MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest

Sports/outdoors events 2022


  • (Jan. 7 – 8)Ice Festival

    Sandstone, MN

    There are ice-climbing and winter camping clinics, a chili cook-off, door prizes and use of demo gear in Sandstone Ice Park.

  • (Jan. 7 – 9)SISU Ski Fest

    Ironwood, MI

    This Finnish fest includes a ski expo, free kids' ski, 5K Fun Ski, 15km and 30km ski races, a free after-party at the Historic Ironwood Theatre and a free fat-bike demo on scenic bluffs and along the Montreal River.

  • (Jan. 8)Gunflint Mail Run sled-dog race

    Gunflint Trail, MN

    In far northeast Minnesota, watch mushers travel two legs of 50 miles, starting and ending at the Trail Center Lodge on the Central Gunflint Trail.

  • (Jan. 14 – 15)Silver Mine Ski Jumping Championships

    Eau Claire, WI

    Watch top skiers from North America and Europe compete at Silver Mine Hill, above the Chippewa River on the southwest edge of town.

  • (Jan. 27 – 30)Winter Games

    Lake Okoboji, IA

    This resort area in northwest Iowa will offer human sled races, flag football on ice, indoor golf, snowball drop, stein-holding, horse-drawn carriage rides, a Freeze Yer Fanny Bike Ride, keg toss and fireworks.

  • (Jan. 29 – 30)Norge Ski Jumping Tournament

    Fox River Grove, IL

    See some of the nation's best jumpers compete in this northwest Chicago suburb, which has produced several Olympians.

  • (Jan. 29 – 30)Duluth Ice & Mixed Fest

    Duluth, MN

    This annual festival in West Duluth's Quarry Park features such events as a free ice-climbing clinic for youths 12 and older, beginner and intermediate clinics for adult climbers, a fat-bike intro and presentations on mountain climbing.

  • (Jan. 30)John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon

    Duluth, MN

    From Duluth, marathon mushers travel to to Grand Portage and mid-distance racers to Tofte.




  • (Feb. 4 – 5)Candlelight ski/snowshoe/hike

    Around the region

    There's nothing better than skiing (or snowshoeing or hiking) through a twinkling forest or across a luminary-lined lake. There's usually a bonfire and hot chocolate to enjoy afterward.

  • (Feb. 5 – 6)Pine Mountain Ski Jumping Tournament

    Iron Mountain, MI

    The tournament in this Upper Peninsula town on the Wisconsin border is where the international jumpers compete; it's a stop on the Continental Cup circuit.

  • (Feb. 5 – 6)City of Lakes Loppet

    Minneapolis, MN

    For recreational skiers, the highlight of this big cross-country ski festival is the Saturday-night Luminary Loppet on Lake of the Isles, with glowing ice pillars and "ruins.'' Reserve a time slot in advance.

    There are also classical and free-style races and orienteering, fat-tire, snowshoeing and skijoring tours and races in Theodore Wirth Park, location of most events.




  • (Feb. 9 – 12)Winter Carnival

    Houghton, MI

    This snow fest at Michigan Tech University includes a human dog-sled race, snow volleyball and a tug of war and ends with a torchlight parade and fireworks at Mont Ripley ski hill.

  • (Feb. 9 – 13)Michigan Ice Fest

    Munising, MI

    Watch ice-climbing demos, slide shows and professional climbers and take clinics for beginners at spectacular Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on Lake Superior.

  • (Feb. 19)Book Across the Bay

    Ashland/Washburn, WI

    The weekend starts with a Friday-night party in Ashland. On Saturday night, ski or snowshoe across Lake Superior's Chequamegon Bay on a 10-kilometer route lined by ice luminaries. If you're not too fast, fireworks will fill the sky as you're approaching Washburn; a bonfire, chili feed and blues music follow.

  • (Feb. 23 – 27)American Birkebeiner

    Hayward, WI

    The "Greatest Show on Snow'' includes races of all distances for all ages and abilities plus skijoring and vintage ski.



  • (Feb. 27)WolfTrack Classic Sled Dog Race

    Ely, MN

    The mushers race to Tower and back, and spectators have a chance to mingle beforehand.



  • (May 22)Des Plaines River Canoe & Kayak Marathon

    Libertyville, IL

    This 18.5-mile race and tour through forest preserves to Mount Prospect is for families and first-timers as well as competitors. There's also a 5.25-mile Minithon, and boats can be rented.


  • (Jun 5)Ride the Drive

    Madison, WI

    This year, the car-free routes are spread out between Marlborough, Wingra, Kennedy and Warner parks, with stops for activities, food and music. You can ride, walk or skate.


  • (Sep. 5)Mackinac Bridge Walk

    Mackinaw City, MI

    Once a year, on Labor Day, people can walk across the five-mile span, the third-longest suspension bridge in the world.


  • (Sep. 11)St. Paul Classic Bike Tour

    St. Paul, MN

    Ride a 1-, 29- or 32-mile route along the Mississippi, lakes Como and Phalen and St. Paul parkways, starting and ending at Como Park Pavilion and punctuated by food and live music.