Mercury Rising- Scientists Baffled Over Increasing Mercury Levels In Great Lakes Fish

Authorities recently gave out advisories regarding the high level of toxic mercury in Great Lakes fish. With the advisories came a recommendation to limit certain fish species consumption.Livnfresh is an advocate for keeping Lake Michigan and the Great lakes beautiful and clean for humans as well as the creatures that dwell beneath.

Side effects of Mercury

Mercury, a heavy, silver metal forms as a liquid at room temperature and is deadly to animals, especially to humans. The Environmental Protection Agency or EPA discovered that short-term exposure to mercury found in water can result in  health hazards. Kidney damage can happen when exposed to mercury at levels beyond the contaminant level of 0.002 ppm. The toxic substance can also result to brain damage in children and hinder brain development in developing babies. Mercury can also attack the immune system and damage heart function in adults.

Since 1970 the mercury content found in Greta Lakes based fish continued to drop progressively. The reduction of mercury was the result of stricter Midwestern smokestacks regulations and the closure of coal-fired manufacturing plants. Also, technology provides massive benefit for pollution prevention.

 Research scientist at the Environment and Climate Change Canada, Agnes Richards said, “We’ve been monitoring since the 1970s and the (mercury contamination) trends overall have been declining, as have been the emissions of mercury into the atmosphere and deposition into the lakes.”

Richards also added, “We decided to look at recent trends, from 2000 to 2015. What we found is, at some specific sites, trends have reversed.”

 Reversal of the trend

In the past years, the trend started to change. Scientist found mercury level increasing in several Great Lakes fish like walleye and lake trout. Another peculiar case in the toxic mercury reports shows that not all fishes are affected. Researchers are still conducting more studies to find out the reason for the incidence.

Joseph Bohr, the aquatic biologist for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Water Resources Division claimed that mercury level in some fish continues to rise. He said (in the same article), “Out of 19 data sets, we see eight where we can see a significant trend.”

 In Lake Michigan, Bohr mentioned that walleye and lake trout in the Grand Traverse bays show an increase of mercury content. Scientists can also see the same trend in Lake Huron in the walleye from Saginaw Bay and the lake trout found in Thunder Bay. Lake Erie also shows mercury level rising. The aquatic biologist said that the average increase of mercury level reaches up to 2% annually.

For the meantime, the increasing level of mercury toxicity remains in isolated areas.

Scientist Hypothesis-are storms to blame?

Ecotoxicologist of Environmental Canada, Shane De Solla believed that the warming of the Great Lakes shows a key factor in the trend. De Solla, the co-author of the research said, “The lakes are slightly warmer, and that increases the production of methyl mercury.”

Richards also mentioned that the region’s regular strong storms in the past years can also affect the Great Lakes. She said, “That results in a lot of flooding, and the re-suspension of sediments, what was buried before can become exposed, and that can increase the conversion of mercury to methylmercury.”

 Meanwhile, Bohr mentioned about the invasive species which “significantly changed the food web.” These invasive species significantly altered the fish diets.

He said that in Saginaw, Thunder bays, and Grand Traverse carp are not showing any increase in mercury levels. Bohr added that in the Detroit River and St. Clair River carp are even seen decreases in mercury. He believed that the findings show important clues because carp being bottom feeders and eat differently from big sports fish.

Bohr said that carp are “low on the food chain” and “mucking around on the bottom eating insects, basically.”

De Solla believed that the mercury level in the Great Lakes will not cause any “catastrophic in the next little while.” However, if it continues to increase then “it could become a problem again.”

Mercury levels found in the fishes remains below the US Environmental Protection thresholds. Nevertheless, researchers want to establish if the reported mercury level is a temporary condition or will cause an environmental concern.

 Billions worth of fish industry possibly effected

The outcome can greatly affect Michigan’s fishing industry.  The data of The Michigan Department of Natural Resources concluded that anglers spent at least $2.4 billion in equipment and trip-related expenditure in 2011.

What Can We As Michigan Residents Do?

Get involved. Organizations like Health Great Lakes can always use support. **Also the image was from the movie starring Bruce Willis “Mercury Rising” in case you missed the tie in.

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4 Unforgettable Shipwrecks in Lake Michigan

  • Lady Elgin

5 Ship Wrecks You Need To Remember In Michigan
Lady Elgin remains as the worst open water disaster in the history of the Great Lakes. The incident happened on September 8, 1860, claimed the lives of more than 300 people.  A smaller vessel named Augusta, a 129-foot schooner rammed the 252-foot wooden steamship, Lady Elgin at a speed of 11 knots.

Witnesses account say that the second mate of Augusta spotted Lady Elgin 30 minutes before the collision. However, the schooner did change its course until it was too late. The smaller vessel managed to correct its course 10 minutes before the collision.

When Augusta collided with Lady Elgin, there was music in the forward cabin. The captain of Augusta sailed away thinking that their vessel sustained more damage than the larger vessel. But Augusta torn a big part of the Lady Elgin, the crew lowered a lifeboat but was not secured. The lifeboat just floated away before passengers could go onboard.

  • SS Carl D. Bradley

5 Unfortettable Shipwrecks in Michigan Card Bradley


SS Carl D. Bradley was the largest ship that sails the Great Lakes between the years 1927 and 1949. The 639-foot “Queen of the Lakes was an engineering spectacle as it serves as the largest and longest self-unloading freighter of its days.


The vessel used to tow limestone to the deep water ports of Lake Michigan from Lake Huron and Lake Superior. Before it sank, the Carl Bradley collided with another ship, MV White Rose along St. Clair River. The damage may have contributed to the disaster the following year.

A massive gale-force storm hit Carl Bradley on November 18 after a haul delivery in Gary, Indiana. The vessel was on its way heading north in the upper part of Lake Michigan., The freighter began cracking in to around 5:30 pm when the storm’s wind reaching 65 miles per hour and waves began to soar up to 20 feet tall.

The crew made three radio calls of Mayday but rescuers reached the freighter too late, only two survived from the 35 crewmen on board the Carl Bradley.

  • Niagara

Niagra Ship Sun in lake michigan

Records show that Niagara was the finest steamers of its era. The side-wheeled vessel was built in 1846 in Buffalo New York and serves a main transportation for both passengers and good in the Great Lakes.

However, on a tragic day of September 24, 1856, the steamship caught fire around 6:00 pm. The fire started in the engine room but the cause of the fire remains a mystery until today. One theory surfaces about the incident is that some flammable cargo may have cause the fire.

Most of the crew and passengers were able to jump from Niagara. Nearby ships later rescued the stranded people. However, 60 out of the 300 passengers died on that day and the entire ship was lost in the water.

  • L.R. DOTY

One of the most memorable shipwrecks in Lake Michigan was L.R. Dotty. The vessel was one of the last wooden steamships to set sail on the Great Lakes in 1893. Steel become the standards for newer models. The 291-foot steamer had reinforced steels and very much sturdy according to the standards.

L.R. Dotty also has a powerful and huge engine but did not have any electricity of any up to date communication apparatus.  The vessel was no match for the vicious storm on October 25, 1898. On that same day, several vessels on the lake perished including Chicago boardwalk and Milwaukee break wall. The storm claimed all the lives and cargo onboard of L.R. Dotty.  The ship was later discovered after 112 years since it sank in the bottom of Lake Michigan.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Niagara_%281813%29

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The Best Beaches in Traverse City MI 2017[Local Friday Features]

Traverse City, (my favorite city in the world) lies on the shores of Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bays and is the largest city in the 21-county of Northern Michigan. If you are heading “Up North” and want to “explore some of Northern Michigan’s Best Beaches“, then make sure to read our article.

TC is the largest producer of tart cherries in the United States reportedly, however rumors swirl about the Cherry Festival bringing in cherries from Washington for the National Cherry Festival…. The festival attracts at least 500,000 tourists for a full week in July. Talk about “fudgy central”. If you dont know what the term “fudgy” means, it means you’re not a local. People visiting always seem to stop at some of the fudge shops that are scattered across TC.

History

French voyagers named the city after the Grand Traverse Bay as “La Grande Traverse.” It means the long crossing across the mouth of the bay. In 1839, Rev Peter Doughtery started the first permanent settlement in Traverse City.

The Best Beaches in Traverse City

Traverse City draws tourist because of its many spectacular beaches, crystal clear waters, amazing hotels and world class restaurants. To make your next vacation easier, we compiled a list of the city’s best beaches.


Traverse City State Park

Photo via Facebook

The beach is located just two miles west of downtown TC. It stretches a quarter mile of beautiful sandy beach on Grand Traverse Bay. This place also offers a great camping site with at least 300 camping wooded setting spots.It also happens to run adjacent to the Pinestead Reef resort which is one of my favorite places.

To get there, just cross a bridge across US-31, to reach the camping ground.

Bryant Park

best beaches in traverse city, bryant park.

Photo via Facebook

Ok, maybe I’m a little biased on this one. I grew up right across the street from this beach, so it will always have a special place in my heart. Located within a few minutes’ away from downtown, Bryant Park sits on the West Grand Traverse Bay.  The beach faces west, so it is always great to catch the sunsets here. Situated at the base of Old Mission Peninsula, it is also a great place for kids to play under the pine trees.

Bryant Park is super close to, Bardon’s Wonder Freeze, a mid-century shop that was my favorite place growing up to get ice cream after a baseball game at the Civic’s Center.

Clinch Park

Clinch Park Traverse City, Best Beaches In Traverse City Michigan 2017

Photo via Facebook

Popular because it’s gorgeous after just having a major facelift a few years ago, Clinch Park is a “fudgy” and local favorite.

Since its right downtown, you can head there after that shopping spree, or after indulging in some beverages or food.You can burn those calories (from dining in downtown TC’s cafes) in several activities on the beach. Clink Park offers kayaks, Stand Up Paddleboards (SUP), and canoes rentals.

Although parking is not easily accessible, except for some spots scattered across the marina,you can park along Cass Street and cross the underpass to get to Clink Park. Cass Street is located on the north side of West Grandview Parkway.

East Bay Park

East Bay Park Best Beaches in Traverse City Michigan 49685

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East Bay Park is great to bring along your toddlers along because the beach is shallow than most of the beach in TC. Perfect for those little kids to splash and enjoy the warm water and lifeguards watch the beach during the summer.  It is located on the bottom of the East Grand Traverse. The beach also has a playground and restrooms.

West End Beach

If you want to party in TC, then the West End Beach sure top the list. It’s hard to really differentiate what is Clinch Park beach and West End Beach, because they are essentially the same spot. But the maria is what separates West End Beach from Clinch Park.

If you see people drinking beer and sporting backwards ball caps, then you are probably at West End Beach. This place offers several sand volleyball courts, an open space for Frisbees or to play catch. The beach is also buzzing with people lying along its mile-ling sweet sandy beach. The Volley ball section of the beach is populated with teens and young adults. Boaters often park their boats and “Red Neck Yacht Club” it up for days.

West End beach is literally across the street from restaurants, cafes, and shops. So, you could just grab a bite and go back to swim in no time. The beach is located west of Division Street and on the north side of Grandview Parkway.

 Power Island

Power Island Best Beaches in Traverse City Michigan To Visit

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Now, if boating is your life, then head on to Power Island. This place offers almost everything for the adventurer. Power Island has great wooded hikes, old-school camping sites, and sandy beaches.

Also, it’s great to spend time some quality time with your loved ones since the scenic island is secluded from the busy noise of the city. The island is located 3.5 miles from Bowers Harbor on Old Mission Peninsula.

Haserot Beach

Haserot Beach Old Mission Peninsula

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Haserot Beach is a place also known for toned down ambiance. This place will give you a quieter beach time since people rarely go here. Haserot Beach is located on Old Mission Harbor and features a playground, picnic area, boat launch and restrooms.

You need to drive a little farther from downtown TC to visit, but trust me it’s worth the drive. Kite boarders love this spot. It is located north of Traverse City about 18 miles via M-37.

North Bar Lake

North Bar Lake Beach

Photo Via Facebook

If you want to go in an off beaten path to have a pristine quiet time on the beach, then North Bar Lake is a perfect destination for you. It’s a 40-minute drive from downtown TC but the Sleeping Bear Dunes is one exceptional place to visit.

To get there you can drive via M-72 about 30 miles from downtown Traverse City. You also need a park permit to enter the beach but you can also pay once you get there.

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Things To Do In Jackson Michigan [Local Friday Feature]

Jackson sits along Interstate 94 in the south-central area of Michigan.  It is located about 40 miles west of Ann Arbor and 35 miles south of Lansing. Founded in 1829, the city was named after President Andrew Jackson. It has a population of around 160,248 residents.

All year round, Jackson offers different fascinating ways to spend time with family, or just simply discover a new hobby. Lots of people know Jackson as a home of the Michigan State Prison. But there are so many other wonderful things to do, experience and remember in Jackson! Nature lovers will surely fall in love again in exciting birding activities. Jackson also caters for fun outdoor activities; whether touring art museums, Michigan’s first state prison or going about shopping, Jackson has a lot to offer.

SPARKS PARK POPULARLY KNOWN AS CASCADES PARK

All kinds of sports are available in 457-acre Sparks Park from basketball, baseball, playground areas for the kids to their popular paved walking trail.

The park also boasts of their 18-hole Championship Golf Course and Cascades Short Course. The famous park also adds another great pastime, the Urban Fishery which has a pier with wheelchair accessibility. One can just cast a fishing line to reel in large-mouth bass and bluegill. A large picnic gazebo provides a lot of sunshine during the summer. In winter, Cascades Park becomes a playground for kids enjoying the sledding hills.

Cascades Falls

Cascade Falls Jackson Michigan. Things to do in Jackson Michigan

Photo via Wikipedia

The man made water fall was completed in 1932 and one of the most famous landmarks in Jackson. Cascade Falls take pride in six massive fountains, three reflecting pools, and 16 waterfalls. Music creates an amazing effect when played alongside with the playful waterfalls. Often times, they have fireworks display for everyone to enjoy.

Ella Sharp Museum

Photo Via Wikipedia

Considered as a ‘gem’ in Jackson, Ella Sharp Museum exhibits wildlife art such as carvings, many different clocks and the history of Jackson. The museum opened in 1965 on a 530-acre property of Ella Merriman-Sharp. Families can enjoy sculptures, a planetarium, a log cabin and a historical Victorian mansion.

Sandhill Crane Vineyards

Things To do in jackson michigan sand hill crane jackson michigan vineyard

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This family owned vineyards creates their own handcrafted wines using the best local produce in their own premises. Their wines are well known for the very distinct taste of rich and complex characteristics and are made in small batches. Tourists consider the vineyard as an off beaten path destination but a great way to spend lunch in an al fresco ambiance.Livnfresh is all about the Michigan beer makers and wine makers. Check out our “Love Michigan beer section” and see if anything tickles your palette.

Falling Waters Trail

Fun things to do in jackson michigan falling waters trail

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Falling Waters Trail links Concord, Summit and Spring Arbor townships which cross the Lime Lake. The trail brings in together dog lovers, bike enthusiasts and nature lover of all ages. The trail provides a 10-mile hike which makes it great to shed off the pounds from those wine tasting activities or simply contemplate on life. The paved trail makes it easier for children who would want to explore nature. Want to enter the next race? One of our ¼ performance zips might make your early training sessions more enjoyable, or at least you can look good while running!

Cell Block 7

Thigns To Do In Jackson Michigan. Put The Fear of God in your kids by visiting Cell Block 7.

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Cell Block 7 will give the experience of what is life behind the doors and it is “as close to prison as you can get.” The facility is not just a replica it was a real prison where the most hardened criminals in Michigan dwelt. Also, it was built beside a working penitentiary, which makes the experience even more realistic.


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Not leaving Michigan for spring break? These 5 ideas will keep your family entertained with staycation activities.

With spring break on the horizon, families are beginning to plan activities that would be fun for the whole family. Children are excited to have a long-anticipated break from school while parents are looking forward to quality time with the family. However, with expensive airfare and other nuisances, more and more families are opting for a staycation as opposed to traveling far for spring break. For those who live in Michigan, here are five ideas to keep your family entertained during a staycation.

1. Make a day trip to go skiing.

Glen Arbor based homestead offers free magic carpet tickets to little ones learning how to ride

Despite the lack of mountains, Michigan still boasts plenty of impressive skiing resorts. Most people will be surprised to discover that Michigan ranks second in the nation for the amount of skiing spots found in the state. In fact, Michigan has an amazing 49 different ski areas. This is a great way to get the family out of the house for spring break without having to fly to an exotic location. Besides being fun for all ages, it can also be very reasonably priced. Regardless of where you live in Michigan, there is bound to be one ski resort within driving distance. This makes it an excellent choice for a day trip. No previous experience or investment is needed as all equipment can be rented at the resorts.

2. Indoor Paintball

Another adventurous activity that families can enjoy as they spend spring break in Michigan is indoor paintball. This fairly recent phenomena sees teams dressed up in protective gear as they they shoot small balls full of paint at opponents. While this activity is serious enough to cause bruises, it is also safe enough for families so long necessary precautions are taken. Families can enjoy the different activities and games that are incorporated into indoor paintball. Some common examples include a standard elimination match between two teams as well as the classic capture the flag game. This activity is a great option when the weather outside is not cooperating. Furthermore, this can be a great bonding experience for families.

3. Bouncy Houses

Busy Bodies Traverse City

While this activity will be geared more towards the kids, parents can release their inner child and have a blast as well. Bouncy houses have been a staple of childhood fun for generations. Having fun with this activity can be a great way to spend time with the family. While the most common method for using bouncy houses is renting, there are some business that have emerged as of recent that offer bouncy houses. Some of these business even offer a restaurant along with the bouncy houses. These places can be a great way to spend a day with the family. However, renting bouncy houses will be much easier. If the weather cooperates, families can place these funhouses in their backyard and enjoy hours of endless fun.

4. Visiting Amusement Parks

Both parents and children alike can enjoy a nice day at an amusement park. All throughout Michigan, there are several options for both amusement and water parks. There are even some indoor water parks to accommodate even the worst weather. These amusement parks include many different activities for all members of the family. For those thrill seekers in the family, many different types of roller coasters can be found. There are also more tame activities for those who enjoy a more relaxing atmosphere. These amusement parks make a great day trip for the whole family. Yep, it might be a bit cold for roller coasters and amusement parks might not quite be open depending on how cold it stays.

5. Experiencing the Outdoors

Michigan has some of the most beautiful natural parks in the United States. From dense forests with winding trails to rolling hills, the state is sprawling with beautiful nature. In fact, there are 100 natural parks that cover 250,000 acres in total. Families can pack up a tent and head out for a weekend camping trip or simply go for a day hike around their home. Regardless, the great outdoors can provide a relaxing and rejuvenating getaway for the whole family. Bicycles can also be rode on specially designed trails for yet another outdoor activity.

Although a staycation doesn’t include an exotic getaway, families don’t have to sacrifice on fun. There are plenty of activities around Michigan that offer hours of excitement. Because many of these activities only require a day, they can be added together for an unforgettable week. These are just five ideas of ways to keep your family entertained. Remember to get input from all members of family to ensure that all desires can be met. Another benefit of staying home for spring break is the sheer amount of money that can be saved. This money can be put towards a future vacation abroad or simply spent in your home state gear.

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Winter Family Fun in Northern Michigan – Avalanche Bay and Great Wolf Lodge

Traveling to Northern Michigan in the winter provides ample opportunity for fun with the family. While the weather outside is often cold and blustery, indoor activities can allow the kids to get out some of that pent up energy. When you’re looking for vacation lodging for the cold winter months, it’s best to find a resort that has plenty of things to do with your family in Northern Michigan. Indoor water parks like Avalanche Bay at Boyne Mountain and Great Wolf Lodge are the ideal way to enjoy the winter weather while vacationing in the area.

Avalanche Bay – Boyne Mountain

This water park resort located in Boyne Falls, MI, boasts of having the largest indoor water park in the state. This place is ideal for families with children of all ages, from toddlers to teenagers. This resort is open to guests at the lodge. Plus, they also sell wristbands to those who wish to enjoy the water park, making this an ideal place for locals to take the kids when the winter days seem long. While it’s cold and snowy outside, guests can enjoy the indoor temperature of the park which is always kept between a toasty 84 – 87 degrees. The park has lifeguards, which helps parents sit back and relax without having to worry about keeping an constant eye on the kids. The Kitz Pool area is ideal for the younger kids under 36″ in height. Older kids can enjoy the bigger slides like The Big Coulior, Super-G, and Vertigo.

Guests of the resort can take advantage of the many amenities on-site. The resort has an arcade for the kids to play in once they’ve had enough time in the water. There are several dining options at the resort, which helps to prevent the need to get into the car and drive to a restaurant when everyone gets hungry. The resort has many different packages that allow a family to stay and play without leaving the property. Some packages also have the option to add a buffet breakfast at a reduced price. The Snack Shack is located inside the water park so that the entire family can have a quick snack without having to leave the park. Another great thing about the resort is that it offers close access to some of the best skiing in the state for those who enjoy the snow.

Great Wolf Lodge

So my family and I just stayed there. So all the photos will be from our stay at the GWL. Sorry Avalanche Bay, I could not find any of my cool photos from our stay there, I blame facebook and not being able to search for my photos via keywords!

This resort, located in Traverse City, MI, has a water park that can easily occupy the entire family for several days without hearing claims of boredom of having nothing to do. The youngest ones in the family can spend time in Whooping Hollow and Cub Paw Pool, which have slides and activities for toddlers and the younger set. The older kids will have a blast on Alberta Falls and the large rafts on River Canyon Run. The entire family can float in the lazy river at Crooked Creek or soak up the warm, relaxing water in Manitoba Tubs hot springs. The indoor park area has chairs and lounging areas for parents to relax. One of the benefits of staying at Great Wolf Lodge is that the water park can only be used by guests of the resort. This helps to prevent crowding in the water park area.

Great Wolf Lodge also offers many other amenities to make for a pleasant stay. There are various children’s activities throughout the resort and these are included with each resort package. Packages vary based on the time you wish to stay at the resort but there are often seasonal specials that can be taken advantage of to provide some savings. There are several dining options at the resort, including snacks, desserts and pizza, along with an on-site Dunkin’ Donuts. Plus, there is a dining option inside the water park area so that the kids don’t have to leave the fun to get a bite to eat. The accommodations at the lodge easily suit various sizes of families with the different suites offered, some of which are themed to make that vacation extra special. Guests also have access to WiFi throughout the resort. Parents can take advantage of the fitness center, which is always open.

Indoor water parks are one of the best things to do with your family in Northern Michigan when the weather is cold. Great Wolf Lodge and Avalanche Bay are both excellent options for the family looking for a place where they can hang out and relax for the entire vacation without having to pack everyone in the car to travel around town. While the weather outside may be cold and snowy, the atmosphere inside these water parks is always warm and inviting, giving the family plenty of space to enjoy all the activities offered.

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The Top Places To Ski In Northern Michigan|Family Friendly To Steeps [Local Friday Feature]

Michigan is a premier destination for skiers of all ages. Besides being one of the most scenic states in the US, it has the second-greatest number of skiing areas in the country. All over Michigan, ski resorts don’t skimp on the thrills or the comfort. These five spots will keep you and your family coming back for more.

1. Crystal Mountain (Thompsonville, MI)

Conde Nast Traveler ranked Crystal Mountain one of the best family ski resorts in North America. The lodge offers convenient adventure packages for skiing, golfing, spa days, and more. And the location couldn’t be better, with 58 slopes over 102 skiable acres on Crystal Mountain, a mile from Thompsonville airport and not far at all from the sandy beaches of Traverse City. When you’re done hitting the slopes, you can take a turn on Crystal Mountain’s ice rink, rent a fat tire snow bike, and even enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride through a wintry paradise. As a family-run resort, Crystal Mountain knows what families need to savor their ski vacation. The Scottish-themed lodge has spacious rooms with great views. They provide free breakfast for kids, childcare services, and plenty of activities to keep younger children engaged.

2. Boyne Mountain (Boyne Falls, MI)

Boyne Mountain is an important place for skiers. For one thing, it’s the home of the six-person high-speed chairlift and the modern snowmaker. Also, former Olympians Stein Ericksen and Othmar Schneider founded an Austrian-American ski school here, and it’s open to this day. The mountain itself has a vertical drop of 500 feet and a total of 60 downhill runs, the longest of which is one mile. Slopes are evenly distributed for expert, intermediate, and beginning skiers, and there seven terrain parks for snowboarders. Boyne Mountain Lodge, with its iconic Austrian clock tower, has its own nightlife scene and salon. For all the non-skiers in your bunch, there’s Avalanche Bay, the largest indoor water park in Michigan. There are a variety of Boyne Mountain deals designed to align with busy family schedules.

3.The Homestead Resort (Glen Arbor, MI)

Glen Arbor, located on the pinky-finger peninsula of the Michigan mitten, is home to some of the country’s most breathtaking scenery. You and your family will be surrounded by white sand dunes, green forested ridges, and the largest cherry orchards in the nation. The mountain may not be the steepest in Michigan, but it’s ideal for family friendly skiing and perfect for those who want to learn to ski in a fun, safe environment. Ski lifts run close to the ground at a gentle pace, and the views of Lake Michigan from the 15 downhill slopes are unbeatable. Skiers of all ages and skill levels can sign up for NASTAR-regulated ski races on the day of the race. Back at The Homestead, which is billed as America’s freshwater resort, there’s a fitness center, two pools, an earth-friendly salon and a spa.They offer FREE magic carpet access, which is the bunny hill for little ones learning to ride! That is my son in the video first day on the slopes.

4. Hickory Hills (Traverse City, MI)

Have you ever wanted to ski by the beach? Hickory Hills spans 125 acres of land owned by Traverse City, an outdoor adventure hub on the coast of beautiful Lake Michigan. Families can enjoy one beginner, five intermediate, and two advanced runs; all but one of them are lit for night skiing. There are no lifts, but the five rope tows help novice skiers develop agility and strength on skis. Hickory Hills also serves as the headquarters of the Grand Traverse Ski Club, a nonprofit organization of ski enthusiasts who teach the sport to kids ages 4-14 at a reasonable price. The club hosts learn-to-ski Saturdays and Sunday ski races.

5. Mount Bohemia (Mohawk, MI)

With section names like The Graveyard, Bear Den, and Haunted Valley, Mount Bohemia is not for the faint of heart. But a family of adventurers will appreciate deals like the rustic Aqua Log Cabins–$205 a night plus breakfast and dinner for four people. Quaint trailside cabins and yurts provide gorgeous views and cheap access to the slopes. You’re sure to stay entertained on 585 snow-covered skiable acres and a 900 feet vertical drop. Dedicated skiers can reserve a spot on a Snowcat machine that rolls to the top of Voodoo Mountain, where they’ll get to ski 1800 more acres on four awe-inspiring peaks. It’s the only Snowcat skiing experience in the Midwest. Located in Michigan’s rugged Upper Peninsula, Mount Bohemia is peaceful yet wild.

There’s no shortage of places to ski, snowboard, and explore in Michigan. Resorts provide family friendly skiing experiences and training courses for beginners, as well challenging slopes for the more advanced. Whether you’re booking an unforgettable Snowcat expedition to Voodoo Mountain, or ski-racing your friends at The Homestead Resort, you’ll get a kick out of all Michigan has to offer.

from LIVNFRESH http://blog.livnfresh.com/top-places-ski-northern-michiganfamily-friendly-steeps-local-friday-feature/

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