Michigan Ski Blog – Skiing and Snowboarding in Michigan

What’s new on Michigan’s ski slopes for 2014 – 2015 – MSIA

Coming off a cold and snowy 2013/14 winter, skiers and boarders can look forward to the coming season with plenty of places to enjoy Michigan’s snow-filled slopes and trails.  With a combined total of 51 ski areas, boasting over 260 lifts, about 1,000 runs, more than 70 terrain parks and hundreds of kilometers of groomed cross-country trails, there is something for everyone.

According to the Michigan Snowsports Industries Association (MSIA), ski areas are always looking for ways to increase enjoyment for skiers and snowboarders.  Through the years, slope maintenance and snowmaking capabilities have improved dramatically, so much so that even if there is no snow at home, the ski slopes can be covered when the weather turns cold.  “Much of the technology that ski areas use to make snow was developed at a Midland Michigan company called SMI,” states Mickey MacWilliams, executive director of MSIA.  MacWilliams adds that SMI celebrates its 40th year as one of the leading developers of snow making systems in the world this winter.  They were responsible for making snow last winter in Russia, for the 2013 Olympics – not an easy feat.

The following is a rundown of improvements and special offers for the 2014-2015 season.  For more information, visit goskimichigan.com, which has quick links to Michigan ski area websites.

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula slopes are busy getting ready for winter.  The big news is that Norway Mountain in Norway is open again!  After two years without an owner, Neil and Kris Urban of Wisconsin purchased the ski area and the lifts will soon be running.  Improvements include a new Snow Cat for grooming, interior and exterior painting of the lodge and a new menu in the restaurant, prepared by Chef Dawn. Plans also call for expanding snowmaking for the coming winter. (906)282-9105 norwaymountain.com

Other big news comes from Bessemer and nearby Wakefield, where Blackjack and Indianhead Mountain Resort have merged operations.  The two are now offering the BIG PASS, an interchangeable, all access pass to both mountains. Together, these two resorts offer 410 skiable acres, 54 trails, 15 lifts, and 4 terrain parks with an average annual snowfall of 17 feet. Blackjack: (906) 229-5115, skiblackjack.com. Indianhead: 1-800-346-3426, indianheadmtn.com

Big Powderhorn of Bessemer is celebrating its 50th Anniversary with special events in the works for the entire winter.  This winter season pass holders will receive one free day of skiing at Mont Ripley, Pine Mountain, and Marquette Mountain. 1-800-501-7669, bigpowderhorn.net  

Pine Mountain in Iron Mountain offers full-time college students a season pass for $99, which is a $399 value. (906) 774-2747 or 1-877-553-PINE, pinemountainresort.com

Mount Bohemia, Michigan’s extreme skiing area locatedin the Keweenaw Peninsula, has added more lodging.  A new log cabin has a large front porch that overlooks Lac La Belle. The cabin is ski-in, shuttle out and is located on the hiking/cross country trails and sleeps up to five. (231) 420-5405, mtbohemia.com

At Marquette Mountain in Marquette all senior citizens (65+) and Military personnel can purchase a lift ticket for just $28, with no date restrictions.  Family lift ticket packages (4 people) cost $139 for the day, or $299 for seven consecutive days, including rental equipment. (906) 225-1155 or 1-800-944-SNOW, marquettemountain.com

Owned by Michigan Technological University, Mont Ripley sits in the middle of the cities of Houghton and Hancock. The Weather Channel designated Hancock Michigan as the third snowiest city in the country and students at Michigan Tech can take advantage of this with a free season pass to Mt. Ripley. New this year Mt. Ripley’s website features a virtual tour interactive trail map, where viewers can experience every trail from many different vantage points, including that of a drone. This new product is the mastermind of two former Michigan Tech students who started a company called Trail Genius. (906) 487-2340. mtu.edu/mont-ripley

Ski Brule inIron River has added an Acrobag and its use is included with a lift ticket purchase. Acrobag will be available 1-3:00 on Saturday, Sunday and daily 12/26-1/5. The ACROBAG is an air pillow that cushions the landing after going off a jump. The idea is that this is a ‘safer’ way to practice the latest tricks. Both snowboarders and skiers are welcome. In addition, there are new lodging properties available this winter at Ski Bruule. Big Bear and Beaver Lodge are duplex chalets located in the Brule Village and accommodate four to fourteen guests. Both feature private hot tubs, full kitchens, daily maid service, linens, cookware, WIFI and an outdoor gas grill. Brule Village properties include daily maid service, linens, cookware and WIFI. 1-800-DO BRULE, skibrule.com

Heading into the Lower Peninsula Nub’s Nob Ski Area of Harbor Springs was just named to the Top 5 Midwest Resorts for 2015 by Transworld Snowboarding magazine.  In addition Nubs has updated its rental fleet to provide high-end Rossingnol Snowboards and Bindings with Head Boots. The cross-country ski rentals were also updated with Fischer skis and boots. Professional Ski Tuner Pat Dueweke has joined the Nub’s Crew. As a professional Wintersteiger Ski Shuttle Mechanic and sought after race tuner, Pat’s sharp eye and hands-on experience will be an asset to all Nub’s Nob skiers and boarders.  On the slopes, Nubs is adding 10 new in-house designed and manufactured snow guns to its fleet, bringing the total to 292 snow guns. (231) 526-2131 or 1-800-SKI-NUBS, nubsnob.com

Also in Harbor Springs, Boyne Highlandshas undergone numerous projects over the summer. Renovations include two newly remodeled pools for resort lodging guests at The Bartley House Hotel and Heather Highlands Inn condo-hotel. The resort has also renovated meeting space for group functions in the Main Lodge with updated lighting, new carpet, and fresh paint. This winter, skiers and snowboarders can get even more time in on some favorite terrain as the Interconnect and North Face chairlifts are expanding to daily operations. The Tubing Park will offer more excitement with an expansion from two side-by-side lanes to six individual lanes thanks to the purchase of a new tube lane cutter. The resort’s Burton Riglet Park, specially designed for 3-6 year olds, is being enhanced with new features and moving to the Camelot beginner slope. Additional lighting on the NASTAR course will make maneuvering turns even easier, and for park enthusiasts, Boyne Highlands continues to offer the only 13-foot Halfpipe in Michigan. Boyne Highlands has expanded rental equipment with the purchase of an additional 200 sets of Head skis and boots, as well as new Burton Learn to Ride (LTR) boards, boots and bindings for adults and children. On the trails, a new cross-country tracker will make for for more efficient grooming.  1-800-462-6963, boynehighlands.com

At Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls, the resort’s Zipline Adventure Tour was expanded to include two new ziplines that will bridge the gap between current lines 8 and 10 with a tree canopy feature in the middle. Zipliners will also see new and exciting winter attractions along the walking trail between lines. Boyne Mountain’s popular Tubing Park is offering food and beverage concessions this winter. The Tubing Park offers six downhill lanes and has a rope tow for convenient up-hill access. Lively après ski parties in the Snowflake Lounge are scheduled each Saturday, 4-7 p.m., beginning Dec. 27, 2014. Parties feature entertainment and drink specials and the resort’s exclusive Everett’s IPA on draft, brewed solely for Boyne Mountain Resort by Petoskey Brewing Co. Continuing this winter, kids can also get in on the après ski action with their own parties in Stein Eriksen’s with music, dancing, kiddie cocktails, and more. The 2014/15 season also brings new Junior pricing and online ticket sales at Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark, improved lighting on McLouth, new features in the Burton Riglet Park and new Nordic signage, plus more rental equipment. Expanded lift hours on the Disciples II chairlift, set to run Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., will provide more access to the Disciples area. Glade clearing has continued in this region of the slopes, which accounts for approximately 30% of Boyne Mountain’s total 415 skiable acres.  Providing the latest in rental equipment, Boyne Mountain has also added 200 new sets of Head skis and boots, as well as new Burton Learn to Ride (LTR) boards, boots and bindings for adults and children.1-800-462-6963, boynemountain.com

When staying on a package at either Boyne Mountain or Boyne Highlands, juniors ages 9-15, receive reduced rates and kids ages 8 and under sleep, ski/ride, and eat breakfast for free.

In Gaylord, Treetops Resort reports that again this winter it will be open seven-days-a-week. In addition, Olympic Snowboard Coach Tom Hutchinson will return to Treetops as an instructor. Treetops will open a natural Terrain Park this year that will peak the interest of more experienced riders.  In addition, the resort will periodically feature a Boarder X course and will again have the BIG AIRbag training device for riders to perfect their tricks before taking them to any of the parks.  Any student 8 and older who has a grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 or above qualifies for a dramatically reduced-rate season pass and all students can get a School Card, which allows them to ski 10 times midweek after January 1 and get rentals and lessons for just $5 each. TOMMY TROPIC (famous juggler on skis) will perform each weekend and over the holidays this winter at Treetops.  In addition to performances, guests can learn how to juggle which will ultimately lead to a guest competition in March.  The winner will earn the opportunity to perform with Tommy Tropic next summer at Gaylord’s Alpenfest. (855) 318-0678, treetops.com

Also in Gaylord, the Otsego Club offers private-club skiing for the family.  Those interested in a membership can purchase a “Test Drive” for $495, which covers the entire 2014/15 winter season.  Test drivers receive free lift tickets when staying at Otsego Club, as well as complimentary cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding and sauna use. 1-800-752-5510, otsegoclub.com

A new ski rental facility, a new ski school registration center and a new beginner ski area are the big changes at Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire.  The changes are expected to improve operations and guest satisfaction, while adding value to each of its three villages across the 4,500-acre resort property.  First, a new rental shop has been built in the lower level of the Lodge at Cedar River. This will provide guests with a more streamlined experience, ample day lockers and restrooms, and ski-in/ski-out access to the Purple and Red Lifts and all of Schuss Mountain. The ski school registration and lessons will also move to Cedar River Village, adjacent to ski rentals on the lower level of the Lodge.  A new beginner ski area is also opening at the Cedar River Village where the Alpine Tubing Park had been in previous years. A new 400-ft magic carpet will allow beginners to either stay in the beginner area or access the rest of Schuss’ slopes when they’re ready. Then, at Schuss Village, the Snow Sports building at the base of the Yellow Chair Lift, where rentals and ski school had been previously, becomes a new day lodge complete with seasonal lockers, day lockers, plus tables and vending machines for guests who choose to bring their own meals and snacks.  If that isn’t enough, the Alpine Tubing Park will move to the top of Summit Mountain behind The Lakeview Hotel at the resort’s Summit Village. Improving the experience, instead of handle tows as in years past, guests will now enjoy magic carpet access back to the top. Dining options are changing as well.  The River Bistro, a new 12,000 sq. ft. restaurant and bar in The Lodge at Cedar River, features full-service dining in a casual atmosphere with fireplace and a 48-ft bar. With all these changes, parking will be expanded on Cedar River’s upper lot, and a new bridge will allow closer access to the lodge.  (231) 533-8621 shantycreek.com.

The Homestead in Glen Arbor has completed one of the most ambitious remodeling efforts in its history.  The updates have transformed the Stony Brook Lodge into the most modern, yet warm and rustic, lodging option at the Resort. From the beginning, the goal of the remodeling efforts at Stony Brook Lodge (originally built in 1998) was to create a magnificent lodging venue for Resort guests. Taking direction from great historic national park lodges in places such as Yellowstone, Banff, Bryce, and Glacier National Park, the redesign team sought to create a lodging venue that blended cosmetic style, local ambiance and flawless modern function.  The overhaul of Stony Brook covered just about everything—from cabinets to countertops, from soffits to switches and even new flat-screen TVs. All this functional change was then wrapped in a newly improved and visually stunning package — a near total interior and exterior cosmetic makeover that better coordinated the room-to-room textures (think more wood, tile and stone) and overall décor. (231) 334-5000, thehomesteadresort.com

Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville will increase their slope count by two this winter with the addition of Last Call and Jester’s Alley. Last Call is a glades run that begins on North Face and wanders back to the front-side slopes. Crews are working this fall on Main Street and Giggles to create a new dedicated beginner terrain park named Jester’s Alley. In addition, a second Skier/Boarder-Cross course will be added, this time to the Ridge slopes. The course will be designed on Kaye Blue (Intermediate level) finishing in the flat just above the Ridge triple chairlift.  Crystal has swapped out almost all of their snowboards and now have an entire fleet of Burton boards.  Young, aspiring snowboarders will get an effective introduction to the sport on weekends within the new Burton Riglet Park, a flatland training where an instructor pulls students over features to build confidence and provide a feel for what it means to ride the terrain. Along those same lines, Crystal Mountain’s grooming crews will be maintaining subtle rollers and banks within Totem Park (the resort’s learning area) and beginner trails that naturally help beginners with speed control and engaging turns.  In addition Crystal is adding new stretches of Fat Tire Biking trails and dedicated snowshoe trails through the Michigan Legacy Art Park, located in the woods at Crystal Mountain. Over the summer Crystal added a zip line course and it will be open for its inaugural winter season. Season pass holders receive discounts on lodging and lift tickets at Deer Valley in Utah and Grand Targhee in Wyoming. 1-800-968-7686 or (231) 378-2000, crystalmountain.com

Caberfae Peaks in Cadillac has been busy making improvements on the slopes and in the lodge.  The slopes have 10 new low-energy SMI snowmaking fan guns, 10 new snowmaking towers on North & South Peak, over 500’ of snowmaking pipe & electrical wire, a new 12-inch, 300-foot well, allowing for another 1000 gpm of flow into the snowmaking reservoir. The additional water source will allow us to pump 3000 gpm around the clock, out of the reservoir and up the hill to over 125 snow machines.  Lodge improvements include a renovated pool and hot tub deck area with heated concrete, the addition of a poolside, wood-burning fire pit for houseguests, and a renovated entrance to the 36-room MacKenzie Lodge.  In addition, Caberfae has added over 250 pair of Rossignol snowboards complete with strap-in bindings and boots and over 1,000 pair of new rental ski boots.  (231) 862-3000, caberfaepeaks.com.

Cross Country Ski Headquarters in Roscommon purchased a new Kubota Tractor and carbide-tipped ice power tiller that can turn hard-packed, ice-covered trails into skiable, groomed snow in one pass.  In addition, they will feature a new snowshoe trail that will grow in length as the winter progresses and the ground freezes.  Projected overall length will be about 5 kilometers (3 miles) as it heads east through some very tall Norwegian pines and continues through aspen, maple and oak forests before heading north into a primitive lowland populated by ancient pines. (989) 821-6661 crosscountryski.com

Hanson Hills Recreation Areain Graylingoffers an affordable date option called “$1 Friday Nights.” Beginning January 9, 2015, on Fridays anyone (whether on a date or not!) receives a lift ticket for $1 and ski or snowboard rental equipment for just $4 more.  New this year, Hanson Hills invites guests to ride their fat bike on a newly developed maintained and groomed six-mile trail.1-888-876-2196, hansonhills.org.

Mt. Holiday, located near Traverse City, has made several improvements over the summer. The ski area will open a new glade run and mogul slope this winter as well as providing additional features in the terrain park. Mt. Holiday recently added a Zipline Challenger Course, which will be available all year long. Holiday’s day lodge now remains open Tuesday through Saturday nights offering dinner and libations.  (231) 938-2500 mt-holiday.com

There is big excitement at Snow Snake Ski & Golf in Harrison this year with the installation of a Magic Carpet lift on the beginner hill. The addition of the Magic Carpet will ensure that all ski and snowboard learners have a great experience. Also new this year is the introduction of a reduced membership price. For $150, guests can purchase a season pass that is good every day, from the first day of the season to the last day of the season. Snow Snake also updated the interior of the lodge, made improvements to snow making equipment, and added to its rental equipment. (989) 539-6583, snowsnake.net

The folks at Cannonsburg in Belmont, provide a lot of good reasons to get out on the slopes. Every Tuesday beginning January 7, Adult Daytime lift tickets (10am-4pm) are just $10 during Take Off Tuesday. For those that can’t make it out during the day, Thursday Radio Night tickets are $10 as well. (616) 874-6711 cannonsburg.com

The 2014/2015 season marks the 30th Anniversary for the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex in Muskegon. To celebrate, interested businesses can Adopt-A-Luge and display their logo, via decal, on one of 30 new luge sleds that were purchased this year.

Heading to southwestern Michigan, Timber Ridge Ski Area of Gobles has a new mobile app!  Information is available with a scan code on the ski area’s website (look under the News tab on the left) 1-800-253-2928 timberridgeski.com.

Moving to Southeast Michigan, after a $10 million renovation of the lodge, ski school, chair lifts, terrain park and snow making system last winter, Mt. Brighton in Brighton is at it again for the 2014-2015 season with Phase Two of its improvements. Purchased by Vail Resorts in 2013, Mt. Brighton underwent a top-to-bottom facelift last year that took its dated, 1960s look and feel into an aesthetically pleasing and technologically advanced ski area. This season Mt. Brighton will introduce new online ticket sales (desktop and mobile) to improve the guest experience, an expanded Children’s Center, a new beginner surface lift (for a total of three), new programs including Lindsey Vonn’s Ski Girls Rock, Women’s Ski Academy and Women’s Race Academy and a new terrain park layout. In addition, Mt. Brighton Preferred Program members will now receive the price of their Mt. Brighton ticket as a discount off lift tickets at resorts including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone. Mt. Brighton season pass holders receive half off paid tickets at those resorts. 1-888-222-7521 mtbrighton.com

Earthmoving, excavation and a new chairlift highlight the changes at Pine Knob in Clarkston.   Crews were busy removing chairlift #3 and replacing the older chairlift with a brand new Skytrack variable speed triple chairlift that goes to the very top of the existing hill, unloading between the Phase One Chair and the Quicksilver Chair. The loading area at the bottom of the hill is located in roughly the same area as before but is now considerably lower. These changes result in a longer and consistently steeper run adding an additional 40 vertical feet, and are part of a long-term strategy to reshape and better utilize hill space. Hill improvements are designed to enhance the race arena and mogul terrain as well as relieve congestion on other chairlifts. In addition, they have added fully automated snow machines on “The Wall,” which will allow for an earlier season opening of that area. (248) 625-0800 skipineknob.com

While the folks at Mt. Holly Ski Area of Holly are busy gearing up for the winter, skiers who love rock & roll (are there any who don’t?) can take a tour down memory lane by clicking on the Motor City Rock & Roll link on Mt. Holly’s home page. The Mt Holly crew has been busy adding10 new “TOPGUN” snow machines to add to the fleet of 130 high output low energy snow guns.   The energy efficient TOPGUN is manufactured at Mt Holly and is designed to get the resort open early and create great snow conditions all season long. The Rental Department has new equipment so guests out in all that snow will be able to ski their best.  In addition, Mt. Holly has also added a brand new PARK BULLY GROOMER to its grooming fleet! (248) 634-8269 skimtholly.com


Visit Michigan Snowsports Industries Association Website >>>>


More News From MSIA – Michigan Snowsports Industry Association


Time to Hit the Michigan Slopes this Spring Break – MSIA

Photo courtesy of Crystal Mountain Resort

With most school spring breaks coming early this year, the recent cool temperatures and lake-effect snowfall, it turns out that Michigan is the ideal place for a spring break ski vacation.

Mickey MacWillliams, executive director of the Michigan Snowsports Industries Association, fills us in on spring skiing in Pure Michigan.

Mother Nature was a little late this winter, but once she provided us with cold weather and snow, she just didn’t stop! What makes this ideal is that spring break for most schools is early this year and that means families can take advantage of unprecedented snow conditions right now, right here in Michigan.

Plus, to entice folks to ski instead of fleeing to warmer climates, our ski areas are offering great discounts and special events. I encourage skiers to check MSIA’s website at goskimichigan.com and click on the “News, Events, Specials & Discounts” button, which is updated almost daily. Here is a link to that page.

Many Michigan ski areas are still open, but it’s always best to check before heading out to be sure. The following ski areas are either open now, or will be open on the weekends:

Upper Peninsula

  • Big Powderhorn, Bessemer
  • Blackjack, Bessemer
  • Indianhead Mountain, Wakefield
  • Marquette Mountain, Marquette
  • Mont Ripley, Houghton
  • Mt. Bohemia, Lac La Belle
  • Pine Mountain, Iron Mountain
  • Porcupine Mountain, Ontonagon
  • Ski Brule, Iron River

Lower Peninsula

  • Boyne Highlands, Harbor Springs (possibly April 6-7)
  • Boyne Mountain, Boyne Falls
  • Caberfae Peaks, Cadillac
  • Crystal Mountain, Thompsonville
  • Cross-Country Ski Headquarters, Roscommon
  • Nubs Nob, Harbor Springs
  • Pando Winter Sports Park, Rockford
  • Pine Knob, Clarkston
  • Shanty Creek, Bellaire

Will you be hitting the slopes this spring?

Visit MSIA Website >>>>


MSIA Ski Areas News & Specials

Take advantage of these great deals to help get you out on the slopes this winter!

Petoskey Area Visitors’ Bureau offers lodging coupons and package specials for skiers and riders.

Mt. Brighton offers Novice Training Center and more!
Mt. Brighton’s additional specials specials include Four for $40 and Two for Tuesdays.

Ski Brule offers an array of specials and discounts

Shanty Creek Resorts offers lift ticket specials to suit everyone, including the $10 Summit Lift Ticket, valid Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Holidays at Summit Mountain Only. Get a full-day lift ticket for $10. Rental equipment is only $15 for Summit Mountain skiers as well. They also offer additional lift ticket specials. Click here for details.

Pine Mountain Specials and events.  Click Here.

Marquette Mountain offers discounted pre-purchased lift tickets.  Click here for details.


Michigan Slopes Win Over Families with Kid-Friendly Specials – News From MSIA

Clarkston, MI (Winter, 2007-2008) – Michigan ski areas want families to enjoy the sport of skiing and snowboarding, and they do their share to offer kid-friendly programs and discounts. Most ski areas offer reduced lift tickets for children and some even offer free skiing for certain ages. They also provide learn-to-ski programs, daycare and NASTAR racing. “Skiing is a great activity for kids, it gets them outside for fresh air and exercise,” says Steve Kershner, Michigan Snowsports Industries Association, (MSIA) chairman and director of skiing for Shanty Creek.

MSIA offers statewide programs that cater to kids, including Discover Michigan Skiing, the association’s discounted learn-to-ski program and the “Cold is Cool” Ski & Snowboard Passport, which allows all fourth graders to ski free. (For more information on MSIA’s programs, visit www.goskimichigan.com.) Here’s a list of ski incentives offered for kids at Michigan ski areas:

At Alpine Valley in White Lake, (248) 887-2180, children 5 years and under receive free beginner area tow tickets anytime and free lift tickets Monday through Friday, (non-holiday). On weekends and holidays, their lift tickets are $12. Alpine Valley offers Ski Carvers ski lessons and Snow Riders snowboard lessons on weekends and holidays. These sessions include a 1-1/2 hour lesson, lift ticket and rental equipment for $50 for Jr. Ski Carvers, (ages 4-5), and $60 for Ski Carvers, (ages 6-12) and Snow Riders, (ages 7-12). For an additional $20, kids get a second session the same day with lunch included. www.skialpinevalley.com

Apple Mountain in Freeland, (989) 781-6789, allows children 6 and under to ski free and receive reduced rates on rental equipment when accompanied by a paying adult. The area also offers several programs every Saturday beginning in January: Apple Seeds Learn-to-Ski program, for youngsters ages 4 to 6, at 10 a.m. It costs $42 and includes a two-hour group lesson, lift ticket and rental equipment. For children 7 to 8 years old with demonstrated ability to ski or snowboard and ride the chairlift, Apple Mountain offers the Trailblazers’ Ski Program at 1 p.m. at a cost of $46 and the Trailblazers’ Snowboard program at 10 a.m. for $48. Both classes include a two-hour group lesson, lift ticket and rental equipment. Youngsters 7-10 with basic boarding skills can take Introduction to Terrain Park Boarding at 1 p.m. It is a 2-hour group lesson that costs $30, not including lift ticket and rental pass. Class sizes are limited and pre-registration is required for the classes. www.applemountain.com

At Big Powderhorn of Bessemer in the Upper Peninsula, (906) 932-4838, kids 9 years and under ski free with a paying adult. This offer is limited to one child per adult. www.bigpowderhorn.net

At Bittersweet of Otsego, (269) 694-2820, kids 6 years old and under receive half-price lift tickets with the purchase of adult lift and rental passes. www.skibittersweet.com

Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs, and Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls, 1-800-GO-BOYNE, have designated areas that are free of charge for beginner skiers and snowboarders of all ages, equipped with chairlifts and Wonder Carpet conveyor lifts. Boyne Highlands has the longest Wonder Carpet in the Midwest. Kids 8 and under ski and ride free and children ages 9 to 15 have reduced lift ticket rates at both resorts. www.boyne.com

At Cadillac’s, Caberfae Peaks Ski and Golf Resort, (231) 862-3000, kids 8 years old and under ski and ride free with a paying adult. www.caberfaepeaks.com

At Cannonsburg Ski Area in Cannonsburg, (616) 874-6711, kids 6 years old and under receive free lift tickets and children ages 7 to 10 receive reduced lift tickets. Cannonsburg also offers the Mighty Mite program for kids ages 4 through 12 on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The program costs $60 and includes a ski/snowboard lesson, lift ticket, lunch and snack. Rental equipment is an extra $15. www.cannonsburg.com

Cross Country Ski Headquarters in Roscommon, 1-800-832-2663, offers kids 16 years and younger a special $3 day pass anytime. www.cross-country-ski.com

At Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville, (231) 378-2000, children ages 8 and under ski and/or sleep free, when accompanied by a full-paying adult. www.crystalmountain.com

Hanson Hills in Grayling, (989) 348-9266, has a free learn-to-ski program for 3rd through 4th grade students. The local youth booster club sponsors the program which includes rental equipment and lessons and bussing after school to the ski area once a week for six weeks. www.hansonhills.org

The Homestead of Glen Arbor, (231) 334-5000, offers free lift tickets to kids 8 years and younger when accompanied by a paying adult. thehomesteadresort.com

At Indianhead of Wakefield, (906) 229-5181, children ages 9 and under ski free with a paying adult. www.indianheadmtn.com

At Marquette Mountain in Marquette, (906) 225-1155, kids 6 and under ski free in the beginner area or pay $12.50 for an all area pass. Marquette Mountain offers Ski Wee Kid’s Club twice a day on weekends. It’s $25 for children ages 3 to 6 and $30 for kids 6 to 10. The Clubs includes a lesson, lift ticket and rental equipment. www.marquettemountain.com

At Mt. Brighton in Brighton, (810) 229-9581, children 5 years of age and under, ski free with a full-paying adult. www.mtbrighton.com

Mt. Holiday of Traverse City, (231) 938-2500, has a scholarship program providing a pre-arranged free lift ticket, lesson and rental for low-income children in the Traverse City and surrounding five county area. It is a community-based program funded by donations. www.mt-holiday.com

Mt. Holly Ski Resort of Holly, (248) 634-8269, provides half-price lift tickets and ski rental equipment to kids six and under. Mt. Holly has a student discount program (3 p.m. to closing, Mon. through Fri., non-holiday) in combination with graduated lessons. During this time, student lift tickets and ski rentals are $15 and snowboard rentals are $18. On Saturday afternoons in January and February, Mt. Holly offers the Kinder Sparks program for children 5-10 years old. Children must be signed up by 12:30 p.m. for the group lesson which costs $30. Daytime lift tickets for Kinder Sparks are $13 and rental equipment is $13. www.skimtholly.com

Norway Mountain of Norway, (906) 563-9700, lets kids 9 and under ski free with a paying adult. www.norwaymountain.com

At Nubs Nob in Harbor Springs, (231) 526-2131, children 8 years and under ski free with a paying adult anytime and kids 9-12 ski free with a paying adult, midweek, non holiday. www.nubsnob.com

Pando Winter Sports Park of Rockford, (616) 874-8343, lets kids under 6 ski free with a paying adult. www.pandopark.com

Pine Knob Ski Resort of Clarkston, (248) 625-0800, offers half price lift tickets, season passes and rental equipment to children 6 years and under. www.skipineknob.com

Pine Mountain Resort in Iron Mountain, (906) 774-2747, allows children 12 and under to ski free with a paying adult. www.PineMountainResort.com

At Shanty Creek in Bellaire, (231) 533-7066, children 8 years and under ski free while juniors ages 9-12 ski at reduced rates. Value Season Lodging packages include free lift tickets for children. www.shantycreek.com

Ski Brule in Iron River, (906) 265-6754, allows children 9 years old and under to ski and stay free with a paying adult. www.skibrule.com

At Snow Snake Mountain in Harrison, (989) 539-6583, children 6 years old and under receive free lift tickets with a paying adult. www.snowsnake.net

At Swiss Valley Ski Area in Jones, (269) 244-8016, children ages 5 and under receive a free lift ticket when accompanied by a paying adult. Swiss Valley has its Junior Development Race Team, (JDT) for children 5 to 14 years of age, open to all levels of ability. Swiss Valley also offers Valley Kids learn to ski and snowboard program on weekends and holidays. www.SkiSwissValley.com

Timber Ridge in Gobles, (269) 694-9449, allows children 7 years old and under to ski free with a full-paying adult. timberridgeski.com

At Treetops Resort in Gaylord (989) 732-6711, children 8 and under ski free with a paying adult and children 9-12 ski free midweek with the purchase of an adult all-day ticket. www.treetops.com

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