Where can you find all of this in one place: Lake Superior; wildly beautiful state parks; the snowiest city in the Midwest; a 500-acre trail system that has hosted the US Cross Country Championships; and temperate summers ideal for hiking, biking, camping, and paddling? That’s right—here in the Keweenaw Peninsula!
Experience the four seasons of recreation at Michigan Tech and in the surrounding areas, where both indoor and outdoor recreational opportunities abound. Whether you’re exploring the natural wonders of the Keweenaw or using our Student Development Complex facilities, there are endless ways to enjoy your leisure time and improve your fitness. Tech offers a number of community programs and organized activities for all ages and athletic levels. Try something new today!
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 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.
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!
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.
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 downhill or cross-country skiing is your pleasure, the Keweenaw offers some of the best terrain and trails in the Midwest. Our area is powdered regularly, receiving an average snowfall of 200–250 inches a year. Mont Ripley welcomes all snow enthusiasts with beginner areas and lessons, as well as more advanced terrain, including more than thirty features with jumps and slides to challenge your abilities. Mount Bohemia is not recommended for beginners; designed for the backcountry thrill seeker, this hill has the longest runs with the highest vertical and deepest powder in the Midwest. If you prefer the quietude of the woodlands, have a cross- country adventure on one of the Keweenaw’s many trail systems. The Tech Trails and Recreational Forest, located right here on campus across from the Student Development Complex, spans 500 acres with 35 kilometers of trails, half of which is lighted during the winter months.
Michigan Tech Sports Camps are for a wide range of ages and interests. Participants develop confidence and skills in a sport or activity and receive guided lessons and valuable practice from Michigan Tech coaches and assistants. Practicing with other dedicated players and coaches will push your child to be his or her best. Participants may elect to stay in Michigan Tech’s residence halls, and get a taste of college living, or commute from home.
Gates Tennis Center
Michigan Tech’s Gates Tennis Center is the area’s premier indoor tennis facility. For beginners to pros and everyone in between, the center has all of the top amenities, including four professional-quality indoor courts, all recently resurfaced; ball machine for practices and drills; locker rooms with showers; and a pro shop with staff capable of handling all of your equipment needs, restringing racquets, performing repairs, and answering questions!
Portage Lake Golf Course
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.
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.
Student Development Complex
Incredible facilities, modern equipment, and enough variety to keep the whole family active and motivated—Michigan Tech’s Student Development Complex (SDC) provides four seasons of recreation and fitness activities for students, faculty, staff, and the community. Michigan Tech students have access to the SDC through student fees. Faculty, staff, and community members can purchase memberships in a variety of price and length options. Daily passes are also available.
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.
Community Programs offers a wide variety of adult fitness classes—whether you’re looking to kick up your fitness routine with aerobics, improve both your physical and mental well-being with aikido, center yourself with yoga, or add some Latin zest to your workout with Zumba/aqua Zumba. An organized class can help you build an exercise routine and stay accountable to yourself, while enjoying camaraderie with classmates. Class offerings change seasonally, and registration sessions open at the beginning of the fall, spring, and summer semesters.
Need a place for your child to explore an athletic interest? Could she or he benefit from blowing off some steam—and really, who couldn’t? Community Programs is a great way to introduce your child to a fun activity that could spark a lifelong diversion or interest. Our youth classes teach healthy fitness habits and provide a safe, supportive learning environment with skilled instructors. Class offerings change seasonally and may include aikido, dance, hockey, ice skating, swimming, tennis, tumbling, and more. Registration sessions open at the beginning of the fall, spring, and summer semesters.
Get motivated! A personal trainer is a fitness and nutritional expert rolled into one—a health advocate who can help you reenergize your exercise routine and create a custom program to meet your goals. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, gain muscle, or simply increase strength, personal training is a great option. Working with a trainer is one of the fastest and most successful ways to improve your fitness; the individualized attention you’ll receive from our professional fitness specialist will help you to custom design a program that works for you. Programs for athletes, children, the elderly, and pregnant women are available. Personal-training services include
- a full exercise assessment with body-fat analysis,
- nutritional guidance,
- cardio training,
- resistance training, and
- flexibility and balance training.