Ogemaw Hills Ski Park – West Branch

Memorialized by Ski Park Road which still crosses I-75 north of West Branch.

You can find a picture of the area on the Michigan page of teachski.com

I found this picture and others at the West Branch High School Alumni site.

Jo and Others with Skis at the Park - 1948 or 1949?

The young lady at the left of the picture, Miss Josephine Bailey, was the Michigan Snow Queen in 1948 or 1949, Miss Ogemaw Hills and Miss Michigan in 1950. According to the website, Jo Bailey Neubecker wrote an article for the (Ogemaw Hills? West Branch?) centennial book about the history of the ski park, but it had not yet been published.

In a brochure from Consumers Power, published around 1959, Ogemaw Hills was listed as 3 mi. west of West Branch, north off M-55. It reportedly had 5 slopes and 5 tows, from 900′ to 1000′ long. It had a shelter house with a snack bar and a ski shop.  This location puts it very near the town(?) of Ogemaw Springs on Ski Park Rd, just south of where it ends at Saginaw Rd. On the satellite view, you can see the former ski slopes on a ridge about a quarter mile north and west of the town.

On Dec. 21, 1951, The Ludington Daily News snow report listed Ogemaw Hills as having 8″ new snow on a 1″ base. In the 1968 AAA Michigan Winter Sports Fun List, published in The Cass City Chronicle on Jan. 4, 1968, Ogemaw Hills is said to have 6 slopes, a T-Bar, and 2 rope tows. In the 1971 AAA Michigan Winter Sports Fun List, published in the same paper on Dec. 10, 1970, Ogemaw Hills is said to have 6 slopes, a T-Bar, and 6 rope tows.

According to the Michigan DNR website on December 21, 2010, the Ogemaw Hills Pathway is open for groomed trail cross country skiing under a contract to groom trails in state forests funded by local organizations. However, these ski trails are about 5 miles north of M-55 on Fairview Rd, which puts them far north and east of the old ski area.

If you have any information on downhill skiing at Ogemaw Hills, please post it here or send it to us via the directions on the About MILSAP page.

2 Responses to Ogemaw Hills Ski Park – West Branch

  1. Bob Couture says:

    I skied there in the mid sixties, and recall one of the more difficult runs was called the “bone crusher”

  2. VERN Hayden2 says:

    I skied there in 1950 – 1954..my high school days in Bay City. I was to poor for then for modern equipment. Had borrowed wooden 7’ Ski’s with no edges..wore dads hunting boots with bear trap bindings..remember just two slopes..beginner and a fairly steep and short straight down. Rope tows. Became an excellent crasher. Good training..years later as an Air Force officer raced downhill with best equipment. Still crashed but sometimes won. VERN ..hayden4t9@aol.com

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