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Treetops Offers Some Unusual Winter Outings For The Heartland

Treetops-Slopes-1200 Treetops slopes look out over the expansive Pigeon River Valley. 

All Midwest resorts offer a good array of trails, lifts and your more common winter outings like cross country skiing and snowshoeing. A few offer fat tire winter biking, but if you really want some unusual choices for a neat winter experience check out Michigan's Treetops Resort.

The resort's high elevation and scenic beauty provide a perfect location for skiing and riding. Located just east of Gaylord along a ridge overlooking the expansive Pigeon River valley, it offers 23 runs, The Yard Terrain Park, tubing, four chairlifts and a couple of surface tows. All your typical ski resort amenities.

For unusual winter outings, they offer cross country skiable feasts, sleigh ride dinners to a remote wilderness cabin and dog sled rides with a young Iditarod pro who trains at Treetops for the grueling 1,000-mile race across the Alaskan wilderness.

The cross country skiable feast, which includes six gourmet food stations on the leisurely excursion. You set the pace. The cost is $89, which includes tax and gratuity. It's around a four-mile ski with five stops for trailside buffet at each stop. It's the only resort in the Heartland with such a delicacy for Nordic skiers. The feast runs into March.

The sleigh ride dinners take place into March. Shuttled to a remote location, you board a horse drawn sleigh for a meandering ride through the woods to a river cabin where you enjoy a four-course gourmet meal with Michigan microbrew beer and wines. The menu includes special appetizers, Michigan salad, surf and turf and wilderness berry cobbler for $129 per person. Seating is limited to 20 people for the four-and-half-hour event. No other Midwest resort offers a similar dining experience.

Liza Dietzen has been training her Iditarod dog sled team at Treetops for the past several years. You can experience the musher and dog working together and become a part of the team. It's just a quick taste of what they go through, and something you won't be able to experience at any other Great Lakes ski resort. The dates are February 8,9, 15, 16, 22 and 23 to grab a ride.

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