On Route 2, along the southern shoreline of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, sits a nondescript blue building marked with a simple sign saying “Snowmobile Museum.” Pay the small admission fee, and you’ll enter an exhaustive tribute to the snowmobile, a machine both recreational and utilitarian in a region with annual snowfalls easily exceeding 100 inches.
Billed as “Michigan’s First Snowmobile Museum,” the Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum houses more than 150 snowmobiles of every shape and size. You can see everything from “the world’s first snowmobile” (a Ford Model T fitted with chains and tracks) or the model snowmobile endorsed by none other than racing champion and snowmobile enthusiast Mario Andretti.
Locally made snowmobiles are marked “Made in Michigan.” Many of these, as well as many other non-Michigan borne machines, are the last remaining of their kind and are loaned to the museum by snowmobile enthusiasts from around the world.
You don’t need to be a snowmobile rider to enjoy this museum, which truly makes the craft’s history come alive with a spectrum of artifacts. Check out the library for a literary history of the snowmobile along with the gift shop to remember your visit.
Know Before You Go
The museum is located along Route 2 in Naubinway. Admission is $5. Stick around after your visit for a pastie at Hiawatha Pasties, located right next door.