MILSAP Updates, January 5, 2013


We hope everyone had a happy holiday season. Sorry to be so remiss as not to post an update since before Christmas; we were skiing and enjoying our Michigan ski hills. You guys have been busy, however, leaving at least 34 comments on our pages and many others on our Facebook page. Keep ’em coming; we love hearing about our Michigan skiing traditions.


While visiting Boyne country on early December, we were checking an old MUCC Atlas of county maps for the little skier symbol and noticed one right next to Cadillac in Wexford County called Diggins Park Ski Area. I was looking on the Internet (unsuccessfully) for information about ski tows, when I got a comment from Steve Erter which mentioned that the park had two rope tows and 4 runs and operated until 1968. Thanks to Steve, we now have a Diggins Hill Ski Park page.


We also received comments form Harry Hammond about Kandahar; Brad Miller on Mt. Holiday; Tom about Timberline; Darryl about Bald Mountain, Mt. Grampian, and Sugarloaf; and Bill Jennings about Bear Hills, Big M, Crystal, and the Benzie Ski Jump.

We got a post from John Shepherd who owns the former Thunder Mountain ski area. He explained his problems with trespassers, which now seem much reduced with the cooperation of local law enforcement. (N.B. MILSAP does not encourage or endorse trespassing or “poaching”) He noted that a covenant in the deed placed there when Kircher sold the area prevents it from being operated as a ski area. He would welcome comments about the history of Thunder Mountain, most particularly photos or print articles.

We also received comments from A Came about Lake Valley, Kent Babcock on Bear Hills, Dan Branch on Skyline, Dave Hanawalt on Timber Lee and Sugar Loaf, Steve Erter on a community area in Petoskey, R Case on Kandahar, Max McDonald on Silver Valley, and Mike on Royal Valley and Ski Valley (Indiana?).

Bruce Benda posted about Briar Hill that his parents own the area. They bought it in the 1970’s and operated it on weekends and holidays for the locals. It closed to the public in the  early ’80’s, but the family still maintains the area as a family-only area. He mentioned that most of them were jumpers–do they still maintain and use the jump? We’ll have to ask him.

Tom Johnson commented on Winterskol, Brian Storm on Skyline, Bill Jennings on Bear Hills, Beth Frauenknecht on Mio Mountain, and Kent about Bear Hills. Anne B commented on Mt. Mancelona, The Pinnacles, and Thunder Mountain. Finally Brad posted that the latest owner of Mt. Mancelona, Joe Omness, the gentleman featured in the videos, passed away last spring.

Several people have sent photos and other items by e-mail. I will add these to the site as soon as I sort them out (in-between ski trips, of course). Keep the good information, memories, pictures, videos, brochures, flyers, and everything else coming; and be sure to tell your skiing friends about MILSAP.


We are a clearinghouse for information about retired ski areas in Michigan
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