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.
It’s been slow during the dog days of summer, with only 12 comments since we last updated you in July. This has contributed to a review of some older comments and we discovered that we had overlooked adding a page for Cole Creek, a later incarnation of the Fonro ski area. That oversight has peen corrected and we have a new lost ski area.
Tom Groenevelt advised us that on the satellite view there appear to be old ski trail cuts in the UP south of Skanee. I agree that the satellite shows the cuts, but Google terrain view shows no terrain in the area and the USGS topographic maps show a 20′ elevation change from one end of the “trails” to the other. But, please keep looking for evidence of old ski areas as you drive around Michigan or look at satellite or aerial views, old maps or road names, or hear about or see old lift equipment as you hike our hills or trails. If you find anything of interest, please let us know by making a comment or contacting us via the directions on the About MILSAP page.
Dave Fons commented on MILSAP Updates that he thought we might have been looking for south-facing slopes (to grow grapes) instead of east or north-facing slopes to hold snow. I’m not sure if he is referring to our attempts to locate Fonro or some other place. Dave, was Fonro named for the Fons and Rowe families?
Jeffrey Kurns like our non-committal response about why we do this. If we figure that out, we’ll let you know.
Scott Stillings liked our mention of the ski jumps at the Petoskey Winter Sports Park. Apparently they were removed when the land bridge was constructed to “bypass” downtown above the marina. (When was that, Scott?) He says the jumps were featured on the festival pins from 1934-1960.
Don Klosterman says the last time he was at Barn Mountain/Avalanche Peak was around 2000 when he was shooting his bow on the archery range. Anton Malje left a couple comments on the Sugar Loaf page with links to news articles about the lack of progress in re-opening the area. He also commented on the Caberfae page about the (just passed) deadline for early season pass prices. Many areas around Michigan are offering pre-season discounts for season passed–the earlier, the better price–check them out.
Tom Paluska left a very nice comment on the Kandahar page that he now lives in Colorado and has skied many great places around the world, but he learned to ski at Kandahar. Alex wondered if dirt-biking or quad-running were permitted at the old Skyline site. Gary Gariglio, the current owner, was kind enough to reply that, if people ask, he gives permission to hikers, bikers, sledders, x-cers, horseback riders, and geocachers. He and his friends occasionally ride dirt bikes or 4-wheelers there, but the topsoil is thin and the substrate is sand, so it wouldn’t hold up to much abuse.
Please keep those comments coming. When you share your memories, you are keeping the history of skiing in Michigan alive.
Robert Knox, Publisher
Michigan Lost Ski Areas Project.