14 BEST Michigan Sleigh Rides: Winter Horse Drawn Carriage Rides and Elk Viewing, Too!
Hear those sleigh bells jingling this winter on one of the amazing Michigan sleigh rides?
And maybe hear them ring-tingle-tingling, too? You’re not alone: Michigan is one of the top spots in the country to take a fairytale-like ride through a wintery wonderland.
There’s nothing quite like dashing through the snow on a glee-filled joy ride with that special someone, and Michigan offers countless places to enjoy an exhilarating winter Sleigh Ride.
Whether you’re looking for day trip ideas, a special Michigan holiday activity, quick winter getaway, or simply a winter activity road trip, check out these fabulous sleigh rides in Michigan. Sleigh rides are one of the top winter Michigan events, and a great way to experience the Michigan outdoors.
From the Upper Peninsula to northern and west Michigan, these fun affordable Michigan sleigh rides will be a highlight of your Michigan winter.
Read on to discover the 14 BEST Michigan Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides.
Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides in Traverse City Area
Ranch Rudolph Inc.
6841 Brown Bridge Road, Traverse City, MI
Looking for Traverse City sleigh rides? Located just south of Traverse City, this sprawling ranch on the banks of the Boardman River is a perfect spot for a scenic horse-drawn sleigh ride.
Enjoy the views over the Boardman River and through the woods as two beautiful Belgian horses, Beaux and Knox take you on a 45-minute sleigh ride through gorgeous, scenic, wooded terrain.
The fun doesn’t stop here. You can also choose to spend the entire weekend at Ranch Rudolph, exploring almost-200 acres of northern Michigan natural beauty.
There’s a lot here to do in the winter: Ranch Rudolph is in close proximity to a couple of cross country ski trails, and the ranch also is part of a connection of snowmobile trails. All you have to provide is the snowmobile and Ranch Rudolph Inc. will provide the fun.
Cost: $16 per person and children 2 and under are free. There is a minimum charge of $160 if you have fewer than 10 people in your group.
Crystal Mountain Resort
12500 Crystal Mountain Dr. Thompsonville, Michigan 49683
Dash through the snow behind a team of majestic Belgian horses, and while you’re not in the sleigh, the comfort of the covered surrey and festive atmosphere more than makes up for it.
Join the Crystal Mountain team in their winter wonderland this season, and be sure to wear your warm winter clothes: they are a must on this Michigan winter sleigh ride. At the end of your ride, a warm bonfire and complimentary cup of hot cocoa will chase away those remaining shivers.
Crystal Mountain is one of the top ski resorts in Michigan, and in addition to the sleigh rides and skiing, they also offer fat tire biking, cross-country skiing, ice skating, and much more during the winter season.
Cost: Check with the Park at Water’s Edge; please note that advanced tickets are required.
4700 Wallaker Rd, Benzonia, MI 49616
Whether you’re looking for romantic sleigh rides in Michigan or family-friendly fun, this is your place.
You can choose from two options for your northern Michigan sleigh ride: enjoy a ride in a cozy, old-fashioned two-passenger sleigh with your honey, or choose the spacious sleigh that seats 8-12 adults.
Lap blankets, mittens, thick winter coats, hats, and anything else that provides warmth is a must on this 45-55 minute ride through the woods of the northwest corner of Michigan near Frankfort.
You’ll want to bring your camera, too: as you fly through the snow over 120 acres of wooded fields, it is not uncommon to spot some of the local wildlife, which includes but is not limited to white-tailed deer, and bald eagles.
Hot cocoa kits are offered at the end of your ride, coming with cups, lids, a spoon, and of course a packet of hot chocolate mix. Drink it while you drive home, or perhaps while you are meeting the other horses at the farm.
- Two Seat Santa Sleigh: $70 (2 guests);
- Group Ride (adults – 1 to 6 Guests): $90.00 Flat Rate
- Group Ride (7 or more guests): $15.00/person
- Children age 3 and under are free!!
- Two Person Sleigh Ride w one child- (Two people and one child age 3-12)- $75.00
Antler Ridge Farms
6259 M-72, Williamsburg, MI 49690
Started in 1982, the annual tradition of horse-drawn sleigh rides in the Grand Traverse area is still going strong at Antler Ridge Farms almost 40 years later.
This is the perfect location to take your kids for some up close and personal time with the animals: the owners of Antler Ridge Farms encourage visitors to bring apples along with them to feed the reindeer, horses, and alpacas.
If you have a child with a birthday during the winter season, this is the perfect birthday party activity and memorable, too. You will be pulled by two of the grandest Percheron Draft Horses you will ever run across, a mother and son team named Dixie and Danny.
Enjoy a bonfire and marshmallows to roast after the ride as well as of course a toasty cup of hot cocoa to wash down this lovely experience in Northern Michigan.
Cost: $195.00 and you can bring up to 12 people.
Black Horse Farm
11177 S Plowman Rd, Empire, Michigan.
A Michigan horse drawn sleigh ride near the sweeping landscape of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore? Year, please.
Located in Empire, this family-run horse farm uses beautiful Percheron draft horses to pull sleighs of up to 12 people through some of the most spectacular terrains in Michigan’s lower peninsula.
A highlight of the trip is the stop at the halfway point: a warming house at the top of a hill offering amazing views of Alligator Hill, Glen Lake, Lake Michigan, and the Manitou Islands.
Cost: Call 231-334-4705 for 2022 rates
More Northern Michigan Sleigh Rides: Hillman and Gaylord
Thunder Bay Resort
27800 M-32, Hillman, MI 49746
Looking to knock two things off your winter fun list? Try this horse-drawn surrey ride, where you can also do some Michigan Elk viewing.
Unique Thunder Bay Resort is unlike any other in Northern Michigan: a perfect place for a romantic getaway, located just outside of Alpena.
Your evening will begin with a horse-drawn surrey ride to look at the beautiful elks roaming the open fields. Following the gorgeous ride in this snowy oasis, you’re invited back to the resort to eat a gourmet dinner and partake in a wine tasting that is sure to warm you and your date from the inside out.
Named one of the “Top 10” holiday events by Fox News and the USA today, this experience is the closest one can get to a fairytale come true.
Cost: Call 800-729-9375 for 2022 rates
Cook Family Farm
4282 Hayes Tower Rd, Gaylord, MI 49735
If your extended family visiting you for the holidays? What better way to show them the beauty of Michigan than to treat them to a 40-minute northern Michigan sleigh ride pulled by gorgeous Belgian horses, on the gorgeous Cook Family Farm.
Horse-drawn sleigh rides for groups of 10-12 people are what the Cook Family Farm in Gaylord (aka God’s Country) is known for. If you’re staying at nearby Treetops Resort, be sure and add this to you to-do list.
At the end of your 40-minute ride enjoy some hot cocoa and cookies. If you plan on making a large family dinner later that evening why not also pick up some produce from the farm, to support local Michigan businesses. Farm favorites include Lamb, poultry, pork, beef, and much much more.
Cost: $200 for 10-12 people
Horse Drawn Sleigh Rides in the Upper Peninsula
Pond House Ponies
2115 Olmsted Ln, Ishpeming, MI 49849
Head to Ishpmeming (just south of Marquette, MI), and pack your private sleigh with friends and loved ones for an hour-long ride through a forest of pristine, snow-covered hardwoods pulled by two Norwegian Fjord Horses.
You can even your snowy party up a notch, and have a private sleigh party for up to 50 people. It includes continuous rides, a bonfire, a toboggan hill, and a warm building for your pot luck!
Ishpeming is a Michigan snowmobiling hub, so after a busy day speeding down the snowy trails, try a slower ride over the snowy trails in a sleigh…so relaxing.
Horse-drawn Sleigh Rides in West Michigan
Wild West Ranch
1861 52nd St, Fennville, MI
Here’s the romantic sleigh ride you’ve been waiting for: a 45-minute horse-drawn sleigh ride through the snowy countryside near Saugatuck, one of Michigan’s most popular travel destinations.
Cost: $100 per couple
Common Gentry Carriage Co
3665 15 Mile Rd NW, Kent City, Michigan
Listen to the sound of German sleigh bells ringing across the countryside, while you sit cuddled up in a 1800’s horse-drawn sleigh pulled by two majestic white Percheron horses.
Take in the beautiful scenery of West Michigan as you snuggle beneath the lap blankets that are provided to you cozy!
Fruit Ridge Hayrides
11966 Fruit Ridge NW, Kent City, MI
Enjoy your own west Michigan winter wonderland as you journey through wooded trails and then back up through a fruit orchard. Your sleigh will be pulled by Zeke and Zoey, a team of beautiful Belgian draft horses.
Cost: $200 per hour for up to 10 people
Healy’s Outback Ranch and Guest House
12600 Buchanan Rd Stanwood, MI 49346
Cozy up with up to six friends and/or families members and enjoy a 35-minute ride through the crisp woods. Warm up with some hot cocoa and a homemade treat upon return. This is one of the most affordable Michigan sleigh rides.
Post Family Farm
5081 Bauer Rd. Hudsonville, MI 49426
You can choose from a wagon ride or sleigh ride, so don’t let a lack of snow stop your winter wonderland adventure. Experience the beauty of the wide-open West Michigan landscape while being pulled by a team of Haflinger ponies.
Hear the sleigh bells jingle and the snow crunch as you glide over the snow and journey to a 1915 warming barn. Warm up with a nice cup of hot chocolate and a warm homemade donut and hear a winter farm story.
Cost: $300/first 20 people, $5 each additional person
BONUS: Frankenmuth Horse-drawn Carriage Rides
Both Fantasy Carriage Company and New Frankenmuth Carriage Company offer beautiful carriage rides through the streets of charming Frankenmuth, Michigan’s own Little Bavaria.
You can learn more about visiting this beautiful mid-Michigan Christmas city here.
You can go to Ishpeming (near Marquette), Hillman, Traverse City, Gaylord, Frankenmuth, Fennville, and West Michigan for Sleigh Rides in Michigan.
More Michigan Winter Fun
About the Author –
Charlotte Dennison is a Content Creator at My Michigan Beach. She grew up in Vermont and has summertime family ties to the great state of Michigan in both Ann Arbor and Lake Hamlin. In addition to content creation, she spends her time studying writing, editing, and publishing at Emmanuel College in Boston. Writing has been her dream since the start of high school, and she hopes to turn content creating into a life-long career. Charlotte is jazzed to be interning at MyMichiganBeach.com. Outside of writing Charlotte enjoys curling up with a Stephen King novel and her cat on rainy city days.
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