Michigan Winter Trail Running

Running in the winter takes a special person, however Michigan winter trail running takes a special kind of crazy. YakTrax may be required!

YakTracks Required

That is my running partner, Chuck on the top of the hill.  Yep, that little red dot is him.  Running while you are photographing can really cut into your pace!

Michigan Winter Running

It was a balmy 18 degrees when we headed out the door.  Just another great day of Michigan running.  Our route was a nice little ramble through some of the hidden treasure of trails we have in Ann Arbor.

Michigan Winter Running

We were headed for the hills by the river and yes that is vertical climb.  We sort of crawled to the top.  Thats what makes these trails so fun!

Michigan Winter Trail Running

Chuck had made it to the top of this scramble.  I still had to complete my climb.  But hey! I’m the one doing the photography!

Michigan Winter Trail Running

Chuck is taking a peek back to see if I’m still back there.  I was trundling right along.  My YakTrax were like velcro on this slippery devil!

Michigan Winter Trail Running

Our little jaunt offered a pretty view of the Huron River.  On the other side is the University of Michigan Hospitals.  We may need to stop in after these hills!

Michigan Winter Trail Running

 

The snowman was very pleased we’d returned from the wholly winter trails unharmed.

Michigan Winter Trail Running

 

While it may be cold and slippery at times, running in Michigan in the winter is the best!

For those new to winter running, here are a few tips we have to share:

  • Don’t overdress.  On a run with big hills, you’ll get warm soon enough!
  • Wool or synthetic is best for dress.  SmartWool is our best friend, however Patagonia makes some nice stuff too.  Running Fit usually has some good deals on running duds.
  • YakTrax – are not an absolute necessity, but they sure are nice to have.
  • Bring your phone and ID.  You never know if you’ll need a hand or a friend to meet you half way with some nice warm coffee!
  • Don’t forget your water.  The air is dry in the Winter and you can get dehydrated faster.
  • Bring a sense of wonder and enthusiasm!  Open yourself up to all that Winter in Michigan has to offer!

If you are looking for information on trails in Ann Arbor, the B2B (Border to Border) trail system is a good place to start.

6 Comments

  1. Do you find your yaktrax to actually help? For running in the city they are almost counter productive with all the asphalt, but on trails I suppose you couldn’t run without them. What about snowshoes?

    Reply
  2. Hi Nathan, that is an interesting question. My partner, Chuck, hates yaktrax and never wears them but I wear them when the streets are snow covered or when I’m trail running. Yes I do find them helpful but only when it is icy or more than a couple inches of snow. I’ve observed some runners carrying them on their backpacks and only using when needed. And it is funny you ask about snowshoes b/c we are actually running in a snowshoe race this weekend, the BigFoot Boogie in Traverse City, Michigan. Running in snowshoes is HARD. Stay warm and keep running! Oh and btw loved your post http://minneapolisrunning.com/how-to-dress-for-winter-running-2/

    Reply
    • Thanks! When it’s cold out, you need to get creative!

      Reply
  3. Thank you for this post! we recently moved to ann arbor and i was wondering where/what this trail is called? could you give me more info on it and is it well marked? would you feel comfortable running it alone during the day? thank you so much and i’m so glad i found your blog!

    Reply
    • Hi Tracey! Glad you liked the post and blog. The area where this trail is part of the Cedar Bend Nature Area. The trail is very easy to follow and it branches off in a few directions. You can take it up to Cedar Bend Rd which connects to Broadway, you can take it up the steep hill like we did to the parking lot by the dorms on Hubbard, you can take it down to Island park and then pick up the paved trail by the river, or you can take it down to Fuller and then cross the road to pickup the Gallup park trail. We have had no problem running these trails by ourselves. There are also some great trails by Leslie Science center and over on Bird Hill (guess we’ll need to do a post about more trails in Ann Arbor 🙂

      Reply
      • Thank you so much, i’m heading to check these trails out tomorrow. Please, Please,Please do more posts about trail running in this beautiful city. There is so much written about Pickney rec. area ( which is great) but i want more on Ann Arbor – it’s my beautiful backyard!

        Reply

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