Benzie is known amongst visitors as one of the top places in Michigan to experience outdoor exercise, sports and recreation year-round. Benzie has over 135 miles of trails and 60 miles of shoreline including the majestic Crystal Lake, among the top ten largest lakes in Michigan, and over 25 miles of coastline along Lake Michigan.
Snowmobiling on nearly 500 miles of connecting groomed trails throughout Benzie County and surrounding regions. If there’s snow in Northern Michigan, Benzie County is the snowmobilers dream. With 135 miles of trails within Benzie county see an abundance of natural beauty along interesting terrain. Trailheads are located in various spots and traveling through quaint towns like Honor, Thompsonville, Benzonia and Beulah is part of the experience. The villages along the trails have restaurants and other resting spots for snowmobilers who want to move from village to village to capture the landscape and experience the unique locale. A trail system and trail conditions, with trail reports, and detailed maps for Benzie County are available online. Snowmobile trail maps are also available at stopping points along the trails and at the Make It Benzie Visitors Center. Visitors can bring their own snowmobiles or can rent them in advance by the day or by the weekend at Crystal Adventures, conveniently located on M-115, approximately 10 ten minutes from the Make It Benzie Visitors Center.
Cross-Country Skiing & Snowshoeing
Groomed trails along the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Benzie features 22 beautiful miles along the Betsie Valley Trail for cross country skiing, as well as 30 km of cross-country and snowshoeing trails at Crystal Mountain. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore features 70,000 acres with various scenic cross-country ski and snowshoe trails, and weekend guided snowshoe tours beginning in January.
Ice Fishing on inland lakes and rivers.
Fishing on ice (weather dependent) or on shore takes place all year long in Benzie which has over 50 inland lakes, including one of the biggest top ten lakes in Michigan – Crystal Lake. Lake Trout, Rainbow Trout, Small Mouth Bass, Northern Pike, Yellow Perch, Whitefish, Rock Bass and Sturgeon and more are fished throughout the seasons. Fishing enthusiasts can bring their own equipment, or can rent them through bait and tackle businesses in Benzie County. Rentals include shanties, rods, bait and more. Winter fishing guide services are available through Tiny Bubbles Sportsfishing & Sport Fish Michigan.
Plan an Ice Fishing charter or excursion with our local outfitters:
- Backcast Fly Shop, Benzonia – (231) 882-5222
- Sport Fish Michigan, Beulah
- Tiny Bubbles Charters, Frankfort
Learn To Curl Lessons At Stormcloud
Get on the ice to learn the sport of Curling! Once again this winter, Stormcloud Brewing Company is offering one-time Learn to Curl Lessons with instruction provided by Stormcloud and the Traverse City Curling Club. Located at 303 Main Street in Frankfort, the outdoor Curling Sheet is located at our downtown pub. All ages welcome, Reservations Required.
Museums, Parks & Historical Sites in the Benzie Area
COGnition is museum style center located in Beulah, full of interactive exhibits that offer hands-on learning opportunities, while being fun and interesting for kids of all ages. From practicing your knot tying on the sailboat railings to investigating snake skin under the microscope, spend some time in awe and wonder!
Cultural activities include events sponsored by the Benzie Area Historical Society, and concerts presented by the Benzie Area Symphony Orchestra and the Community Chorus. Of special note is the opportunities to attend world-class performances at the nearby, internationally-recognized Interlochen Arts Academy.
Michigan Legacy Art Park is a sculpture park dedicated to sharing the stories of the people, events and natural resources that continue to shape the legacy of Michigan. Contemporary artists interpret these stories through outdoor sculpture. With over 50 great works of art, the Art Park provides a rich cultural experience for thousands of visitors annually.The Art Park is open during daylight hours 365 days of the year.
Gwen Frostic in Benzonia – “Take a step away from the ordinary and enter the wood to a hidden wildlife sanctuary in Northern Michigan. To a place where you can be dazzled by Gwen Frosts art that has come to life.” Tucked away on a wildlife sanctuary in Benzie County is a shop built of native stones, glass, and wood. A building that brings the outdoors in and blends all nature in its structure. From the display room with its huge fireplace and natural fountain, one can watch as twelve Heidelberg presses print. Gwen sketched flowers, birds, trees, grasses and other little things one finds out where they grow and live, cutting each linoleum block by hand for the notepapers, calendars and books to share with you the grandeur and wondrous simplicity of nature. Unique Shopping Experience!