Taking a ride through the glades. (Boyne Mountain)
When you ski and ride at Boyne Mountain you can’t help but think about the history that’s attached to this storied resort. They opened in 1947 with the first ski chairlift in the Midwest and followed with introducing the first three-, four- and six-seat chairlifts in the U.S. There were lots of other firsts, but the Mountain has aged well and the newer village and Mountain Grand Hotel are among the best in the Heartland. Classic straight forward wide runs plunge down the fall line, and Hemlock, their legendary advanced run and slope centerpiece, is still the “dean of Midwest steep.”
Trails. The front face of the 500-foot Mountain—Super Bowl, Meadows, Aurora, Victor, Hemlock and McLouth—hasn’t changed in years. It’s all strong intermediate and advanced runs, some of the best around the Great Lakes. There’s plenty of beginner terrain and a nice mile-long run, Cold Springs and Top Notch that wind from the top around the backside of the Mountain. Disciple’s Ridge offers an abundant number of long intermediate runs. It’s one of the last places to close in the Heartland and often stayed open to the middle of April and a few times into May.
Stay. There’s a variety of lodging options. The Mountain Grand Lodge and Spa, opened in 2005, offers some of the finest accommodations among Midwestern resorts. A bonus is that it’s connected to Boyne’s Avalanche Waterpark, a great way to end the evening. There’s the slopeside Clock Tower Inn, which was the original main lodge. It has been completely renovated over the years. There are also villas, cabins and condos available.
Eat. Several dining options. Everett’s, named after Boyne founder Everett Kircher, is located in the Grand Lodge and offers breakfast, lunch and fine dining in the evening. Forty Acres Tavern, also located in the lodge, offers a pub menu. Stein Eriksen’s, located in the Clock Tower, also offers breakfast, lunch and dinner and wall of windows overlooking the slopes. Don’t miss the Waffle Cabin and Happy’s Taco Truck, which are close to the lifts leaving the village. Lunch at Eagle’s Nest perched on top of the Mountain overhanging Hemlock is a must; great sandwiches, great views.
Deals. Midweek deal. Book a three day stay any Sunday through Thursday now through March 2 starting at only $220 per person. Includes lift tickets and a hot breakfast every morning, and kids five and under sleep and ski/ride free. Must be booked by Feb. 26.
Play. Tired of skiing or riding? Try any number of other activities that are available: tubing, zip lines, waterpark, cross country skiing, horseback riding and horse drawn sleigh rides.