The holidays are over and winter is stretching out ahead begging to be skied. Why deny the pull of the powder? After some Nordic stimulation, relax in cozy-to-the-core comfort at area B&Bs.
The ski: Explore more than 15 kilometers of groomed (classic and skate) trails at the Aspen Grove XC Center at Wagbo Farm and E ducation Center, three miles south of East Jordan. For a 10-spot you can ski all day. Lessons, rental equipment ($15/day) and retail are available on-site. Bring the dog to romp on the center’s dog-friendly trails. 231-620-5679, skinordic.org/aspengrove/.
The B & B: Stay at The House on the Hill Bed & Breakfast in Ellsworth, and you’ll have 53 acres to explore when you’re
not indulging in a three-course breakfast. Take $25 off the room rates from January through March for a range of $125
to $175 per night. Ask for The House on the Hill and Rowe Inn package, and save a bundle on gourmet dining. 231-588-6304, TheHouseontheHill.com; 231-588-7351, roweinn .com.
The ski: Views from the trails at Leelanau State Park at the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula are worth every cent of the $6 per day/car ($24 for an annual car pass) you’ll pay to ski the park’s 8.5 miles of trails. 231-386-5422.
The B & B: Check in at the Old Mill Pond Inn, and the visual feast continues. The eclectic, art-filled ambience of this Northport B&B is just one of the artist-owner’s masterpieces. Relish culinary comforts from the skilled caterer himself at breakfast, included in the off-season rates of $50 to $75 per night. 231- 386-7341, oldmillpondinn .com.
Before you hit the ski trail, drop by Knot Just a Bar in Omena for a packed-to-go lunch. Come back at dinner for a steaming bowl of chowder and a microbrew. 231-386-7393, knotjustabar.com.
The ski: Glide along one of North America’s first great Nordic trail systems at Big M, about 20 minutes east of Manistee, for $8/day. Print a trail map at skibigm.org.
The B & B: After your 30-kilometer ski, hibernate with your sweetie at the ultra-romantic Bear Lake Manor in Bear Lake. You won’t want to leave, so good to know that your fourth and fifth nights are free. The $125-to-$145 rate range includes a gourmet breakfast on weekends. 231-480-4502, bearlakemanor.net. Warm your bones with a hearty meal and a laugh at
Shay’s Chop House in Onekama, Saturday, January 16, is comedy night. 231-889-3121, shayschophouse.com.