On Sun., Dec. 23, 1951, the Toledo Blade, in an article entitled “Ice Fishing, Skiing and Skating”, sec. 4, pg. 5, reported that “all the favorite ski areas of northern Michigan,” including Briar Hill, report “excellent skiing, perfect weather and ideal conditions with plenty of snow.”
A month later, on Fri., Jan 25, 1952, The Ludington Daily News winter sports report listed Briar Hill, near Mesick as having 10″ fresh snow over a 2-4″ base for excellent skiing. They also reported that Earl Hill of Ishpeming would be there that weekend to defend his Michigan open skiing championship. (I think this may have been a nordic/alpine combined championship, featuring jumping and slalom.)
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.
On Feb. 10, 1961, The Ludington Daily News ski report listed Briar Hills with 2″ new snow on a 4″ base and reporting excellent skiing. On Feb. 3, 1966, The Cass City Chronicle printed the AAA Guide to Winter Sports Fun in Michigan. It listed Briar Hill with 5 slopes from 200 to 2000′ long, a slalom slope and 2 ski jumps.
If you have any information about skiing or jumping at Briar Hill, please post a comment here, or send it to us via the directions on the About MILSAP page.