Welcome to MILSAP! We are dedicated to collecting and publishing information about the history of lift-served ski areas in Michigan. If you have fond memories of flying down the slopes on your favorite hill, but the area has closed, let us know about it. Michigan has a long, rich history of skiing and sliding and it should not be forgotten. Please help us keep it alive by sharing your recollections, snapshots, memorabilia, news clippings, home movies, or whatever you may have that would remind you and others of the places where people used to enjoy winter in Michigan.
For more information about our site, check the About MILSAP link on the navigation bar above or at the top of our page links in the right-hand column.
We have approved 30 comments since our last post on January 15; six weeks ago. We have also added two new lost ski areas and are actively looking for a possible new jumping hill. We also have a request for your involvement. By the way, most comments are approved within a few hours or even minutes, via mobile. Some comments take more time because they need to be researched or because they have been left in the wrong place. If you wish to comment on a specific area, please leave your comment on the page for that area, not on our main blog or on the About MILSAP page. If you leave it on the right page, that will ensure that other people interested in that area will see your comment and perhaps even respond.
The two new areas are the Oakland University Ski Hill at OU near Rochester,originally sent to us by Walt F, and the Bald Eagle Ski Hill at Bald Eagle Lake near Ortonville sent to us by Paul. We have already created a page for the former; a page for the latter will likely be added tonight.
Howard Taylor left a comment about Pioneer Hills, the old Ski Area near Houghton Lake, not far from Roscommon. Howard is the manager for the Wellington Farm, a historic farming attraction near Grayling. He would like to move the old toboggan house from Pioneer Hills, where it is slated for demolition, to the farm to renovate as a historic building. He has raised about 1/3 of the funds for this. If you are interested in contributing, please contact him, either by replying to his comment on the Pioneer Hills Page, or through the website for Wellington Farm.
To summarize the other posts, Andrew Santangelo commented about skiing at Mio Mountain after lights-out. He said he also has a picture of a patch. Tony Casino said he used to visit the old Bald Mountain Lodge after it was abandoned, but he remembers seeing the rope tow towers. Paul Hemenway and John would both like to see Sugar Loaf rise again.
Tom Williams’ family owned the property at Briar Hill and leased it to the club in 1949 (the club was formed in 1947). Jim Walton said he learned to ski at Black Mountain. Sandie remembers that her dad and uncle jumped at Mt. Grampian and Todd Ellis commented that he has a plate for the poster we posted on the page. Tom Sandison skied at Mt. Gabriel. He says it was part of the Wildwood Valley development.
Jessica, kapollock and Chan Pollock had quite an exchange about Tyrollean Hills. The Pollock family used to own and manage the area, and Jessica’s grandparents worked there. There is some great history of the area in their comments. (By the way, Jessica seems to feel that the spirit of the Pollock’s mother still inhabits the area since she died in an auto accident on the access road).
Bob Miller remembers work weekends at Kandahar that were owed by members. Jerry Howcraft has a front-view picture of Kandahar. Pam and Ron Anderson used to manage the lodge alongside Michele Hillis and now live in Florida next door to other club members. Rex A Sharp commented that he skied Kandahar as a kid.
W. Patrick Lentell says that his dad took him to Irish Hills to learn to ski. Diane remembers skiing at Mio Mountain and wants to see more stories. She has created a Facebook page for the hill. You can find the address in her comment on our Mio Mountain page. Robert Simons remembers seeing Briar Hill while driving by and will check it out on his next trip. Doug Donaldson says he skied at Snow Valley as a youngster. As he was born in 1958, that must have been in the 1960′s, about the time I was skiing there. Todd Ellis commented about Vulcan that from the mid-1970′s through the mid-1980′s it was operated by the Knauss family.
Gary Gariglio commented that friends currently ski Skyline with a snowmobile and a rope. Richard Joseph also commented about Skyline that his dad had the ski shop for a long time. He would like to start an alumni association for Skyline. Richard also commented about Fred Bear’s involvement or lack of same in Bear Mountain. Carolyn Nye Boyd also commented on Skyline. She says her father worked there and she used to work as a “tow boy.” John Phillips said that he learned a lot about skiing at Thunder Mountain and had a lot of fun, too, skiing there as a boy.
Alyson commented on Indian Hills that she saw tow towers off Leonard, behind Northern Trails. Gordon Hunter says he used to take his girl to concerts at Silverbell in ’68 or ’69 for a year to two after the area closed for skiing. Davis Brackett says that Dryden was owned by Fred Molder who once experimented (unsuccessfully) with plastic-coated gravel for summer skiing. profesorav (Karen Voike) posted a link to a news clipping about a fatal accident involving a tow rope at Maple Valley.
Adam Lohner says of Missaukee Mountain that there is some kind of building at the end of Missaukee Mountain Road. He will check it out when he gets a chance. Rob Logey commented that his family used to go to Royal Valley in the 1980′s. Paco says he used to ski at Esker Hills in the 1960′s on old 10th Mountain army gear. dharmafield used to ride motorcycles on Glacier Hills in the ’80′s. mwharton posted that her husband’s family skied Glacier Hills in the ’50′s and she may have pictures of her sister-in-law as snow queen or something like that. Freddy Leal said he skied Mt. Christie just once.
Jeff says he remembers driving past a house in Farmington Hills with a ski jump on the property. He has even found a real-estate listing for it from 1977. It reads:
Attic could be finished for another bedroom, new roof
Value in land approximately 2 acres (1963) Home sits on
high land overlooking an acre of nature trails, woods and a
stream running through the property Bring offer. Beautiful
ravine lot Property has an old ski jump $49,900
Call 261 0700 (47785)”
If you know anything about a ski jump in Farmington Hills. Please let us know. and please keep those comments coming.