Bahle Park Ski Hill – Suttons Bay

While looking for another Leelenau ski area, I discovered that Bahle Park in Suttons Bay formerly had a community ski hill with a tow. It currently operates with a sledding hill and a cross-country trail, but the 200-ft hill is still there.

The Suttons Bay Parks and Recreation website says, “Bahle Park is located on West Street at the top of a large ridge. The park has sledding hills, nature trails and cross country skiing. A warming house and meeting room are kept open for the season.” 

The Suttons Bay Bikes webpage says, “Once a old community ski area, the 200 ft vertical ski run is available only to those who can hike to the top. Perfect for backcountry skis.”

I did find a picture on Flickr by Andrew McFarlane which depicts the old rope cut through the trees with an old rope support tower with the bogey wheel still attached.

If you have any information about tow-served skiing at Bahle Park, please post a comment or send it to us via the directions on the About MILSAP page.

1 Response to Bahle Park Ski Hill – Suttons Bay

  1. Robert W Rulison says:

    I was a kid , maybe 12, when the tow rope went in. At first the locals, my mom included, would use the role rope and actually ski. However, if the weather was too bad or there just weren’t enough people they would let us kids use it for sledding.

    It was a great sledding hill with a top half and a bottom half offering a kind of choice of runs. Sledding was a past time for all the local kids and we felt very lucky to have the only sledding hill with a tow.

    We also used the hill in the spring and fall for training for track and cross country. It was a great thing to have in our small town and I am forever grateful to the Bahle family for it.

    Years after the park stopped running the tow, and the equipment was abandoned, my dad went and “salvaged” a large chunk of the rope. I am fortunate to still have a section of it these 40 years later.

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