snows blanket much of the country, campgrounds are transformed into winter
wonderlands. Some have their own unique onsite activities, such as
sleigh rides, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing, while others serve as
base camps for winter festivals or organize their own unique winter
activities, which range from wine tastings and gourmet dinners to workshops
in wilderness survival, winter sketching and winter
Sleigh Ride by Flickr user Martin
Winter activities at Thunder Bay Resort in Hillman,
Mich. include Christmas sleigh rides, murder mystery weekends and
wine lovers weekends. The resort also offers its winter visitors horse drawn
carriage or sleigh rides to a scenic area where they can view a herd of
Michigan elk as they ride to a scenic Elk Antler Cabin where guests can enjoy
a warm fire and a delicious five-course meal prepared on century old wood
Private horse drawn sleigh rides are also available at Winding River Resort in Grand Lake,
Colo., which also has a fleet of 70 snowmobile rentals that can be
rented to anyone with a driver’s license. While the resort’s campsites are
buried in snow in winter, the 8,800-foot park has heated rental cabins with
bathrooms and kitchens.
In the Northeast, Northern
Outdoors Adventure Resort in The Forks, Maine, offers snowmobile
rentals as well as log cabin rentals, as well as a full-service restaurant
Many areas of the country also have winter festivals, including
George Village, N.Y., which starts its annual winter carnival with
a New Year’s Day polar plunge in the lake. Most Lake George Winter Carnival
activities take place in February, however, and include “outhouse races,” a
crowd favorite, as well as dogsled, ATV and snowmobile races.
Winter fun on frozen Lake George by Flickr user diane
Other unique winter campground destinations include the Terry Bison Ranch
Resort in Cheyenne, Wyo., which offers 45-minute train rides that
take visitors to both photograph and feed the ranch’s bison herd. The resort
also has a restaurant and bar, The Senator Steakhouse and Brass Buffalo
Saloon, with burgers, salads and other unique dishes, including Rocky
Mountain Oysters, buffalo burgers and bison meatball subs.
Annie’s Campground in
Gresham, Wis., for its part, offers a full range of winter recreation
activities, including snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, ice fishing and ice
skating. The 155-acre campground has wide open spaces that are ideal for
families that are learning how to use their snowmobiles. The campground also
has two frozen ponds that are nearly an acre in size, which are perfect for
ice fishing and ice skating.
Mammoth Mountain by Flickr user John
The 125-site Mammoth
Mountain RV Park in Mammoth Lakes, Calif. is a busy base camp for
downhill ski enthusiasts. The park, which has two rental cabins, features
plowed RV sites with electrical hookups as well as a water filling station
and dump station. Other amenities include restrooms with hot showers and an
indoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi.
Winter activities near Mammoth
Mountain Ski Resort include moonlight snowshoe walks, dogsledding
Another popular winter destination in the Sierra is Cisco
Grove Campground and RV Park in Soda Springs, Calif. Located near
Donner Pass, this park not only stays open through the winter, but rents
snowmobiles and grooms 26 miles of snowmobile trails. The park also has a
snow play area and snow tubing hill.
Several Rocky Mountain campgrounds also accommodate downhill and
cross-country ski enthusiasts, including Tiger Run Resort in
Breckenridge, Colo. The resort, which includes RV sites as well as
park model cabin rentals, often serves as a base camp for visitors who go to
ski resorts in Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Keystone, Vail and Beaver
Heading back by Flicker user Michelle Owner of the
Snowmobile, snow shoe and ice fishing enthusiasts also frequent
Cabins in Kremmling, Colo. The park has 10 rental cabins, each of
which is equipped with bathrooms, kitchens and gas fireplaces.
Denver area residents also enjoy visiting Jellystone
Park Camp-Resort in Larkspur, Colo., which offers cabin and park model
rental accommodations as well as yurts. Onsite activities include sledding,
ice skating and disc golf. The campground also has goats, which children can
feed and interact with year round.
West RV Park in Grand Junction, Colo. is open through the winter
months, offering a base camp for RV enthusiasts who enjoy downhill skiing,
cross country skiing and dog sledding activities nearby.