Mike Yates asked on our Facebook page if anyone knew about the Birch Hills Ski Area east of Paris, south of Reed City. I had not heard of it, so I asked him for a more complete location. He replied that he had found it on an old Mecosta County Map from the 1970′s and the map placed it at the corner of 200th Ave. and Hoover Rd. He also says you can see the remains of the area from US-131 when driving past.
I happen to have an old book of county maps, so I checked the Mecosta Co. map I had, and sure enough, it shows the Birch Hills Ski Area south of Hoover Rd. just north of 21 Mile Rd, and east of 200th Ave. That would put it about 1 to 1.5 mi. east of the current location of US-131, so it might be visible from the road. The maps I have are from MUCC, but seem to be undated. The Mecosta Co. map does not show the US-131 freeway, only the old highway which runs through Paris. According to Wikipedia, the the conversion of US-131 to freeway in West Michigan began in 1966 and was scheduled to be completed in 1974 but was delayed until 1976 or 1977. On other maps I have, dated 1984, the freeway is complete (but the ski area is absent).
I see possible remains of a slope on satellite view which, according to the topo map would have had the slope facing NW on the side of a 150-200 ft rise.
If you have any recollections of skiing at Birch Hills or have any other information about the area, please post it here or send it to us via the directions on the About MILSAP page.