Why is Michigan the best place to run the Spartan Race? Because it’s held in the Jackson, Michigan area, which is overflowing with great food, music, beer and wine, and some of the best outdoor recreation the state has to offer! If you need a bit more convincing, here are 10 reasons to run the Spartan Race in Michigan this September:
- The lower peninsula’s largest state park. The Waterloo State Recreation Area is packed with adventure, like horseback riding, mountain biking and tons of hiking and nature trails. For even more trail action, the Jackson area has plenty of options to explore nature.
- The race is held at Michigan International Speedway – NASCAR’s fastest track! When you compete here, you’ll be pushing your limits at the same place NASCAR’s best go in excess of 220 mph. This alone ought to be more than a little motivation to get you through the grueling race.
- Home to the North American IPA of the Year, Monkey Mouth IPA. Once you take a pint of this for a test drive at Grand River Brewery, check out Jackson’s other great breweries! (If you’re a fan of cider, you’ve got to try Cherry Creek Old Schoolhouse’s selection. It's conveniently located just off the MIS grounds and owned by the same family as Grand River brewery, so you know it’s going to be good!)
- It’s fall. You’ll be in Michigan. That may be enough said for most, but for those who don’t enjoy #SweaterWeather as much, there are countless ways to experience fall in Jackson. Get on your feet with an active adventure or enjoy the scenic route paddling a canoe or kayak.
- Cell Block 7 Prison Museum. Where else has a museum within the walls of an operating penitentiary? Cell Block 7 pays tribute to Jackson’s lengthy prison history, and it's one we’re proud of. It is what put us on the map nearly 200 years ago.
- The perfect sweet (or dry) reward. Conquering the Spartan Race calls for a victory lap. Although MIS’s NASCAR track may seem fitting, a victory lap around the Pioneer Wine Trail may be more of the reward you’re looking for.
- We’re Coney Island Royalty. The state’s first coney dog was created here. Jackson Coney Island opened its doors in 1914; that’s three years before Detroit’s first, to be exact.
- Foot Golf. The perfect mix of golf and soccer, and a leisurely way to get your blood flowing without overexerting yourself before or after the big race. Try your swing at foot golf on our course certified by the U.S. Foot Golf Association. For even more fun, try your hand at one of our other alternative sports too.
- We're the Birthplace of the Republican Party, and to this day, you can still stand on the same ground that the party was created on in 1854. Regardless of your place on the political spectrum, Under the Oaks City Park is one of the most significant spots in American political history.
- The crown jewel of Jackson for nearly a century, The Cascades is an experience unlike any other. This manmade waterfall was cut into the hills at Sparks Foundation County Park, perfectly flowing water down the enormous falls. The real beauty begins after dusk, when the falls come alive with a rainbow of colors. The illuminated falls are perfectly choreographed to music, creating a picturesque show.
Find the Best Adventures
As you can see, there’s so much going on in Jackson! Since you have limited time here, you’ll want to make the most of your time. To do so, check out these 7 tips for finding the best adventures! Or, if you’re looking for an experience you won’t find anywhere else, Jackson has plenty of one-of-a-kind spots and unique museums that you’d never expect.