Silver Valley – Tawas

On Mar. 5, 1954, the Cass City Chronicle stated that two young ladies from East Lansing, visited one of their homes in Elmwood and then spent the weekend enjoying the winter sports at Silver Valley near Tawas.

Silver Valley was 9 mi northwest of Tawas on Monument Road. It had 4 slopes and trails and 2 tows, with a ski shop, instruction, rentals and skating. It also had a 2-course 3100′ toboggan slide with toboggan tow. This according to a Consumers Power brochure from around 1959. On Dec. 24, 1959, The Luddington Daily News printed a ski report listing Silver Valley as having a 5″ base with 10″ fresh powder and excellent skiing conditions. On Feb. 10, 1961 the same paper reported they had 1″ new snow over a 3″ base with fair skiing.

Silver Valley Parking Lot from Rick Prescott

As you can see in the picture above, Silver Valley used to get a LOT of business in the winter. Today, there is a campground called Silver Valley in the middle of the Corsair x-c trail complex near Tawas. As described by Gary Nelkie of Nordic Sports:

The Corsair Ski Trails are immediately visible on both sides of you as Monument Road passes through the interior of the immense trail system. The Silver Valley hills and snow bowls leap up to the north and the icy waters of Silver Creek knife through the forest below. The Corsair Trail System, a skier’s Shangri-La, nestles in this beautiful valley surrounded by the 120,000-acre Huron National Forest.

I do not know if this is where the ski area was located. If you have any information about Silver Valley when it was lift-served, plese leave a post or use the instructions on the ABOUT page to let us know.

14 Responses to Silver Valley – Tawas

  1. The entrance to the ski and toboggan hill were on the opposite side of the road from the parking area for Corsair. There is still a short “driveway” with a gate across it; it’s just a little further NW out monument road (it’s been a while for me, so I think maybe half a mile? Surely no further than thatl) Silver Creek ran perpendicular to the downhill runs, and I remember being afraid I would slide so far on my flying saucer, I’d land in the creek!

  2. gordon says:

    i went to summer “camp iroquois” on sand lake near tawas in the mid 60’s. for over nighters we would stay and camp at i believe this same area. there were remnants of a couple old toboggan runs and and old ford engine block mounted to angle iron on the top of the hill, with tire rims mounted on telephone poles for an old rope tow of some sort. also laying on the forest floor, old ticket stubs. i guess lift passes. it felt like an abandoned amusement park. and that was one steep long slope for one of those old hickory and maple toboggans.

    the person above mentioned the creek at the bottom. our camp counselor would wake us up in the morning and have us do push-ups in that cold creek at 7:am. it’s part of what made me who i am today. good or bad.

    i hope i never forget those times. they are priceless.
    gordon

    • MILSAP says:

      Gordon, the location listed for Silver Valley is about a mi. NE of Indian Lake. Sand Lake is between 1 and 2 miles SW of Indian Lake. Do you remember where the camp and the rope tow towers were located in relation to the lake? I have found some pictures on the web that seem to be from the Bay City YMCA Camp Iroquois showing people kayaking and sailing on a lake, but no specific location for the camp

      • Kathryn Walker Baker says:

        I am doing research for a book on Camp Maqua on Loon Lake in Hale and need information about Camp Iroquois on Sand Lake. I understand they combined the two camps in 1977 and 1978 to form Camp Maquois at Maqua but I have no information why. If anyone knows anything about the camp please email me @ walkbake@gmail.com Kathy

      • Kathryn Walker Baker says:

        I would very much be interested in anything you may know about Camp Iroquois.

      • Jim Jacques says:

        Camp Iroquois was on the Northeast side of Sand Lake. Now a road name Iroquois trail runs into where the camp used to be. Silver Valley was off Monument Rd to the northeast of Indian Lake, probably a couple miles or so at least. My family had a cottage on the south side of Sand Lake on the west side of the boat launch. Spent a lot of time on the camp grounds as a kid. Also skied at Silver Valley a few times.

      • david e fischer says:

        Camp Iroquois is on Sand Lake near National city,Michigan. I went there every year from 1961-1967.

  3. Frederic Juengling says:

    I went to Camp Iroquois in 1960 & 1961 when I was 10 & 11. You are correct that it was associated with the Bay City YMCA. My memories include it having an outstanding obstacle course and each hut being named after an Iroquois tribe. I stayed in the Cuyahoga hut both years and the hut leader was named Richard Spence as I recall (more certain about the last name than the first). I believe he was a somewhat well-known swimmer but that may be because my older brother was swimming for Bay City Central at the time so maybe I learned his name from going to the meets). In any event I have fond memories of the place, especially the food and obstacle course.

    • david e fischer says:

      I went to Camp Iroquois ,sand lake from 1961-1967.Mohigan hut,Onadaga,Tuscaroroa.There were about 9 of them.

      • Carole Rogers says:

        If you were there in 61-67 do you remember the year they moved the cross and chapel?
        The old cross fell apart and we are building and moving a new cross so would appreciate and history you could give about the cross.

  4. Kathryn Walker Baker says:

    Do you have any connections with any other Iroquois campers that may have been there in the seventies? Or any that could provide some history of the camp? I appreciate your reply! Kathy

  5. Max McDonald says:

    When I was in the Boy Scouts, Troop 207 from Saginaw, in the early 1970’s we went to Silver Valley several times. The lodge was still standing and we used it for sleeping. There was a huge fire place and picnic type tables. At that time you could still see the remains of the toboggan runs and the location of the ski slopes. The lodge was torn down years ago, but if you know where to look you can still tell where it stood. I have not climbed the hills from Silver Creek in many years, but would bet there are still traces of the toboggan run to be found.

  6. Max McDonald says:

    I was able to find several pictures of Silver Valley on-line. Judging by the number of cars in the parking lot it was a popular place. http://www.flickr.com/photos/foresthistory/6322516517/in/photostream/
    At one time the Tawas Historical Museum had a collection from Silver Valley. One that sticks in my mind was from a beauty contest picking a Miss Silver Valley.

  7. Max McDonald says:

    Here are several more from Silver Valley.
    Closer view of two toboggans starting down slide.

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