Food lovers who also cross country ski, take note. For two Saturdays in February, Treetops Resort and Spa in Gaylord is hosting its inaugural Skiable Feast.
The progressive ski/meal, held on Feb. 1 and 15 beginning at 11am, features a four kilometer tracked trail through rolling hills and pine forests along the Pigeon River on the resort’s property.
Stops along the way include an old bridge shelter and a couple of vintage cabins, where skiers will sample gourmet goodies prepared by Treetops’ culinary team.
Novices and experienced cross-country skiers will cruise at their own pace through Project Nature, an area that once held an outdoor zoo with exotic animals back in the early 1980s.
Project Nature fell on economic hard times, and Treetops, then owned by Harry Melling, purchased the remote tract of undeveloped acreage. Elk and deer have been spotted in the area and bobcat tracks have been seen along the river.
The cost of the event is $79 per person, which includes trail pass, transportation and five food stations paired with Michigan beers and wines. The Nordic Center in the Jones Pro Shop is the meeting place and first food station. There are assorted miniquiches and a Greek yogurt bar with lots of flavors to start.
Next, skiers will be bused to Project Nature, embarking on the trail from the Old Bridge shelter after sampling pastry treats and fruit kabobs.
A kilometer later, skiers will enjoy venison or white bean chicken chili and grilled vegetable and beef kabobs brushed with a house-made bourbon glaze.
The longest section is about three kilometers and meanders to a wilderness cabin near a pond. Organizers say this section is best for viewing wildlife. Pan fried cod sliders topped with coleslaw and tarragon tartar sauce will be served by an open fire.
A final half-kilometer ski takes skiers back to a bus, which circles back to the Nordic Center and the final food station. There, hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, beer, and wine will be served for skiers who want to unwind one final time.
For those who would like to stay overnight, Treetops has a package that includes a night’s lodging, breakfast, and feast. It starts from $146 per person, based on double occupancy.
The Skiable Feast is scheduled for two Saturdays in February: the 1st and the 15th. The feast starts at 11am and costs $79 per person. For more information, call Treetops Resort and Spa at (866) 348-5249.