From the heart of downtown to the coast of Lake Michigan, the Grand Rapids area offers all sorts of opportunities for cold-weather play. Some of our favorite winter pastimes require specialized gear in addition to warm coats, hats and gloves. If you don’t own gear – or you don’t want to lug it with you on your getaway – you can rent what you need from a variety of local sites and providers.

Keep in mind that COVID-19 precautions and snow levels may impact operating capacities, hours and services. Please check with your intended destination in advance.

Downhill Skiing

Three area ski resorts rent downhill gear for use on their slopes:

  • Cannonsburg Ski Area, which features 21 runs and nine lifts just 15 minutes from downtown Grand Rapids, rents skis for $30.
  • Bittersweet Ski Resort, about 40 minutes from downtown GR, offers 20 runs and a 350-ft. vertical drop. Ski rentals range from $30-$35.
  • Mulligan’s Hollow, a lakeshore resort 40 minutes from downtown, is home to six slopes and rents skis for $12-$18.

You can also rent a downhill ski set ($30/day, $70/3 days, $165/week) at Bill & Paul’s Sporthaus – and use the skis at whichever resort(s) you please. Prices are lower if you need rental skis only.

Cross-Country Skiing

Bill & Paul’s Sporthaus rents a cross-country ski set ($17/day, $34/3 days or $75/week) you can take with you throughout the region. Alternatively, these sites offer rentals for use on their trails:

  • Palmer Park offers three groomed cross-country trails of roughly two miles each. You can rent skis at the adjacent Kaufman Golf Course – $8 for adults, $7 for kids age 17 and younger, $26 for a family of up to five.
  • Pigeon Creek Park features three miles of groomed trails for both classic and skate skiing. Ski rental is $8/3 hours and $2 per additional hour.
  • Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park is home to more than nine miles of trails catering to all levels of skiers. Ski rental is $8/day.
A snowboarder at Cannonsburg.

Snowboard rentals available at Cannonsburg Ski Area for all ages!

Photo Credit: Experience Grand Rapids


Snowboarding

Rent snowboards and helmets for use at Cannonsburg Ski Area ($30 + $10), Bittersweet Ski Resort ($35 + $10) and Mulligan’s Hollow ($12-$18 for skis).

Snowtubing

Bill & Paul’s Sporthaus rents sportubes for $40 for up to 10 days and Cannonsburg Ski Area rents tubes for $18 (weekdays) or $23 (weekends and holidays).

Hitting the trails at Blandford Nature Center.

Hitting the trails at Blandford Nature Center with snowshoes.

Photo Credit: Experience Grand Rapids


Snowshoes

Bill & Paul’s Sporthaus and Freedom Paddle Co. rent snowshoes for use in parks and nature centers across the region. Rentals start at $17/day at Bill & Paul’s and $30/day at Freedom Paddle.

You can also rent snowshoes at:

  • Blandford Nature Center, for use on their ungroomed trails through woods and meadows. Non-member fee is $6 for adults and $3 for children.
  • Hemlock Crossing Nature Center rents snowshoes ($8 for 3 hours, $2 per additional hour) for use on more than six miles of trails.
  • Indian Trails Golf Course transforms into a winter sports park in cold weather and provides FREE snowshoe rental with a $3 day pass or $15 season pass.
  • Pigeon Creek Park offers the same snowshoe rental rates as their ski rental rates ($8 for three hours and $2 extra per additional hour) and more than 10 miles of trails. Snowshoe rentals are free for children aged 6 and under with a paid adult rental.
  • The Wittenbach Wege Center, nestled amongst 140 acres of lush forests, rolling prairies, abundant wetlands and open fields, rents snowshoes for $5 per 3 hours.
  • Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park rents “feather” snowshoes for $8/day, making it easy and affordable to explore four different loops with breathtaking view of Lake Michigan, Muskegon Lake and a white pine forest canopy.
The heart of the Ecliptic becomes an ice skating rink in the wintertime.

Ice skating in downtown Grand Rapids at Rosa Parks Circle.

Photo Credit: Experience Grand Rapids; Ecliptic (detail), Maya Lin


Ice Skating

Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids offers FREE outdoor skate rental with a $2 admission fee. All skate times must be reserved in advance in 2021 – visit the online registration site or call 616-456-3696, option 1 to reserve a day and time.

Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park rents both figure and hockey skates for $5/day. (Hockey sticks and helmets can be rented for $3 and $1, respectively.) The natural ice rink is big enough to accommodate both family skating and playing hockey, while a ¼-mile figure-eight skating loop traverses through white pine forest.

Fat-tire biking on the trails at Cannonsburg Ski Area.

Riding fat bikes through the snowy trails in the Grand Rapids area.

Photo Credit: Experience Grand Rapids


Fat Tire Biking

The Winter Trails at Cannonsburg Ski Area are also great for fat tire biking – and Cannonsburg is planning to rent bikes this season. Information will be posted on Cannonsburg’s rental page when details are available.

In addition to rental fees, you may have to pay an admission fee to enjoy some (but not all) of the area’s best slopes, trails and ice rinks. Get out there and enjoy the snowy side of the Grand Outdoors – maybe even try a winter sport you haven’t yet!

Visit our Outdoor Recreation page for even more ways to enjoy nature’s playground.

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