Plan Your Visit
Want to go cross country skiing in Michigan? Plan your trip to Cross Country Ski Headquarters in Higgins Lake.
The Top XC Ski Destination in the Midwest
Come revel in Pure Michigan’s coolest season, on the nationally recognized Nordic ski trails of Cross Country Ski Headquarters.
With over 45 years in the XC ski business, Cross Country Ski Headquarters is one of the top outfitters in the country, with a large selection of cross country skis for sale, plus clothing, cross country ski packages, snowshoes, and more, all at affordable prices. With events every weekend throughout the winter, including free ski lessons, live music, ski races, and more, Cross Country Ski Headquarters is the place to be this winter season for cross country skiing in Michigan!
Over 19 Kilometers of Ski Trails
Michigan is one of the best states for cross country skiing, due to its flat to gentle rolling terrain, beautiful scenery, and snowfall.
Enjoy over 19 kilometers of trails suitable for all abilities and “Ginzu” groomed every morning with the same groomer used in the Olympics. Glide on freshly set tracks, or skate on freshly packed corduroy lanes.
Warm up and take in the scenery at Trapper’s Cabin
On weekends, ski your way to Trappers Cabin, just one mile from the trailhead, to warm by the fire and enjoy hot cocoa, snacks, a bonfire, and good company.
This rustic cabin is a great place to stop when touring the ski trails. Take off your skis and relax by the bonfire, or enjoy a hot cocoa or snack as you revel in the beauty of the snowy forest. During the week, feel free to bring a picnic and/or light your own bonfire!
Equipment Rentals & Lessons
For school group rentals and ski lesson reservations please call 1.800.832.2663. Lesson reservations are recommended but not required.
Rent XC Skis and Snowshoes at Cross Country Ski Headquarters
With over 200 pairs of nordic skis for rent, plus dozens of snowshoe rentals, XC Ski HQ is equipped for groups of any size. All Rentals include boots, skis, bindings and poles, plus a Cross Country Ski Headquarters Facilities Pass (savings of $9 per adult per day!).
Cross Country Ski Lessons
The best way to get started cross country skiing is to take a ski lesson! Book a cross country ski lesson any day of the week with one of our skilled cross country ski instructors, and you’ll having fun on skis in no time! Classic (traditional) ski lessons and skate ski lessons are available.
Rates for 1 hour private lesson:
$50 for 1 person $15 for each additional person
We also offer a free beginner group ski lesson at 10:30am every Saturday during the winter (snow permitting).
School Group Rental Rates
Rate includes rentals for one skier for a full day, plus a group lesson. Reservation is required.
Preschool: $5 on weekdays
1st to 8th grade: $8 on weekdays
9th grade through college: $11 on weekdays
*No group rental rates available on weekends
Places to Eat and Stay
Our recommendations for the best places to eat and stay while you are out enjoying the beautiful ski trails of Northern Michigan.
Stone Turtle Day Lodge & Cafe
On-Site at XC Ski HQ. Open daily during store hours. Lunch served from 11:30am to 4:30pm.
The Stone Turtle Day Lodge & Cafe, onsite at Cross Country Ski Headquarters, is the perfect place to relax before or after your ski outing. Enjoy a delicious, consciously-crafted meal in this rustic lodge, complete with wood floors, tall ceilings, and a huge, field stone fireplace.
Places We Like to Eat
Savor the Local Flavors: Unwind and Dine Around XC Ski HQ
Discover hidden gems, indulge in farm-to-table delights, and unwind in cozy atmospheres. From barbecue, brews, and blues to local pastry shops and pizzerias, your dining possibilities are as vast as our trails.
Where to Stay
Be sure to mention “XC Ski & Stay” when making your lodging reservation for a special X-C Skier Discount!
Looking for lodging near Cross Country Ski Headquarters? Check out our recommendations based by proximity to our ski area.
Check out our events page to see what upcoming events we have for you to join with friends and family! Don’t miss out on a free ski lesson or live entertainment.
Join us for a race around the Trapper’s Cabin Loop, and support Michigan’s World Cup athletes! Date: Saturday, February 24th Time: Start your lap after 9:00am, and report time by 3pm. Distance: Trapper’s Cabin Loop (1.75km). A start/finish line will be established. Cost: $50 entry fee* Prizes: First Place (men and women) receive a $50 gift card to XC SKI HQ. *If you have
A favorite XC Ski HQ tradition, Ribs & Blues features an afternoon of fantastic live music from Rhett’s Eastside Blues Band, as well as German Dave’s famous BBQ ribs. It’s a perfect day to hit the trails, then kick back by the fire and enjoy great music and outstanding ribs, scalloped potatoes, and coleslaw. There is also a free beginner ski lesson at 10:30am.
Want to become a bigger part of our community? Learn more below.
Become a Trail Sponsor
Our Trail Sponsors help make XC Ski HQ one of the most unique XC skiing destinations in the Midwest. Your sponsorship contributes to Daily Tidd-Tech trail grooming for classic and skate skiing, Snow-making and spreading, Ongoing trail maintenance, Off-season trail maintenance, plus additional perks
XC Ski HQ Nordic Ski Team
Join our Race Team for more fun this winter!
With over 150 team members from not just Michigan, but Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania, our team is just as diverse as it is welcoming. We greet new racers with open arms, and are a tight-knit, supportive group. There are no pre-qualifiers for joining Team XC Ski HQ, though we tend to attract fun people who love to ski, compete, and who enjoy a team environment.