The Saugatuck area boasts wonderful options for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing & Landsharks is your hook-up for rental equipment! We rent top-of-the-line skis and snowshoes from Fischer, Tubbs and Redfeather. We can equip small children and adults up to shoe size 14.
Pricing: $14.00 per day. Rental includes skis, poles and boots if you are skiing or snowshoes and poles if you are snowshoeing.
Equipment is due the following morning by 11:00am EST.
We do not hold or reserve equipment, rentals are provided on a first come first served basis.
Where to go:
There are many options within 30 minutes of downtown Saugatuck. The Saugatuck Dunes State Park is a great option for snowshoers of all levels and experienced skiers. With over 15 miles of trails (most of which lead to Lake Michigan) and steep undeveloped dunes, the SDSP is the most common skiing destination. Our staff can recommend routes for inexperienced skiers, although the terrain will be steep throughout most of the park. Please click the link below for a trail map: http://www.michigandnr.com/Publications/PDFS/RecreationCamping/saugatuck_dunes_map.pdf
The Allegan State Game Area is the best option for skiers of all levels. Located 25 minutes east of Saugatuck, The Allegan State Game Area has over 20 miles of trails in a quiet setting overlooking the parts of the Kalamazoo River Watershed. The terrain is heavily wooded and relatively flat, making it a great spot for beginners and skiers looking for a great cardiovascular workout. This area is open for skiing January 1st, if you attempt to ski this area before then, there is a relatively good chance you will be shot by a hunter. http://www.michigantrails.us/michigan-trail-maps/asga_cctrail.pdf
The Outdoor Discovery Center is an excellent option for families with small children, or for inexperienced skiers looking for a quick 20-30 minute workout. Located 7 miles north of Saugatuck, the ODC Nature Preserve has six naturally occurring, distinct ecosystems on its 130 acre site which include: ponds, remnant dunes, wetlands, meadows, remnant prairies, and lowland hardwood forests.
The ODC offers 4 miles of trails and boardwalks which wind through the preserve. Located along the trails are interpretive signs, wildlife viewing points and outdoor classroom areas/educational stations. The ODC has a great birds of prey area where you can view eagles, falcons, and owls that are being rehabilitated in a natural outdoor setting. The founders hall, located near the entrance, has exhibits and usually offers lectures and demonstrations on weekends. The park is free to the public, and donations are genuinely appreciated. Please view the links below for maps and general information: http://odcofwu.schoolwires.com/152610629165410370/site/default.asp
Pigeon Creek Park, just north of Holland, is about 30 minutes from downtown Saugatuck. This park offers groomed trails, which are lit for night skiing. In addition, there is a lighted sledding hill and a heated lodge that offers hot chocolate during the ski season. This is a great choice for snobs that demand groomed trails, and for families and those wishing to ski at night. This park is free of charge. It can get crowded on weekends, but with over 10 miles of trails it is worth the 30 minute drive. http://www.co.ottawa.mi.us/ParksVI/Parks/pdf/Park_Maps/Trails_Pigeon_Cr.pdf
The Saugatuck Natural Harbor Area is a stunning 171 acre parcel of land adjacent to the Oval Beach along the Lake Michigan Shoreline. The city of Saugatuck and the Land Conservancy of West Michigan purchased this property for $22 million in 2010 for intelligent and outgoing people like you to enjoy! This area is great for snowshoeing, but nearly impossible to ski due to drifting and shifting sand along the lakeshore. You can access trails by walking north along the beach from the Oval Beach Parking lot. If you want to show off and earn some “street cred” from the Landsharks staff, park at Mount Baldhead and walk up the 30 flights of stairs to join up with the trails. This really is a fantastic area to snowshoe, and you’ll likely have the trails to yourself. There are very few trail markers, so please grab a trail map at the store before heading out. http://www.naturenearby.org/SHNA.tab.aspx
Suggestions and Tips from the crew at Landsharks:
Our staff has spent many days hiking, running, and skiing most of the aforementioned trails. We will try our best to suggest an appropriate area and trail for you. These tips might make your outdoor endeavor more enjoyable:
- Stay away from cotton! It is common for skiers to overdress. Cross-country skiing is an unrivaled anaerobic exercise. You will get hot and sweaty almost immediately. Cotton is a terrible base layer, because it takes a long time to dry and does not retain heat when wet. Wool and synthetics such as polyester and capilene are much better wicking fibers – keeping you warm and dry when you perspire. Dress in layers, its nice to have the option to remove or add warmth during and after your workout.
- Skiing and snowshoeing should be fun, not competitive. If you are a beginner, try to go slow and exaggerate the motion. We do not give awards to the fastest or best skiers so enjoy your time outdoors and take it easy. If a hill seems to steep to go up or down, remove your skis and walk. A bruised ego is better than a broken neck.
- Hit different venues. If you are renting equipment for a few days we’d highly recommend visiting the Saugatuck Dunes State Park and the Allegan State Game Area if possible. Each spot offers different challenges and scenery so don’t limit yourself to the same trail or park.
The video below is low-budget but the content is great. We’ve found it very informative and much more useful than in-store demonstrations or recommendations.