What's New For Boyne Country? Snowmaking, Lifts, More
Northwestern Lower Michigan around the Lake Michigan villages of Petoskey and Harbor Springs is known to snowsport’s enthusiasts as Boyne Country, home to Boyne Mountain and Highlands and Nubs Nob. There have been plenty of improvements.
The three ski areas, located within minutes of each other, offer a total of 170 trails and 29 lifts. It’s arguably one of the best collections of ski resorts in the Midwest. Boyne Mountain's and Highland's – located about a half-hour apart – lift tickets are interchangeable. Nubs is across the valley from the Highlands. Here’s what’s new for the coming season.
Both the Highlands and Mountain added more Boyne Low-E fan guns, which allows snowmaking capability at marginal temperatures, and improved mountain pumping stations increasing snowmaking output. The Highlands has been the first to open in the Lower Peninsula four years running.
Both have partnered with Burton Snowboards to develop Riglet Parks, which are designed to introduce children ages three-to-six to snowboarding. They are the first in northern Michigan. A new Burton Store, the only one of its kind in the Wolverine State, is opening at the Mountain this winter in Boyne Country Sports.
The beginner chairlift at the Mountain’s Boyneland has added triple chairs, and the tubing park has been doubled in size. New this winter is guided fly fishing trips on northern Michigan rivers through Boyne Outfitters.
The Highlands is completing renovations on guest rooms at the Main Lodge, and the upgrades should be ready for this ski season. A new spa facility is opening this winter in the lower level of the Heather Highlands Inn.
Nubs’ terrain park was again voted the top park in the Midwest by Transworld Snowboard magazine’s 2012 readers’ poll. On the terrain side more snowgun fire power was added, expect more coverage on the Easy Mile slope, and a new Piston Bully groomer was added to the fleet. More night lighting has been added on sections of Nub’s South and in Dorie’s Bowl, and the Green, Orange, Blue and Red chairlifts will be a bit brighter this season having received a fresh coat of paint.
The annual Nub’s Open House, featuring free chairlift rides, a barbeque, gear sales, and the Harbor Springs Ski Team Swap, is this Saturday, Oct. 6.
Photo: Nubs Nob