling, in the Student Development Complex pool. Don't know where to start? Launch yourself into something new with Michigan Tech's Outdoor Adventure Program. Try your hand at paddling on a day trip with the program and scout out wildlife from a rental kayak or canoe on a serene river.
Whether you'd prefer to blaze your own trail or just stick to the beaten path, the Keweenaw offers a plethora of hiking opportunities. Admire the view of Lake Superior atop Mount Houghton and see for yourself why the Keweenaw Peninsula is known as “Michigan's Top of the World.” Or take a hop, skip and a jump to the Tech Trails. Explore historic mining towns, or venture into the woods and spy wildlife. Not one for mountaineering? Get outside and have an out-the-door experience on a guided hike with Michigan Tech's Outdoor Adventure Program. No matter where you go, one thing is for certain when you're afoot in the Keweenaw, you're sure to witness something amazing—so don't forget your camera!
With outdoor activities for every season, the Keweenaw is an ideal place to take a camping staycation. Why drive several hours when you can set up a wilderness retreat just minutes from campus? Enjoy the Keweenaw's relaxed summer atmosphere—take summer classes and camp out during the weekends. Immerse yourself in the Upper Peninsula fall and experience firsthand the changing of the seasons. Camp at Fort Wilkins in Copper Harbor and take a trip back in time. Check out Michigan Tech's Outdoor Adventure Program website, and you'll see there's no shortage of campsites in the Keweenaw.
You needn't drive far to find a golf course on par with the best in the Western Upper Peninsula—Portage Lake Golf Course (PLGC). Established in 1903 and acquired by Michigan Tech in 1945, PLGC is one of the oldest golf courses in the area. The course features a beautifully irrigated, 18-hole green. Take a respite from the elements and quell your hunger and thirst at the Par & Grill, renovated in 2008. Stop by the Pro Shop and pick up all the essentials for your game or get your PLGC branded attire, including t-shirts, hats and more. Apply for an annual pass at the Pro Shop and save some green on the green, with perks that include guest passes, merchandise and tournament discounts, complimentary pull carts and more.
Need a place for your child to explore an athletic interest? Or are you looking to improve your own fitness? Search no further than Michigan Tech's Community Programs. Whether its tennis or Pilates, Community Programs' sessions teach basic athletic skills, keep you in shape or provide a chance to just have some good fun. Find balance to your life in a yoga class. Or join Aikido and learn a martial art. Community Programs offers activities that support wellness for the whole family. Registration sessions open at the beginning of the fall, spring and summer semesters.
The Michigan Technological University Intramural Recreational Sports Services Program mission is to provide a wide variety of recreational activities that will appeal to the leisure-time pursuits of the students, faculty, and staff. We encourage that participation be for fun, fitness, and friendship. We promote and honor individual and team sportsmanship. We provide the opportunity for students to compete against and interact with other students, thus promoting good citizenship and socialization. Student employees develop social and leadership skills that are essential for lifelong learning. The Intramural-Recreational Sports Services program is designed to be consistent with the educational objectives of Michigan Technological University.