Indian Hills – Grand Rapids

On Feb. 3, 1966, The Cass City Chronicle printed the 1966 AAA Guide to Winter Sports Fun in Michigan. It listed Indian Hills with 2 ski runs, rope tows, 2 toboggan runs with special toboggans and a return conveyor furnished. (If a skier poached a ride on the conveyor, would that have made it the FIRST magic carpet lift in Michigan?) This guide does not print locations or addresses for the areas. The map shows it somewhere on the near west side of Grand Rapids, south of I-96.

Karen Voike was kind enough to send me a link to the obituary of Charles Beale Jr. the founder of Indian Hills Ski, Toboggan, Archery and Sports Park. He died in 2008 at the age of 82. The obituary states that the park was at Richmond Park on the west side of Grand Rapids. The AAA 1961 Winter Fun List, sent to us by Casey Buckleitner, says its on Bristol Ave. off Richmond, and was toboggan only that year.

If you have any information about skiing at Indian Hills, please post it here in a comment or send it to us via the directions on the About MILSAP page.

3 Responses to Indian Hills – Grand Rapids

  1. Bob S says:

    I skied Cannonsburg today 2/16/13 and stopped to chat with a National Ski Patroller about the improvements at C burg. Somehow he (Mr Katerberg,NSPers wear a name pin)got talking about the former Grand Rapids Ski Club. He mentioned a rope tow area near Forest Hills HS off Leonard St NE GR. Closed ’82 or ’83. Maybe a 100 or so vertical feet almost the size of the “biggest” hill at Pando. He had no name for the area but he said they(GRSC) had a ski area near Richmond Park before this mentioned hill. That’s where I spotted this Indian Hills area listed..I don’t know if the GRSC still exists but I’m sure someone would know the name. Mr K said the area was sold for building lots and homes. Very interesting.
    Bob Sisco

  2. Alyson says:

    I grew up in GR and went to FHN in the mid 80′s. I remember seeing lift towers for either chairlifts or rope tows off off Leonard- behind where Northern Trails is now. My mom said, at the time, that it was Grand Rapids Ski Club. I’m not sure how long they were opened or who skied there. I just remember wishing that they would open again as a kid, because they were so close to home.

  3. Mik says:

    While attending GRJC 77′ to 79′ this was our ski teams training grounds. Enjoyed the high speed rope on one of the steep hills. By the time the rope quit slipping you were at the top. Lot’s of duck tape on the gloves was standard equipment. Couldn’t beat it for the convenience.

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