Briar Hill Ski Area and Jump – Mesick

In 1951, in a news article about a ski jumping competition at Elberta, the writer mentions that a team competed from the Briar Hill Ski Club from Mesick. This from The Benzie County Patriot, February 15, 1951.

In Feb. 4, 1954, The Farmington (Mich.) Enterprise reported that the Michigan Open Ski Jumping Championship was to be held at Briar Hill near Mesick on February 7. They expected to host some of the nation’s most outstanding jumpers with jumps of up to 165′ on the improved hill.

On Feb. 10, 1957, Per Staavi of the Chicago Norge Ski Club won the Michigan Classic Combined Ski Meet with 307 points, winning the X-C race on Saturday at Caberfae and jumping 2nd on Sunday to Earl Hill at Briar Hill in Mesick, according to the Milwaukee Sentinal, Feb. 11, 1957.

In about 1959, a Consumers Power brochure listed Briar Hill as being 3 mi east of Mesick and 20 mi northwest of Cadillac, just off M-42 and M-115. They had 8 slopes from 600′ to 1300′ long, 3 tows and a ski jump. They had rentals and snacks available.

14 Responses to Briar Hill Ski Area and Jump – Mesick

  1. Nancy Williams Gustafson says:

    Cool…I grew up with this in my backyard; so many memories came rushing back…first pair of skis were red with leather toe straps; yes, I actually went off that jump, just barely got over the “hump” and was I scared to death taking that plunge to the bottom. I would love to have some pictures of the people lined up to watch the jump. Nancy Williams Gustafson

    • MILSAP says:

      Thanks, Nancy. Would you let us know what year you got the red skis and when you went off the jump?

    • Edward J. Morawski says:

      I made my first ski jump at Briar Hill under the coaching of Adolf Oteerg, that at the time was the record holder for the 50 meter jump. It must have been 50 years ago, but the memories from that time are still with me. Thank you Adolf wherever you are.
      Sincerely, Edward J. Morawski

  2. sharkbytes says:

    Is this the Briar Hill that is very pointed on the N side of M-115? The Briar Hill that is S of 115 that is the high point of the LP. Why are there two Briar Hills in Wexford County?

  3. Brian Aprill says:

    I learned to ski at Brair Hil in the early mid 70’s, it was $2.00 for all day to ski.

  4. Jay Benda says:

    The “real” Briar Hill is indeed the high point of the lower pennisula. Briar Hill, the ski area, is on the North side of 115 and is the other peak.

    • Clay mcnitt says:

      I grew up as a kid skiing there. Ed Benda operated it at the time, he was a great guy(hi jay). Some great memories right there.

    • Martin Otberg says:

      Hey Jay ! Martin otberg here…. My memories of Briar Hill definitely include you your brothet Marty and your Dad Ed think you had a sister that was quite a jumper too. Also a trip to iron mountain for a complete competition. Good times !

      • Paul Williams says:

        I will always remember times at Briar Hill as it was just across the field from our house! What great times we had there growing up. I know things have changed, but would love to go back there and have it up and running again!

    • Bill Jennings says:

      Jay, did you know a ski jumper named Ken Rockwell from Benzonia? And a Bernie Fleetwood who ran the ski school at Crystal Mountain, possibly Buck Hill’s in it’s early years. Buck Hill’s also had a ski jump, any information on that?
      Thanks Bill Jennings

  5. Paul Williams says:

    I miss many good times!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s