Tuesday, November 25, 2014

West Michigan Snow Sports

When the powder flies, it's time to grab your gloves and hit the great outdoors! Skiing, snowboarding, fat biking, luging, and more, West Michigan doesn't even come close to hibernating in the winter! Read on for your guide to Snow Sports in West Michigan.


Traverse City Tourism

Last year, Budget Travel named Traverse City one of the 11 “Coolest Winter Places in America” and added Traverse City to its list of “America’s 10 Hottest Cold Cities” – the nation’s best winter vacation destinations. They said Traverse City had “all the ingredients for a great winter vacation – a quaint downtown with beautiful views of Lake Michigan, microbreweries, restaurants, shops, performance venues and lots of snow.”

When it comes to skiing, tubing and snowboarding, the region’s premiere full-service winter destination is undoubtedly Shanty Creek Resorts, a 4,500-acre recreational complex in the beautiful Chain of Lakes region about 30 miles northeast of Traverse City. Ski Magazine rated Shanty Creek the Midwest’s number-one destination in value, dining, lodging, weather and après ski activities. Other skiers have discovered the fun of staying closer to town, taking advantage of low lodging rates and a broad choice of shopping, dining and entertainment options while skiing at Traverse City’s two day ski areas, Mt. Holiday and Hickory Hills.

But the region is probably best known for the quality of its winter “silent sports” -- snowshoe hiking and cross-country skiing -- thanks to its vast acreage of forest and parkland. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has eight marked trails, some leading up to panoramic overlooks high above the lake. Other marked trail systems include the Lost Lake Pathway near Interlochen, the 3,500-acre Sand Lakes Quiet Area near Williamsburg and the Vasa Pathway, one of the finest cross-country ski trails in the nation. Within the city, the 300-acre Grand Traverse Commons features superb skiing and snowshoeing in park-like grounds among century-old, European-style buildings and stands of old-growth pines.

Snowmobilers tend to head south and east of town, where more than 200 miles of the country’s finest and most diverse snowmobiling wait for them in the enchanted Boardman and Jordan river valleys. There’s something for every taste – whether it’s twisting and turning through dense hardwood forests, touring over hills, bridges, and waterways, or racing across wide-open spaces with plenty of room to enjoy the fresh white powder. Best of all, both trail systems are close to Traverse City’s hotels, resorts and restaurants – an important consideration at the end of a long day of sledding.

The Boardman Valley Trail, just minutes from downtown, is an 81-mile trail system in the Pere Marquette State Forest, where sightings of turkeys, eagles, deer and other wildlife are commonplace. The Boardman is also linked to several other regional trail systems, offering even more opportunities for extended distance riding. The Jordan Valley Trail, about a half-hour to the northeast, is a network featuring over 130 miles of spectacular trails not far from Shanty Creek and the picturesque village of Bellaire.

Shanty Creek Ski Resort, Bellaire, MI

Schuss Mountain has long defined skiing in Michigan. So it’s no surprise Shanty Creek was rated “Best Downhill Terrain in the Midwest” by’s visitors.

Now with 53 runs on its two mountains and featuring 4 terrain parks, a 300′ half pipe, more than 175″ of snow, and a 450′ vertical drop, Shanty Creek is where terrain meets tradition.

Combine great terrain with special ski events, discount lift ticket pricing, and season passes for all ages, Shanty Creek makes it easy to schuss all winter long.

Alpine: From beginner to experienced skiers and boarders, Shanty Creek has something for everyone. Schuss Mountain has earned its reputation as the “Best Downhill Terrain in the Midwest.” And with four terrain parks, a half pipe, more glade runs, and the best groomed snow, SCR offers the best lift ticket value in Michigan.

Terrain Parks: With four terrain parks and a half pipe, Shanty Creek leads the way for freeriders and twin tip skiing alike. Boasting a variety of ever-changing rails, boxes and tabletops, our parks are groomed daily and maintained by our trained and knowledgeable staff.

Jib smaller jumps and rails in the beginner’s area, get sick on the features of Purple Daze at Schuss Mountain, catch air at Summit, and grab and twist your way down the pipe.

Tubing: Tubing is a speedy downhill thrill for your whole crew on Schuss Mountain’s north face. Located in Cedar River Village, SCR’s five-lane tubing park is fun for kids, families, groups and non-athletes.

Tickets are limited each hour; sessions begin at the top of the hour and may be purchased at the Summit Village Snowsports Center, Schuss Snowsports Center, Nordic Center or the Cedar River Tubing Park Window.

Please note: All children under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian sign a release of liability form.

Cross Country: Shanty Creek prides itself on its pristine Nordic ski trails that wind through snow-blanketed northern Michigan hardwoods and pines.

All 30km of dedicated trails are groomed daily and designed for cross-country enthusiasts in mind with stretching and bending terrain… ideal for short-strides and long-glides.

Boyne Mountain Resort, Boyne Falls

Stay where you love to play! Two 18-hole championship golf courses, hiking and biking, shopping, plenty of dining options, Michigan’s largest indoor waterpark – Avalanche Bay, the luxurious Mountain Grand Lodge and Spa, plus a mountain of snowsports fun with 60 downhill runs spread across 415 skiable acres, seven terrain parks, including a Burton Riglet Park for young riders, and a tubing park with a total of five lanes.

The resort offers Zipline Adventure Tours year round, you can race a friend on the popular Twin Zip or spend part of your day soaring over the slopes and through the trees on a tour. Horseback riding is very popular in the summer months and a day spent on the beach at Deer Lake is sure to please the whole family. There is a reason for every season at Boyne Mountain, so plan your trip today. We’re ready when you are.

Crystal Adventures Lodging & Rentals, Thompsonville, MI

Crystal Adventures has affordable cabins, cottages, chalets and houses to accommodate your Up-North lodging needs. Canoes & Kayaks are available for fishing & conquering the Betsie River. Adventure trips daily on this world renowned trout stream. Take a thrilling ride on an hourly ATV guided tour or rent one for the day & play! During Winter season, Snowmobiles are available for exploring the Benzie-Manistee groomed trail system.

Local activities include: Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa (ski and golf), Lake Michigan, Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes, casinos, Traverse City, various pubs/taverns, and wine tours.

Crystal Mountain, Thompsonville, MI

Crystal Mountain is a family-owned, year-round ski, golf and spa resort located 28 miles southwest of Traverse City. Amenities include downhill skiing on 48 downhill slopes, cross-country skiing on 40 km of groomed trails, a full-service spa, 36 holes of championship golf, an outdoor pool and water playground, Michigan’s only alpine slide, lodging, dining, indoor pool and fitness center and IACC-approved conference facilities for groups of up to 400 people. Michigan’s “Green” Spa Destination. Crystal Spa, with its 12 treatment rooms, meditation lounge and outdoor meditation garden with hot tub, is one of only six LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) spa facilities in the nation. Four Seasons of Fun! Crystal is also home to the Michigan Legacy Art Park, a non-profit 30-acre outdoor park that blends art with nature. In the spring, summer and fall, make a splash at the Park at Water’s Edge or coast down the mountain on the Crystal Coaster, Michigan’s only alpine slide. Looking to hit the links? Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa offers 36 holes of championship golf on the Betsie Valley and Mountain Ridge courses. Crystal Mountain Golf School was named one of the Top 25 Golf Schools in America by GOLF Magazine, and is home to one of the the Midwest’s top junior golf instructional program. Whether you’re traveling with friends & family, enjoying a weekend getaway or getting down to business, you’ll find the perfect northern Michigan retreat at your mountain… Crystal Mountain.


Pando Winter Sports Park

8076 Belding Rd Rockford, MI 49341
Pando is a great family winter sports park. We are located 15 minutes outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan in picturesque Rockford. We cater to the beginner, as well as, the advanced skier and snowboarder with seven ski runs, six rope tows, rail park and half pipe. Our tube hill offers exciting family fun for all ages. Our beautiful cross country trails are groomed and tracked and in great condition.

Pando also features exceptional snow making, lights, well-equipped lodge, rental shop, snack bar, and ski school.

Cannonsburg Ski Area, Grand Rapids, MI

Daily snowmaking and grooming paired with more than 40 years of experience gives Cannonsburg skiers, boarders, and tubers great snow conditions every ride. New “padded” quad chair, triple and double chair lifts, T-bar and rope tows are perfect for day or night skiing. Cannonsburg offers one of the finest Snowsports Schools in the Midwest with a 150 member staff ready to fine tune your technique, whether you’re a beginner or an expert. The Grin Zone is decked out with jumps, bumps, rail slides, table tops, picnic tables, and more.

Visit the full-line ski shop with rental equipment, lodge with fireplaces, cafeteria and the Cedar Lounge. Group packages and banquet facilities available. All kids six and under ski and board free. 10 miles northeast of Grand Rapids. 8 miles east of US-131 on Cannonsburg Rd.

Muskegon Luge and Winter Sports Council, North Muskegon, MI

Muskegon Sports Council Home of one of 4 luge tracks in the country. Recreational & instructional luging from beginner to advanced sliders. Ages 8 & up. Groomed & lighted X-country ski trails, outdoor lighted skating rink & showshoeing. Lodge w/fireplace, food concessions, rentals, restrooms.


Echo Valley, Kalamazoo, MI

Echo Valley is ideally suited for families and groups seeking wholesome entertainment. Our experienced staff goes all out to make sure you have an enjoyable, memory-filled experience on all of our attractions. Food and beverages are available in our 2400 sq.ft. warming lodge. Warm yourself by the circular fireplace while watching the skaters and tobogganers or enjoy the view from the deck There are no height or age restrictions for any of our attractions.

If you have any questions, our information line is 269-349-3291 and our direct line when we are open is 269-349-3017.

You do not need reservations for your group – just come on out and enjoy! We look forward to seeing you!

Timber Ridge Ski Area, Gobles, MI

Learn to Ski & Snowboard. Snow tubing with lift! 15 ski runs, a quad, a triple & 2 double chairlifts, pomalift & 5 rope tows. Lounge, cafeteria & snack bar. Snowmaking-100%. Racing on 6 levels inc/NASTAR, retail, rental & repair. Instruction, night skiing & terrain park. Special events most weekends. 13 miles northwest of Kalamazoo. Group discounts.

Swiss Valley Ski and Snowboard Area, Jones, MI

Michigan’s closest ski area to Chicago & Indiana. 11 ski runs- 2 quads & 1 triple chairlifts, 4 ropes on separate beginners’ area. Night skiing every night on all slopes, 100% snowmaking coverage, ski & snowboard rental , day lodge w/cafe, Chalet w/ food & spirits, Ski/Board Shop.

10 mi west of Three Rivers MI on M-60 to Patterson Hill then north 4 miles to ski area

Bittersweet Ski Area, Otsego, MI

Bittersweet is the convenient, family-oriented skiing and snowboarding destination for beginner and expert alike, with the best runs and fastest lifts in Southwest Michigan. Our six lifts including the Sweet Express– the newest, safest, most technologically advanced ski transport system in southwest Michigan– in addition to five rope tows and a Wondercarpet to take you to 17 expertly groomed trails with 2300’ of lighted slopes. Complete alpine and snowboard rentals are available.

Ski and ride with the pros at our PSIA member ski and snowboard school. Race leagues are for everyone, adults and kids alike. For top quality gear and expert tuneups visit the Snowberry Ski Shop Enjoy good food and drink at the Copper Leaf Cafe, the Winner’s Circle Lounge, the outdoor grill or our two snack bars. Bittersweet has a webcam so that you can always see the conditions and crowds on our slopes. Current pricing on season passes and daily lift tickets is also available at

Only 20 minutes from Kalamazoo, there’s no other ski area quite like Bittersweet. US-131 to Otsego exit 49B, M-89 west.


West Michigan Snowmobile Museum and Library, Cedar Springs, MI

Come visit WMSM and Library, which opened Sept. 2013. It showcases unique and unusual snowmobiles, as well as popular classic machines. The machines are selected by Volunteer Curator and founder Ron Knapp. Forty-five beautiful examples of antiques, prototypes, and modern day racers and tricked-out sleds are on display. They also have the mocked-up prototype Bell and Howell sled, which is the only one in existence. You can also check out a homemade Make Yourself a Sled from an 1955 Science and Mechanics magazine article. The Library is dedicated to Ernol (Bud) Knapp. Thanks to his brother Floyd Knapp, our Major Sponsor, the Library is the first of its kind in the world. It houses Bud’s extensive collection of resources: books, magazines, manuals, etc. Bud Knapp (the professor) was the first person from Michigan to be inducted into the International Snowmobile Hall of Fame in Grand Rapids, MN.

Bill & Paul's Sporthaus, Grand Rapids, MI

Bill and Paul’s Sporthaus is a 50+ year old, family owned, West Michigan retailer selling the best outdoor gear and clothing on the planet. Our staff is dedicated to providing exceptional customer service and value to every sale and making relationships with our customers that may last for generations

You’ll find equipment for skiing, snowboarding, paddling, back-country camping, travel and more. We offer lots of selection from the leading brands in our industry along with small brands that you won’t find in our larger competitors. In addition to great products we offer exceptional service after the sale that includes maintaining and repairing skis and snowboards, kayaks, car boxes and more. We also have limited amount of rental gear including alpine skis, cross-country skis, snowshoes, kayaks, and backpacks.

Cabela's, Grandville, MI

Cabela’s Grandville, Michigan Retail Store is located in the Bucktown Shopping Center, off of 44th Street SW. In addition to offering quality outdoor merchandise, the 80,000 sq. ft. showroom is an educational and entertainment attraction, featuring a décor of museum-quality animal displays, huge aquariums and trophy animals interacting in realistic re-creations of their natural habitats.

Coast 3, Holland, MI

We seek to provide a cost effective, hassle-free mechanism for people to enjoy more time outdoors.
We rent and retail everything from kayaks, paddle boards, roof racks, mountain bikes, road bikes, tents, back packs, campers, Sea Doos, and much more! Also check out our group excursions – we provide the gear, you join the fun.
Repeat customers love the optional membership plan which gives you unlimited access to our equipment without the rental fees!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So many choices, it will be hard to choose!