Experience Ice Climbing This Winter in Michigan's Lower Peninsula

Awesome Mitten

If you’re looking for an outdoor weekend of fun for your family this winter, Fenton Michigan in Genesee County may be the Michigan winter getaway you’re looking for. Close to home, family-friendly, and affordable, check out our recommendations for a winter weekend getaway to Fenton Michigan.

Plan an Adventure With Peabody Ice Climbing

Downhill skiing and cross-country skiing are relatively fast-paced winter sports, and there are tons of Michigan ski resorts and skiing trails throughout Michigan. Fewer areas offer the opportunity to go ice climbing in Michigan, though.

Peabody Ice Climbing has brought this adventurous winter activity to Fenton. The venue is located on a former apple orchard south of the city. Be sure to add ice climbing to your winter bucket list and plan a family weekend in Genesee County to give it a try!

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Peabody Ice Climbing | photo via @lundwall_john

All Climbers Welcome

Whether you’ve never tried ice climbing before or you can’t wait to climb ice again this winter, Peabody offers the instruction, tools, and safe environment for doing it. This climbing venue has 45-foot and 72-foot towers that ice over when the temperature drops.

An instructor certified by the American Mountain Guides Association welcomes beginners to try ice and mixed climbing. Experienced climbers are welcome to train on the frozen towers in preparation for mountain ice climbing.

Mixed Climbing & Dry-tooling

In addition to the iced-over towers, Peabody Ice Climbing has competition-style dry-tooling walls. It’s the only permanent training facility of its kind in the United States.

The mixed climbing routes are fantastic for offseason and winter training, learning to use axes and crampons in new ways, and climbing competitions. In fact, Peabody hosts national and regional competitions and training camps in this venue.

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Peabody Ice Climbing | photo via @jstew711

Simulated Altitude Gym

Using cutting-edge technology, Peabody can simulate high-altitude environments of up to 19,000 feet in its training facility. The experience is customizable according to your training needs.

All of the equipment that you need for cardio, endurance, and strength training workouts is available. The programming even allows for training to sleep at high altitudes, and sleeping accommodations are provided.

As a result, you can increase your oxygen transport ability for high-altitude ice climbing, cycling, marathons, triathlons, and more. But you don’t have to participate in these other activities to benefit from the simulated altitude gym. Training in this facility is beneficial for overall fitness and maximizes muscle gain, too.

Heated Clubhouse

In addition to the ice towers, mixed walls, and gym, Peabody has a heated clubhouse where you can warm up in a 10-person sauna. It’s where you can rent climbing equipment and where you’ll find the bunkhouse, which accommodates 12 people. You’re welcome to camp in a tent on-site as well.

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Peabody Ice Climbing | photo via @lundwall_john

Events & Classes

Every late January, Peabody Ice Climbing hosts the Peabody Ice Fest. This fun event features food, beer, a raffle with prizes, and an after-party with a different theme each year.

Also during the winter, the facility has ice climbing classes for beginners and advanced climbers. Sometimes, it organizes short, guided ice climbing excursions — such as to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

Experience More Outdoor Winter Activities in Fenton Michigan

Want to experience more winter fun in Genesee County? Nearby Flint, Michigan is a cultural destination with many indoor activities available, but if outdoor activities are what get you excited, there are plenty of outdoor winter things to do in and around Genesee County.

Here are a couple of our favorite spots for downhill and cross-country skiing near Fenton, Michigan.

Mt. Holly Ski and Snowboard Resort

Just a 15-minute drive east of downtown Fenton is the Mt. Holly Ski and Snowboard Resort in Groveland Township. When the ski area was founded in 1956, it was the first in Southeast Michigan with snow-making capabilities.

There are 19 ski trails that you can access via 7 chairlifts, 5 rope tows, and 2 Sunkid Wonder Carpets. If you don’t have your own ski equipment, you can rent some. At the Bavarian lodge, you can grab a bite from two cafeterias and warm up at the two fireplaces in the lounge or in the dedicated fireplace room.

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Mt. Holly Ski and Snowboard Resort | photo via @mthollyskischool

Cross-Country Skiing at Seven Lakes State Park

Right next to Fenton, Michigan is Seven Lakes State Park, which features a wide variety of ecosystems and topography. The well-marked trail system that crisscrosses through the park offers more than 6.5 miles of cross-country skiing terrain when it snows.

The three main trails are the 0.75-mile Nature Trail Loop, 1.8-mile Red Trail Loop, and 2.1-mile Green Trail Loop. They interconnect with other trails, allowing you to adjust your East Michigan cross-country skiing journey as you wish.

Be mindful that snowmobiles may use the trails when there are at least four inches of snow.

Fuel Up at Our Favorite Fenton MI Restaurants

Whether you’re starting or ending your day, the exceptional restaurants in Fenton serve delicious meals all day. Try some of our favorite spots during your Fenton, Michigan winter vacation.

Crust – a baking company

One of the best places to stop for breakfast in downtown Fenton is Crust – a baking company. This bakery uses artisan techniques to make outstanding baked goods, but it’s more than just a bakery.

It features a full-service restaurant that serves French toast, pancakes, breakfast burritos, and eggs prepared in different ways. The beverage menu includes coffee, coffee concoctions, tea, fountain drinks, and smoothies.

If you fall in love, consider stopping at Crust for lunch and dinner, too. The menus include soups, salads, sandwiches, and pizza. You can also order house cocktails, cafe cocktails, and wine.

And don’t forget to take some of the bakery items with you. You might need a snack to refuel after a few hours on the ice walls!

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Crust | photo via @crust_fenton

The Barn

During the 1950s, surfboards were carved by hand in local barns in California. You can expect that laid-back, handcrafted atmosphere at The Barn. This bar and grill serves gourmet food and local craft beer for lunch and dinner. It makes amazing cocktails as well.

Additionally, The Barn offers some one-of-a-kind entertainment options considering that it’s a restaurant. For instance, it has a Barn Hockey Ice Rink for playing hockey and open ice skating. You can even rent a curling lane.

On top of that, the restaurant has winter cabana rentals — heated tents where you can enjoy a meal while watching outdoor sports. This is a great atmosphere to unwind and relax after a day climbing the ice!

Fenton Fire Hall

Located on the same corner since 1938, the Fenton Fire Hall is a kitchen and taproom. Over the years, the building has been home to volunteer firefighters, parades, events, and pancake breakfasts.

The restaurant is legendary for its mac and cheese and for having 48 beers on tap. The menu also features chili, barbecue, sandwiches, tacos, and delectable desserts.

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Fenton Fire Hall | photo via @ranilo68

The Laundry

Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner in downtown Fenton since 1997, The Laundry is a distinctly named Euro-bistro. The diverse menu includes deli sandwiches and fish, beef, and chicken entrees with gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options.

The dinner menu changes every season to highlight the quality produce and meats available at the time. From the full bar, you can order bottled and canned beer, craft cocktails, whiskey, and wine.

Explore Unique Fenton Shops

If you’re looking for a fun trinket or memento to remember your family’s winter getaway, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the specialty shops in Fenton, Michigan. Don’t take our word for it, though. Visit these stores to find out for yourself.

Iron Grate

Established in 1980, Iron Grate has brought big city chic to the small town. Operated by Elizabeth Dickens and her daughters, the shop is well known for its quality, creative products.

They seek out uncommon, aesthetically pleasing merchandise with the intent to inspire style and creativity among their customers. They mix new and old products and love helping customers find treasures and gifts.

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Iron Grate | photo via @irongrate

Fenton’s Open Book

As a full-service independent bookstore, Fenton’s Open Book is the best place to go for books by local authors. The shop sells audiobooks, toys, and Michigan-made items, too.

You may not be able to leave without one of Uncle Peter’s Pasties because they smell so good! Gluten-free and vegetable options are available.

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Fenton’s Open Book | photo via @shitlarenreads

The Cheese Lady

Although The Cheese Lady has multiple locations in Michigan, we love the Fenton location that’s operated by mother-daughter team Jean and Charlotte Ruffini. The pair is passionate about bringing another dimension of quality food and drink to the city’s growing foodie culture.

You can purchase a range of artisan cheeses, perfectly paired wines, and an assortment of complementary items — such as breads, condiments, crackers, fruits, nuts, and more.

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The Cheese Lady | photo via @thecheeselady_fenton

Gerych’s Greenhouse, Flowers & Events

If there’s a special occasion coming up or you just want to treat yourself, get a flower arrangement or your next houseplant from Gerych’s Greenhouse, Flowers & Events. The shop delivers beautiful arrangements, clothing and event designs, and unique gifts throughout the area.

Hawthorn & Violet

Hawthorn & Violet is an herb store in Fenton that has more than 200 organic bulk herbs and books to learn about the herbs. You can purchase crystals and gems, essential oils, high-quality supplements, tinctures, and a ton more.

There are some great gift items for herbalists here. Also, owner Rebecca offers naturopathic and holistic health education and coaching. Each naturopathic consultation includes a personalized plan based on your specific needs.

Feast Gourmet Kitchen Shop

Do you need cooking supplies for your kitchen? Feast Gourmet Kitchen Shop is the ultimate destination. It offers a chef-curated selection of gourmet ingredients, professional-quality cookware, and top-of-the-line kitchen tools for cooking enthusiasts and foodies.

You can get fine glassware and tableware to complement your gourmet culinary skills. Whether you’re just learning to cook or want to learn some new techniques, the store hosts cooking classes as well.

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Feast | photo via @kshu26

Buff City Soap

The focus at Buff City Soap is all-natural products. This store was born out of frustration about commercial soaps containing animal fats, detergents, and harmful chemicals. All of the soaps are made by hand daily with plant-based ingredients, and they smell delightful!

The soaps, cleansers, and moisturizers are available in various forms, and the shop sells accessories and products for your laundry.

Fenton Michigan Winter Lodging Options

During your Fenton, Michigan winter getaway, you’ll need a place to call home. Several excellent hotels and other family-friendly accommodations are available. The Fairfield Inn & Suites Flint Fenton and Wolcott House Bed & Breakfast are two of our favorite lodging options near Fenton.

Check out all of the Fenton hotels and nearby lodging options in Genesee County when you plan your winter getaway.

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