Hills You Have to Hit
There’s no denying the large amount of snow that northern Michigan gets during the winter months. Lake Michigan drops a ton of lake effect snow on cities all along the western side of the state. However, the lake does something else too. The coastal effect that Lake Michigan has on cities that are near the western coastline keeps them warmer than they should be for their latitude. With this combination of heavy snow and warmer winter weather, Traverse City and the surrounding area is one of the best places in the country to ski and snowboard.
Skiing and Snowboarding Spots
Hickory Hills Ski Area is owned and operated by the city of Traverse City. Opened in the winter of 1950-51 on just 12 acres, Hickory Hills now consists of approximately 125 acres. Hickory Hills features eight ski runs with one beginner, five intermediate, and two advanced runs, with seven of the eight being open for night runs. Not into downhill skiing? Hickory Hills offers 3K of trails with 1K of a lighted trail for cross-country skiers.
Hickory Hill is conveniently located right outside of the Slabtown neighborhood of Traverse City. Its close proximity to downtown Traverse City can’t be beaten, and that can’t be said about any other ski hills in Traverse City. When it’s not ski season, you can still visit Hickory Hills. Hiking trails cover the property, and they even have a disc golf course.
Located on the east side of Traverse City, Mt. Holiday features a number of different runs with two different chair lifts to take to either side of the park. A terrain park provides cross-country skiers a place to enjoy themselves. Mt. Holiday also features a snow tube run, that allows those who aren’t skiers or snowboarders a place to have fun.
Just off the hills, you’ll find the T-Bar Lounge. There you can enjoy happy hour every day from 4:30-6:30. With a full bar and menu, the T-Bar Lounge is the perfect place to grab a drink between runs down the hills.
Shanty Creek is the crown jewel when it comes to ski resorts in the Traverse City area. Located in the quaint town of Bellaire, just 30 miles from Traverse City, Shanty Creek offers guests three villages to ski, and or stay at, Summit, Schuss, and Cedar River. In the winter months, Summit and Schuss provide skiers and snowboarders with 53 downhill slopes, four terrain parks, and a six-lane alpine tubing park.
Once you’ve gotten off the hills you can warm up back in your room, or many of the many restaurants. Prepare yourself for a long day outside with a trip over to the spa. Shanty Creek is truly one of a kind for ski resorts in northern Michigan, and there’s no question as to why it’s been voted the number one ski resort in the state.
Okay, so you technically can’t ski or snowboard at Timberlee Hills, but it should be included nonetheless. Timberlee Hills offers snow tubing. Snow tubing is the perfect way to spend the day with your whole family. The best part about it is, there is no climbing back up to the top of the hill once you’ve got to the bottom. Timberlee’s state-of-the-art handle tow system lets you enjoy the scenic ride to the top, while all you have to do is hold on.
Snow tubing is one the fastest growing winter activities in all of the country, but especially Michigan. Timberlee Hills is Michigan’s largest snow tubing hill. Even offering tandem tubes, Timberlee Hills will provide your family with the perfect afternoon, and memories to last a lifetime.
Stop by Nifty Things
After you’re done hitting the slopes, be sure to stop by one of the three Nifty Things locations. You can find us in Traverse City, Elk Rapids or Alden. With hundreds of different products, you’ll be captivated from the very second you walk into one of our stores.