Pioneer Hills Winter Sports Park – Roscommon

On Dec. 21, 1951, The Ludington Daily News snow report listed Pioneer Hills near Roscommon with 8″ new snow.

According to a Consumers Power brochure from around 1959, Pioneer Hills was located 3.5 mi. northwest of Roscommon on the Higgins Lake Road. It had 3 ski runs with 2 rope tows, instruction, and a lodge with rental equipment, ski shop and a snack bar. It was open daily with night skiing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The area was located on a ridge just west of the middle of Higgins Lake, now just east of I-75, just before it joins US-127. On the topo you  can see the hill with about 150′ of vertical, but on the satellite, I’m not sure I can identify any runs. The area is just south of exit 288 on I-75, identified as either Old M-66 or W Federal Hwy. Turn south on Co Rd 101 and when you get to Pioneer Hills Marine on the left, you have arrived. The ski area was kitty-corner on the right.

Pioneer Hill is still used for sledding. There is a video on YouTube of someone climbing the hill in the Fall with a view from the top. The narration mentions snowboarding on the hill.

If you have any information about skiing at Pioneer Hills, please post it or send it to us using the instructions on the About MILSAP page.

5 Responses to Pioneer Hills Winter Sports Park – Roscommon

  1. John close says:

    I grew up about 3 miles from Pioneer Hill. My dad remembers skiing there in the 50’s.
    VERY primitive as he recalls. Leather boots,wooden ski’s with forward throw cable bindings etc…
    In the early 70’s, after they stopped running the ski lifts, and before snowmobiling really took off in
    our area, they tried toboggan rental. We tried it…once. They rented these REALLY fast plastic toboggans. With my family of 4 on the toboggan we were Flying down the hill, the only problem was stopping. As we got closer to the large pine trees at the bottom of the hill my father yelled JUMP!!…. We all jumped off and rolled down the hill as the toboggan crashed into the trees.
    With me and my sister crying, my dad dragged the toboggan back up the hill and we went home.

  2. Gustave Rayl says:

    In the fifties my family vacationed in the Roscommon County area staying at Houghton Lake mostly and enjoying all the area summer as well as winter amenities. I have a picture of my older sister and brother in ’55 leaning against my dads Nash with the Pioneers Hills Tower behind them with the toboggan and snow. I’d love to post it.

  3. I came across your site while researching for information about Pioneer Hills near Roscommon. I am the General Manager of Wellington Farm, USA near Grayling. In the spring of 2014 it is our intention to move the old toboggan house from Pioneer Hills to Wellington to save it from demolition. Once there, it will be completely restored and will become our Loom House on our Craft Lane. This will be the third historic building we have moved to the farm and restored, one being a CCC building and the other a church. The only fly in the ointment right now is financing the move and restoration. So far we have raised about a third of what we need. Any suggestions and/or donations would be appreciated.

    • MILSAP says:

      Howard, I will publicize your request for donations on our blog and Facebook page, but it would help if you would set up donation instructions on your website.

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