Sugar Loaf – Cedar displays the picture postcard below for “Leelenaw Schools.” The caption on the reverse of the card identifies it as Sugar Loaf Mountain.

The Leelanau Schools, Glen Arbor, Michigan. Winter brings not only sports but brighter beauty to Sugar Loaf Mountain where the Leelanau Ski School is organized for beginners, intermediates, and experts.

Apparently the school-run area also sported a ski jump used for school competitions. From The Benzie County Patriot, Feb. 15, 1951: The high school jumpers competed at Elberta on Saturday and then at Sugar Loaf on Sunday where Roy Price of Elberta, who jumped 133′ on Saturday won the Sugar Loaf contest on Sunday.

16 Responses to Sugar Loaf – Cedar

  1. David Dean says:

    great photo !

  2. Bob S says:

    Such a shame this area went Milsap. Was fortunate to ski there once when I first moved to Michigan.( Superbowl Sunday ’91, Giants beat the Bills) it had one of the steeper trails in Mich, awful awful. It had trails from 360 degree aspects and great lake views. Glad I skied it at least once. Hotel dilapidated, lifts rusted( all Hall except 1) Owner of Homestead bought the Arnold Palmer golf course(Manitou passage) too bad he didn’t buy the ski area.

    Has been closed since 2000. Good pictures of lifts and some lake views on or 4 under lift construction survey)

    • daryl says:

      my dad was a handyman/security guard at sugarloaf from 1969 until 1972. it was a happening place back then. lodge, restaurant, hotel, outdoor swimming pool and spa open year round. landing strip for small planes and a golf course. AwfulAwful was the big fast run. there was also a scenic run down the backside of the mountain that was very long. fabulous views of lake michigan , lake lelanau, and lime lake. later they added indoor tennis courts. went there in early 80’s to watch the boxer Thomas Hearns in training.

  3. Tony Slosar says:

    Broke my leg here around 1976 when I was 10. Awesome lodge. So sad it closed.

  4. Kevin D says:

    I learned to ski at Sugar Loaf and I’m very sad to hear it’s closed. My dad, step mom and usually a friend or two would drive up from Columbus, Ohio to Midland, pick up more friends and trek onward to Sugar Loaf. I do remember Awful Awful being very steep and threatening, but pretty thrilling once I had the skill to ski it. Skiing at Sugar Loaf in the 80s and 90s was what gave me my love of the sport today. I always feel that it is the resorts like this that are the heart of the business more than the gold star areas. I still would love to visit Aspen or Sun Valley, but I made many trips to Sugar Loaf and places like it over the years.

  5. Anton Mal says:

    I remember skiing there with my brother and friends. The hotel was reasonably priced, so we would stay right there at the hill. I remember scrambling at the end of the ski day to get to the pool, which was quite a treat after a day on the slopes. The maintenance man was always in a hurry to get it closed on time. I often wonder if he was the same guy who ended up getting killed working under the elevator. His widow’s lawsuit was the nail in the coffin for the resort.
    The last couple years the place was open I skied there with my girlfriend. Tickets were very cheap as only less than half the hill was open. Only two lifts running, the one up Awful Awful, and one on the easier part of the hill. I guess only the Awful Awful lift is considered salvageable. To the right and kind of around the corner from AA was another steep run with a red lift on it, only went down it once, usually it was icy and ungroomed, closed. Never rode that lift though I did see it move and being worked on way back.
    There is a web site somewhere that tells the story in some detail. Another major issue was that they didn’t own the sewage plant that serviced the place

  6. Anton Mal says:

    What a shame…

  7. Mike Inman says:

    So sad seeing this incredible ski hill gone! I spent many winters here in the 70’s, 80’s!
    Awful Awful what a run! Loved that hill! Dropping over the top took my breath away the first time…Loved that place!

  8. HillOrStream says:

    Does anyone have the specs for this hill? Would like to know the vertical.

    • Scott says:

      looks like you could call it as 350 or 375 Vertical I remembered much more than that as a teenager. I do recall a ski releasing on N. Wall and the brakes deployed just fine but that didn’t stop it from going to the bottom…

  9. Jay says:

    There may be hope yet for Sugar Loaf! If they finally get Remo to sell their will be hope! Remo is BAD news

  10. Scott says:

    I Was reflecting on a lone weekend trip to the Loaf in my youthful days in the early 90’s and wondered what happened to the place. Here is what I found for trying to piece together stats. The Public Good Harbor Bay topo map helped me break it down a bit when laid out beside google maps. Looks like the front side with Wall, and Awful Awful is actually just under or right at 300 Vertical. On the back side and off to the Northwest you can get another 50 or so. Boyne’s Mountain Express came online in 1992 and I’ve never seen it mentioned but the lines and aging lifts at Sugar Loaf could not compete probably with the lift capacity that the high speed brought to the region.

    I screen shot the topo next to google maps and can email it to anyone who wants it. you can also download the topo map yourself here:×7.5/good-harbor-bay-mi.html

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