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After undergoing renovation, Hickory Hills in Traverse City is ready to serve Northern Michigan skiers and snowboarders for the next 50 years and beyond.

The Hickory Hills Ski Area has always been a great place for family fun. It provides plenty of opportunities for thrilling adventures during the winter season. The family can try a wide range of activities including snowboarding, alpine skiing, cross country skiing, and recreational snow shoeing.

Every year, thousands of enthusiasts gather at the Hickory Hills Area for these fun-filled activities. The Hickory Hills renovation is bound to attract even more people to the area.

Hickory Hills now has a newly renovated lodge and eating area, which makes the experience more convenient for everyone. This place is a ski institution in Traverse City. In fact, there are so many after school ski programs that use Hickory Hills as their main venue.

This means in addition to the general public, many community organizations rely on Hickory Hills for their programs and activities, including the Grand Traverse City Ski Club, the Traverse City Central High School Varsity Ski Team, the middle school ski teams of TC West Middle School, the TC East Middle School, and the TC High School Nordic Ski Club.

The Hickory Hills renovation is beneficial for everyone because it updates and upgrades a well-known institution. The long term financial viability of Hickory Hills is a tremendous community asset. It is important not only to Traverse City, but also to those families and young people who enjoy the accessible and affordable recreational opportunities made available by Hickory.

Hickory Hills has a long history. Owned and operated by Traverse City, Hickory Hills began operating in the winter of 1950-51 on 12 City owned acres.

But prior to 1985, Hickory Hills was completely at the whim of nature for its snow. The number of skiing days ranged from 29 back in 1983-84, to a high of 83 days in 1958-59.

Since then, the number of days has stabilized with an average of 70 skiing days per year. This was because snowmaking equipment was installed. Snow\making capabilities now exist on six of eight runs.

Hickory Hills soon expanded into adjacent land. Now the city owns approximately 125 acres.

“In 1952 when the hill first started, it was the dream of those community leaders to create a park where kids could ski for free. And 65 years later, here we are with a significant improvement and additions to the activities at Hickory and we couldn’t be happier that we worked on this,” Preserve Hickory president Laura Ness said.

In 2018, Hickory Hills underwent significant infrastructure improvements, with the use of the $4 million budget allocated for its update. The Preserve Hickory organization raised $2 million for this project, while the city and grants made up the other $2 million.

With the expansion, Hickory Hills got a brand new lodge and a new maintenance building. In addition, Hickory Hills got more hiking trails, more ski runs, and expanded disc golf.

Hickory Hills now features 13 runs with 1 beginner, 7 intermediate, and 5 advanced runs. It also has a dedicated terrain park as well as a rail park. In addition to these awesome features, the beginner slope—also known as “Fast Tammy”—has a magic carpet lift.

Night skiing is available on most of the runs. Cross country skiers will find more than 5k trails with a 1k trail lighted for night skiing. The Ski Patrol also assists by offering first aid services to those who need it.

More information on Hickory Hills’ rates and operating hours can be found at their website: http://www.traversecitymi.gov/hickory_hills.asp