Terry Peak, South Dakota, opened in 1936, and celebrates 80 years this year. It opened the same year as Sun Valley in the west and Bromley Mountain in the east, both credited with kicking off the North American ski resort industry. Terry Peak, with a 1,100-foot vertical drop, largest in the Heartland, offers true mountain skiing. Located in the Black Hills, it tops out near 7,000 feet.
Wisconsin’s Little Switzerland isn’t far behind. Opening in 1941, the ski area, which serves the Milwaukee area, turns 75 this year.
The year 1961 saw the opening of four ski areas scattered across the Midwest. Mt. Crescent, western Iowa near Omaha, is celebrating 55 years this year. Snow Trails, Ohio’s first ski area, opened that same year, and so did Sunburst, in Kewaskum, Wis., near Milwaukee, and Timber Ridge in southern Michigan.
Apple Mountain, near Saginaw, Mich., is the lone Midwest ski area to celebrate 50 years in 2016. The ski area opened in 1966 serving central Lower Michigan.
Midwest skiing has a long proud history. It has developed at a pace with the rest of the country. Heartland ski areas have attitude and terrain to match, and these 10 ski areas and resorts are great examples of the region's diversity. You don’t have to go far to find skiing and riding across this broad region. It’s been there quite a while.
Photos: Top -- It all began for Mt. Holly, near Detroit, 60 years ago (Mt. Holly); Left -- Mt. Crescent, near Omaha, dates back to 1961 (Mt. Crescent/Facebook); Below -- Little Switzerland has been hosting Milwaukee area skiers for 75 years (Little Switzerland/Facebook)