Dryden Ski Area – Dryden

Reportedly listed in Motor News (now Michigan Living), Jan. ’62, I have not seen the listing. On Dec. 24, 1959, The Luddington Daily News ski report listed Dryden as having good conditions with no snow or base report. On Feb. 10, 1961, the same paper had Dryden with 3″ fresh powder over a 14″ base with good skiing conditions.

The 1968 AAA Michigan Winter Sports Fun List, Published in The Cass City Chronicle on Jan. 4, 1968 lists Dryden at 4237 Hough Rd., 1 1/2 miles wast of Rochester Rd., 18 mi. north of Rochester or 8 mi. northeast of Oxford. It says they have 1/4 mi. of open slopes 600-1200 ft. long with 8 tows, J-bar, snowmaking, night skiing, skating and tobogganing. The J-Bar must have been a recent addition because the 1966 Guide doesn’t mention it. On October 27, 1968, the Detroit Free Press listed Dryden as an area that had ceased operation the previous season.

If you have any information about lift-served skiing at Dryden, please post it or send it to us via the directions on the About MILSAP page.

13 Responses to Dryden Ski Area – Dryden

  1. Sal Caruso says:


    See Dryden Ski Area. Dryden, MI (about 50 miles north of Detroit). Unfortunately this small family resort closed mid ’60s.

  2. Cathy Gosenca (Sheppard) says:

    Dryden was owned by a family from Royal Oak, I believe he was the first winner of the lottery. Small area but great fun, ran my first ski race there (came in 3rd) and my father was a member of the ski patrol.

  3. David Brackett says:

    Fred Molter owned it as my family had season passes there for many years. Fred even tried to coat small rocks with plastic so he could have summer skiing. Didn’t work to well. Dryden was my start to a life time of skiing and I know live and ski Jackson Hole.

  4. I used to ski at Dryden with my cousins, including David Brackett, above, in the mid-1960s. The owners had a loudspeaker on the lodge that played loud yodeling most of the time, as well as a real billy-goat tied up on a short rope nearby. I don’t remember his/her name. They had lights for night skiing, which I found thrilling. My cousins, David and Teddy, used to compete in all the races held at Dryden, and generally smoked the competition. I did not compete. At 10, I was lucky to make it down the hill without getting waylaid by some mogul.

    At the bottom of the hill was a bunkhouse that I stayed in one night with another cousin, Bill Harrison, and his father Jack. Seems to me there were about 20 bunks inside. It was a little grim.

  5. Just went to site on hough rd. Posted a video on YouTube. I’m doing silverbell, Grampian and mt. Christie also. Hope everyone will check them out!

  6. Cynthia Stewart says:

    Breaks my heart to know that the fabulous ski lodge that I grew up knowing and skiing at Dryden is gone. We loved this Ski area and grew up to be quite good in competitions etc. Also skied Mt. Holly and Christie. Mr & Mrs Molter, Fred & Helen, were lovely folks who always made us kids feel special. Also “Sugar” the goat (who skied) was quite beloved by us all. I cannot find the colour photo of the lodge and hill that I remember. However, today I reposted a pic of my sisters and I in 1960 posing for my Dad before heading out down the hill. Cindy Murtha, Sarnia Ontario Canada

  7. Cynthia Stewart says:

    Thanks for the video. I grew up skiing Grampian, Holly, Christie, and Dryden. So sad to hear Dryden is no longer around, though didn’t expect it would be. A small family run business with an amazing log-cabin style lodge…big fireplace, lots of places to sit. Ski rental shop downstairs. Music piped out onto the slopes. Fun fun times! “Sugar”the goat, who skied from time to time. Fred & Helen Molter always ready with a steaming mug of hot chocolate. Bunk house at the bottom of the hill; never knew anyone to stay there though. Sisters & I learned all the basics there from an early age. Dad taught a few lessons. Every weekend throughout the winter we were there…lived in Sarnia Ontario Canada. Wish I knew how to post my pic from 1960 though it could be from anywhere or nowhere! Cannot find the nice colour pic of the hill looking up at the lodge. The lodge was hilltop from a winding red-clay drive off a wooded road in from the highway. From it you skied down to the bunk house or over to the “advanced hill” which included a run through two birch trees that would take the heart n soul out of you. I used to jump onto the back of my sisters skis and we’d head down it! Little hellions with no fear whatsoever! We speak with much fondness and greatest memories of Dryden. Cindy Murtha Stewart

    • Sandra McFarlin says:

      My husband and I bought the Dryden Ski Area in the the 1970s when the place had been completely vandalized. We heard that it was a hang out for kids and that gypsies had lived on the property for period of time. We successfully turned it into a home which no longer looks anything like the old lodge except that a portion of the log structure can be seen where a garage was added and one of the log doors remains to serve as the reminder of our adventure. The Molter kids came to the house a number of years back and were surprised and happy to see that the place had been restored and that there parents would be happy. Would love to see any pictures of what it looked like when the place was in operation

  8. Amy Roote says:


    I have pictures of the ski resort my grandfather company Bellaire Log Cabins, Bellaire Michigan built and would like to share or gift them to your website or the local museum.

    Amy Roote
    182 Canterbury drive
    Rutherfordton, NC 28139

    • Sandra McFarlin says:

      Thank you so much for your reply. I would love to receive those pictures. When we bought the place it was definitely a shambles. It would be great to see how it looked when it was new. I will check with our library as well to offer the pictures.

    • Sandra McFarlin says:

      Corrected info.

  9. Amy Roote says:


    I have pictures of the ski resort my grandfather company Bellaire Log Cabins, Bellaire Michigan built and would like to share or gift them to your website or the local museum.

    A Roote


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