How About An Olympic Luge Run And Skiing On A Weekend Trip?
With the Winter Olympics taking place in February skiing and snowboarding are at the forefront, but have you ever thought about what it would be like to try a luge run? It always looks pretty exciting during the competition when they can reach speeds of up to 90 mph during a run.
Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Chicago area residents you are in luck. Muskegon Winter Sports Complex, the southwestern corner of Michigan, offers one of only four luge tracts that exist in the U.S. It’s open to the public on winter weekends, Saturdays and Sundays. The cost is $55 per person, per session, which entitles you to as many runs as you can get during a session. Most get 3 to 6 runs. You get a 30-45 pound sled, which you have to carry back to the top of the slide. You also get a helmet, forearm pads and training period with a coach at the beginning of your session. Luge tickets must be purchased in advance through their online reservation system, and weekends sometimes sell out. The track is open through mid-March, weather permitting.
The 850-foot track, shorter overall than the Olympic version, has been used for training by Olympians, and Olympic medalist Mark Grimmette got his start here. Public participants slide from the three-quarter mark on the track, but can still reach speeds up to 30 mph on the way down. The track is designed for public participants and those who haven’t tried it.
The Sports Complex also offers skating, sledding—plain old sleds down a hill—and the longest-lit, groomed cross country trail in the Midwest. The 16-kilometer trail gently winds through woods, along dunes and Lake Michigan, and Lost Lake Bog. They offer rental equipment.
A complete list of nearby lodging options is available on the Muskegon County Convention and Visitors Bureau website.
On the way home from the weekend trip add a day on the slopes at one of three nearby southeast Michigan ski areas. Cannonsburg is about an hour east of Muskegon, and both Timber Ridge and Bittersweet are about hour-and-half south.
It’s not your typical winter weekend getaway, but a great way to get ready for the ultimate winter games.