Lucy Hill: The U.P.’s hidden gem

NEGAUNEE — In an average winter, Yoopers are bound to go skiing, skating, and snowmobiling, but there’s another fun winter sport people may not know about.

The Upper Peninsula is known for the massive amounts of snow, perfect for skiing, snowshoeing, and ice skating. Tucked back in the woods off of East County Road in Negaunee lays a hidden gem of winter sports. Lucy Hill is the only full–length natural luge track in the United States. Unlike large walls and banks of ice, Negaunee’s Naturbahn is sealed off by boards, from the start over 800 meters up all the way to the bottom. Instead of being guided by icy walls and tons of G–force, sliders use their bodies to turn the sled. The sport is unique, even to Yoopers.

“In a lot of winter communities, there are people that are sledding, skiing, and we’re very fortunate that we have these facilities. Ski–jumping, downhill skiing, cross country. The snow is the best in the country and we should all take advantage of it,” said Fred Anderson, President of the Upper Peninsula Luge Club.

Lucy Hill is open to the public, and people of all ages.

“We start with young sliders, three, four years old, and then we’ve had people in their 80s that come and give it a try.”

The U.P. Luge club has it all. From sleds, to helmets, All you would need is a set of warm clothes, and a hankering to try something new.

“And it’s safe, but it’s also a lot of fun,” said Anderson.

Don’t worry, it is safe and fun. Getting a hang of the steering aspect was a bit difficult, but the only thing to run into was a bank of snow on the side of the track After a few tries, I was able to muster the guts to film a run myself.

Yoopers have been the luckiest people in the country, exposed to some of the prettiest landscapes year round. Those landscapes provide tons of unique opportunities to try something new, and you’d be silly not to give Luge a shot. The U.P. Luge club is open to the public on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons, so there’s no reason not to make the trip.

“It’s fun, and that’s what we like, exposing people to the fun sport.”

Trust me, it’s well worth it.