Al Quaal Recreation Area – Ishpeming

On Jan. 4, 1968, The Cass City Chronicle published the “1968 AAA Michigan Winter Sports Fun Guide.” In it, they said Al Quaal Recreation Area in Ishpeming had 3 slopes and 3 tows, a toboggan run, night skiing Tues. and Thu. from 7-9:30, x-c trails and snowmobile trails.

According to the City of Ishpeming, Al Quaal still has 3 downhill ski runs and one rope tow at the Teal Lake end of the park. At the other end, they still have a toboggan run. They have several x-c trails, including one called the Olympic Trail, which may be named in honor of the US Olympic Education Center at nearby Northern Michigan University.

According to the Marquette Monthly for March, 2002:

      You…can warm-up and purchase snacks in the Al Quaal lodge, where a fireplace is always blazing underneath a picture of the area’s namesake and first caretaker, Albert E. Quaal.
Quaal’s picture sits above the mantle and below a huge set of moose antlers that give the feeling of a big-time Colorado ski lodge. Quaal gained the nickname “Mr. Winter Sports of Upper Michigan” and died at age 81 on December 17,1964, according to an obituary on file at the Marquette County History Museum.
Quaal developed the winter sports area in the 1930s and added the ski tows and jumps as it gained popularity. He continued to develop the area until 1942, when the city of Ishpeming took control, the obituary states.
After that Quaal was named recreation director, working until his retirement on June 1, 1958. Quaal was born on November 9, 1883 in Ishpeming and spent thirty years working at paper mills in Munising and Canada, before returning to Ishpeming to develop and manage the recreation area, according to his death notice.

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4 Responses to Al Quaal Recreation Area – Ishpeming

  1. Bob Lindsteadt says:

    I can’t believe you’ve never heard of Al Quaal! (Albie’s foods Inc.)

    Not only is he a well known person in the food industry — he is also a
    very important person in the ski history of UP skiing!

    If you don’t believe me — check him out on google. IE: Al Quaal Gaylord Mi. Or, better still go to the nation ski patrol museum in Ishpeming. He has a whole exhibit there.

  2. Bob Lindsteadt says:

    Here’s a P.S. to my earlier posting to you. Al Quaal was a customer of mine, here in Gaylord, as well as a good friend. He didn’t even know he had a place in the NSP museum until I told him about it.

    • MILSAP says:

      Bob,
      You’re right, the Al Quaal Ski Area is named for Albert Quaal. However, that Al Quaal was born on Nov. 9, 1883 and died on Dec 17, 1964 and lived most of his life in the Ishpeming/Negaunee area. Would that be the same Al Quaal you knew? Perhaps he was a relative? The National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in Ishpeming does not list any Quaals among their honorees. That doesn’t mean they don’t have an exhibit, I’ll ask. You said “NSP museum”, so should I check with Lakewood?

  3. Ellen says:

    How much for going down the running hill by teal lake

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