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A couple playing pickleball.

Where to Play Pickleball in Escanaba

One of the fastest-growing sports in the country is pickleball. It’s a cross between tennis, ping pong and badminton. Multi-generations of locals and visitors meet on our indoor and outdoor courts. Here’s where to play when you are in the area.


Catherine Bonifas Civic Center | Escanaba

The Catherine Bonifas Civic Center is Escanaba’s headquarters for indoor recreation and leisure programs. A daily fee gives you access to three pickleball courts, other gym activities, the game room and pistol/archery range. 

Northern Lights YMCA | Escanaba

The Northern Lights YMCA is another hotspot for pickleball enthusiasts. If you are not a member, you can purchase a day pass. Pickleball hours in the gym are mornings, Monday to Saturday. The Y also offers clinics to learn the game, improve skills and get back into the sport. 


10th St. Courts | Gladstone

Play on four free courts at 10th St. near the Gladstone Middle School. Restrooms are available. 

Ludington Park | Escanaba

This popular recreation and event destination on the Little Bay de Noc has four free multi-use, lighted courts for pickleball and tennis. The nets adjust for either sport. Restrooms are nearby.

COMING SOON! Courts at John and Melissa Besse Sports Park | Gladstone

After successful fundraising, plans are underway to build eight pickleball courts in 2024. Watch this site for updates. 

Two people sitting on a court holding paddles and a ball.


  • Play pickleball with a flat paddle and a lightweight, perforated plastic ball, similar to a whiffle ball, that’s slightly larger than a tennis ball. Hit the ball ​​back and forth on a court that is about a third the size of a regulation tennis court and the net is 2 inches lower than a tennis court net. You can play singles or doubles.  
  • Pickleball is similar to tennis, but the scoring is less complex. You can only earn points on your serve. Players typically play to 11 points, but you must win by two. 
  • Pickleball is a game of finesse and strategy, not of powerhouse serves. A player serves the ball underhand with the intent of starting rallies. The golden rule of pickleball is the two-bounce rule. Players must let the ball bounce at least once on each side of the court before they can volley or hit the ball before it bounces.
  • Another standout feature of the game is the non-volley zone (NVZ), or "kitchen." When players are in this 7-foot area on either side of the net, they must let the ball bounce once before returning it. This requires players to strategize each play rather than rely on power returns at the net. 
  • Fun Fact: Pickleball fans are called "pickleheads."

USA Pickleball Rulebook

A person playing pickleball.


Whether playing pickleball is a break from your other Escanaba adventures or part of a U.P. tour of pickleball courts, plan to stay for at least a night at one of our lodgings. To get the rate and amenities you want, book your room now. 

See you dinking on our courts soon!

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