Michigan: Northern Lower Peninsula

North of West Branch; includes Traverse City, Grayling, Gaylord, Tawas

Wed, Feb 21: Boyne Mountain (Boyne Falls)

Due to the rain and ice all trails are closed today.

The shop is open and we have everything at 30% off!

- Nick and the gang at BM XC Center

Wed, Feb 21: Hanson Hills (Grayling)

Unfortunately our trail system has not responded well to the rain and warmer temperatures. All Cross Country Trails are closed and un-skiable at this time.

- Justin Andre

Wed, Feb 21: Cross Country Ski Headquarters (Higgins Lake)

After considerable rain throughout the day yesterday, the temps finally cooled down last night. We received a dusting of snow overnight, and as of 7:00am it is 25F. Due to all the moisture on the trails, we will not be grooming today. In the best interest of preserving the snow, we ask that no one ski on the trails today while we let some of the water drain away. Only the practice area is open today for ski demos.

Today’s Stone Turtle Cafe lunch special is the Italian Stallion Panini! Ham, pepperoni, provolone, banana peppers, black olives, and marinara sauce on sliced Stone House Italian Bread. Served with Great Lakes Chips and a pickle!

Join us this weekend for a whole bunch of events!

Saturday, February 24th: Birkie Live Stream and Taste of Gates!
Watch “the Greatest Show on Snow” – the North American Birkebiener, live in Cable, Wisconsin! This famous ski race draws just as many fans as participants – well over 10,000. Join in the excitement by watching the live stream in the HQ Day Lodge! Then for lunch, experience the fantastic flavors of Gate’s AuSable Lodge, right here at Cross Country Ski Headquarters! Gate’s Lodge Head Chef, Matt Haley, will cook up a hearty winter feast you’ll never forget. Join us for this very special culinary experience, which showcases one of Northern Michigan’s best dining experiences. *Beverages not included.

Sunday, February 25th: The 25th Annual Junior Muffin Race!
Join us for the longest standing juniors race in Michigan! The Muffin Race celebrates the fun of youth skiing with a Junior Girls & Boys 8km Pursuit race. Skiers will classic ski the first half of the race then ski freestyle the second half of the race. Registration begins at 9am on Sunday, and we will shoot for a 10:30am start. This is a Michigan Cup Junior Race. Medals will be awarded to the top 3 finishers in the girls and boys races, and awards will also be given for best costumes! There will also be a “Mini Muffin” Race at approximately 11:30. ALL AGES of kids are welcome for the Mini Muffin Race, and entry is free. Each Mini Muffin racer receives a medal!

- Mariah, Stu, Bob, Lynne, Fran, Matt, Kelsey, Alex, Dodge, Kim, Missy, Annie J., Annie B., Denny, Erin, Mike, Dana, Butch, Brian and the crew

Tue, Feb 20: Boyne Mountain (Boyne Falls)

The trails are closed today due to weather, but the shop is open and having a 30% off sale!
On EVERYTHING!!!
We also have a few sets of brand new skis from 2014-2015 at 50% off and plenty of new models from this year at 30% off. Hats, gloves, coats, pants, socks, base-layers and more!
Get in here for great deals on all of our gear while you can!

- Nick and the gang at BM XC Center

Tue, Feb 20: Cross Country Ski Headquarters (Higgins Lake)

The earlier part of the day yesterday was great for skiing, and conditions were enjoyed by quite a few skiers before the rain set in in the afternoon. It has been raining steadily all night and looks to continue throughout the day today. Because of this, and in order to preserve as much of the snow as we can, the trails will be closed today. Only the practice area is open today for ski demos.

Today’s Stone Turtle Cafe lunch special is the Italian Stallion Panini! Ham, pepperoni, provolone, banana peppers, black olives, and marinara sauce on sliced Stone House Italian Bread. Served with Great Lakes Chips and a pickle. Stop in for some shopping! We have great sales on skate and classic ski packages, plus winter clothing and accessories.

- Mariah, Stu, Bob, Lynne, Fran, Matt, Kelsey, Alex, Dodge, Kim, Missy, Annie J., Annie B., Denny, Erin, Mike, Dana, Butch, Brian and the crew

Mon, Feb 19: Vasa Trail (Traverse City)

The Vasa trail is still holding up, but warm-up (40F @ 12:30) is starting to take its toll. Skied Special K & Nipple with Paula H Dreeszen, then 25k & JackPine back to Timber Ridge, where the trail is turning to gray ice. The last powerline was a puddle so took off my Twin Skins there. As usual, the best snow was on the 25k loop & JackPine. Need a rest after 56 ski days, but still hoping for more snow soon, or I'll head to Stokely, U.P, CO, or ??? to find some in March.

- Sara Cockrell

Mon, Feb 19: Cross Country Ski Headquarters (Higgins Lake)

What a great weekend of skiing! Our trails held up beautifully, with some skate skiers even saying that conditions were the best they’ve been all season. Groomer Mike snow combed the trails early this morning, so the skiing this morning will be really nice on the Rolling Hills, Trappers Cabin, Wild Turkey, Mackinaw Cut, and Adventure trails. The Tall Pines, Blizzard and Manitou trails are closed due to ice and bare spots. The practice area are open with fair to very good conditions as well. Ski early today before the weather shifts!

Today’s Stone Turtle Cafe lunch special is the Gourmet Chili Bar! Your choice of Classic or Veggie Chili, plus an assortment of delicious toppings. Try a homemade cornbread muffin and real butter with your chili and feel like a whole new person!

Get outside and enjoy the snow this morning!

- Mariah, Stu, Bob, Lynne, Fran, Matt, Kelsey, Alex, Dodge, Kim, Missy, Annie J., Annie B., Denny, Erin, Mike, Dana, Butch, Brian and the crew

Sun, Feb 18: Vasa Trail (Traverse City)

Great skiing on the Vasa, thanks to a dusting of fresh snow overnight & TART groom by Glen! I skied from Timber Ridge on the 10k to the Nipple, skipping Headwaters, the 25k to JackPine & back to TR today, approx 25 km in 3+ hrs.There were only 2 hills that were icy, one on the 25k to the N of the Timber Ridge exit between 2 trees, and one after the Nipple/10k junction on the 25k heading towards the powerline. In addition, the first 2 downhills in JackPine are getting thin at the base of the down/uphillls due to the warmth of the trees beside the trail. Timber Ridge had groomed corduroy, too, and all of the trails had a shallow, hardpacked classic track with lots of leaves, which is no problem with Twin Skins. While visiting with Mario Kennedy, I spotted a porcupine in the woods, which was a first for me. LET IT SNOW!!!

- Sara Cockrell

Sun, Feb 18: Crystal Mountain (Thompsonville)

We got about an half inch of snow last night which helped to make the trails not so icy. I re-groomed everything today and tried to set new tracks. Some turned out ok-some didn't. Come on out and ski while you can. We won't be grooming tomorrow.

- Kathloon

Sun, Feb 18: Vasa Trail (Traverse City)

Skied from Single Track parking lot to the Rock and back. Riley’s loop is an icy mess, but the Vasa was in good shape. Skate lane was groomed this morning. Somewhat icy base but there is enough corduroy on top to control your skis.

There are a few icy spots in the flats and some of the hills are getting icy as well.

Weather forecast is not encouraging - looks like rain is in the way. Today might be the last good day for awhile.

- Phil Coumans

Sun, Feb 18: Boyne Mountain (Boyne Falls)

Trail conditions are hard and fast--use caution. Everything is open. Vistas has an icy patch that we are evaluating this morning.

- Nick and the gang at BM XC Center

Sun, Feb 18: Cross Country Ski Headquarters (Higgins Lake)

We were very stoked with how many skiers got out and enjoyed the trails yesterday! We received a fresh dusting of snow last night, which will help freshen up the skate lanes and classic tracks today. Conditions remain very skiable on the trails that are open, with decent to good conditions and the occasional icy/crusty spot. Classic tracks were set on Friday on parts of Trappers Cabin and Rolling Hills, and all of the other trails still have existing tracks from Tuesday. Conditions are fair to very good on the Rolling Hills, Trappers Cabin, Wild Turkey, Mackinaw Cut, and Adventure trails. Groomer Mike will snow comb all of the above trails this morning. Until we get more snow, the Tall Pines, Blizzard and Manitou trails are closed due to ice and bare spots. The practice area are open with fair to very good conditions as well.

Today’s Stone Turtle Cafe lunch special is the Gourmet Chili Bar! Your choice of Classic or Veggie Chili, plus an assortment of delicious toppings. Try a homemade cornbread muffin and real butter with your chili and feel like a whole new person!

Get outside and enjoy the snow today!

- Mariah, Stu, Bob, Lynne, Fran, Matt, Kelsey, Alex, Dodge, Kim, Missy, Annie J., Annie B., Denny, Erin, Mike, Dana, Butch, Brian and the crew

Sat, Feb 17: Hanson Hills (Grayling)

Surprise surprise... it was better than I expected when seeing how miserable the trail looks right out of the parking lot. If only these icy spots that take up the full width of the trail were not there, it would be really good skating conditions at HH. In fact, past the parking lot, conditions are good and really fast with the recent grooming in all wooded sections, with some exceptions facing South that are bare or nearly bare, or low elevation points where water stagnated and has now become an ice rink. It's tricky to get around, these, but the rest is nice. Skied yellow loop and sections of blue + green on the way back.

- Gui G

Sat, Feb 17: Lost Lakes Pathway (Interlochen)

The trail was flattened near the campground, but crust skiing through the woods & on Lake Dubonnet was good.

- Sara Cockrell

Sat, Feb 17: Crystal Mountain (Thompsonville)

I went out this morning and scratched up all the skating lanes except for Otter. They turned out great-according to the trail reports I got from all the skaters I saw out there. Didn't even try to re-set the tracks so they will still be icy. Please use caution on the hills. This year I have noticed some skiers who have skied here a long time ago go out on some of the old trails that we have abandoned and then complain about us not grooming them. The Stag Hollow trail head does not go between the ski lift and the parking lot like it used to a few years ago. The trail starts on the south side of the road. When you come in to buy a trail pass we will give you direction. Have a great day.

- kathloon

Sat, Feb 17: Cross Country Ski Headquarters (Higgins Lake)

The grooming efforts yesterday resulted in better-than-expected conditions, given the warm up we had a couple days ago. We were successful at setting tracks on parts of Trappers Cabin and Rolling Hills, and all of the other trails still have existing tracks from Tuesday. Conditions are fair to very good on the Rolling Hills, Trappers Cabin, Wild Turkey, Mackinaw Cut, and Adventure trails. Groomer Mike is snow combing all of the above trails this morning. Until we get more snow, the Tall Pines and Manitou trails are closed due to ice and bare spots. We will be snow doctoring the Adventure trail today. The Blizzard trail and practice area are open with fair to very good conditions as well.

Today’s Stone Turtle Cafe lunch special is the Gourmet Chili Bar! Your choice of Classic or Veggie Chili, plus an assortment of delicious toppings. Get your chili in a sourdough bread bowl if you know what’s good for you! And don’t forget the free ski lesson, today and every Saturday at 4:00pm.

Make the most of the snow today! Good luck to all the Forbush racers!!

- Mariah, Stu, Bob, Lynne, Fran, Matt, Kelsey, Alex, Dodge, Kim, Missy, Annie J., Annie B., Denny, Erin, Mike, Dana, Butch, Brian and the crew

Sat, Feb 17: Forbush Corner (Frederic)

Most of the trails were groomed for both classic and skate skiing yesterday including the Back Forty, Roberts Rd and the Hartwick Pines section of the Pines Loop. Conditions should be great today.

The Forbush Freestyle Race begins @ 10 AM and will utilize Badlands and Rollercoaster. Stop in to race or to spectate. We still have plenty of trails for non-racers to use even during the race.

Meijer State Games-Hanson Hills Classic Update:
Classic Race will be moved from Hanson Hills to Forbush Corner on Sunday February 18th.
10 AM start, 15 second intervals with racers skiing 12-13 km. Registration will run from 8 - 9:30 AM on Sunday.

- Todd

Fri, Feb 16: Big M (Cadillac)

Unfortunately no new snow and since we had warm weather this week, trails are crusty. We still have snow, but it will be icy during the morning until the day warms up. The predictions for this week are to be above freezing and rain on Monday. "Spring" skiing conditions, wish it wasn't happening so early.
The trails were last groomed on Sunday, February 4. I wish I had better news. See www.skibigm.org for more info

- Loren

Fri, Feb 16: Forbush Corner (Frederic)

Great conditions at Forbush thanks to the terrific grooming. Skied all the trails.

- Kris Olsson

Fri, Feb 16: Forbush Corner (Frederic)

Unless you a cold or the flu, put some cold wax on those skis and get your butt up to Forbush Corner this weekend. Frozen ice crystals were "slicker than fresh snot on a door knob" and edging was a dream. Good coverage and when the corduroy sets up tonight the the race course should be magnificent.

- Ernie Brumbaugh

Fri, Feb 16: Hanson Hills (Grayling)

Meijer State Games-Hanson Hills Classic Update:
Classic Race will be moved from Hanson Hills to Forbush Corner’s Sunday February 18th.
Due to the recent warm-up the trail system at Hanson Hills has taken quite the beating. Our Classic tracks have become very icy, and have a lot of bare spots on our designated race course. With the ice base and little snow that we have on top, it is impossible for us to reset any safe/skiable track for this weekends race. However our good friends at Forbush Corner’s are willing to host our Classic Race on their trail system, saving our MI-CUP races for the second time this year!! Larry (Forbush) reports that they have good coverage on their trail system and he will be able to set tracks on Badlands and Rollercoaster for Sunday’s Classic Races. We will still shoot for a 10am Start, 15 second intervals. Racers will do 2 laps equaling around 12-13KM. Registration will run from 8-9:30am on Sunday.
Thank you Forbush!! I hope to see everyone on Sunday.
-Justin Andre

- Justin Andre

Fri, Feb 16: Crystal Mountain (Thompsonville)

Just back from skating at Crystal. After a day and a half of rain and warm weather Wednesday and Thursday, the trails are actually great. Kudos to Greg and Kathy-- amazing job grooming. Should be really nice for the weekend. Jim L

- Jim Levinsohn

Fri, Feb 16: Crystal Mountain (Thompsonville)

Greg is out grooming and I just got a trail report from a guest who was skating and he said it is great out there. Tracksets are a little icy and shallow but there are no bare spots. Once again we weathered the rain and lived to ski another day. Reminder to skaters when the trails are soft please stay off them. Some one went out yesterday and made a lot of deep grooves which is very hard to get out. Greg had to go over those areas a number of times. Come on out before the next warm up.

- Kathloon

Fri, Feb 16: Boyne Mountain (Boyne Falls)

With the warm temps yesterday and the return to colder temps overnight, our trails are very firm. Some areas may be icy, but where the fresh snow lays, it is a good ski surface. The lower trails are being regroomed this morning.

- Nick and the gang at BM XC Center

Fri, Feb 16: Cross Country Ski Headquarters (Higgins Lake)

Cool temps have returned at snow has been falling all morning. Groomer Mike is going to reset tracks on the John Deere loop where our base is thick enough to till it up deep. Then he will Ginzu snow comb the rest of the trails. We will be patching up the bare spots throughout the day. We expect fair to good classic skiing today where we are able to set tracks, and good skating especially on the John Deere and Rolling Hills trails. The good news is that the snow surface appears to be in good skiing condition without too much ice. More updates to come as we patch up the trails and further assess!

Today’s Stone Turtle Cafe lunch special is the Pesto Tuna Melt! Albacore tuna, basil pesto, provolone cheese, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, banana peppers and spinach, grilled on a ciabatta bun. Served with Great Lakes chips and a pickle.

Join us tonight for Winter Fest Night Skiing! To celebrate Winter Fest, we will light the Trapper’s Cabin trail with torches, creating a truly unique and memorable nighttime experience. We will also have a bonfire and serve hot chocolate at Trapper’s Cabin from 6:00-8:00PM. Just purchase your $5 Winter Fest badge to participate. Skiers who need to rent skis must do so before 7PM. Join us for an evening you’ll never forget!

- Mariah, Stu, Bob, Lynne, Fran, Matt, Kelsey, Alex, Dodge, Kim, Missy, Annie J., Annie B., Denny, Erin, Mike, Dana, Butch, Brian and the crew

Fri, Feb 16: Forbush Corner (Frederic)

Groomer Larry is out in the Pisten Bully PB100 as I type. The trails will be 90% in good condition. There are a few bare spots that we will be adding snow to and after grooming should turn out pretty good too. This process will take a little time, but we will have almost the entire trail system available by later today. Open now, with some trails tilled and we will have Badlands ready with a track set by noon.

- Todd

Fri, Feb 16: Hanson Hills (Grayling)

Groomer Jason is out this morning, assessing the trail system. We have about a 2 inch base, bottom layer is ice, top inch is somewhat workable snow. Snow is falling, as we are working on a plan to set skiable classic tracks for this weekend's race. There may be course/race modifications. Please know that we will continue do our best to provide good-great conditions and a safe course for all.

- Justin Andre

Thu, Feb 15: Nubs Nob (Harbor Springs)

Remarkable conditions the past two evenings at Nubs despite the warmer temps. Skate deck was smooth, firm, and fast, with full control.

- ZJ

Thu, Feb 15: Forbush Corner (Frederic)

The trails are holding up well. A few thin spots, but the lower temps and full grooming in the morning should make for a great weekend.

- Todd

Thu, Feb 15: Crystal Mountain (Thompsonville)

We did not groom yesterday. I tried to go out this morning but it is too soft since it didn't get below freezing last night. We still have plenty of coverage. We plan on grooming tomorrow since it is supposed to get cold again. Another note, I skied out in the swamp by my house yesterday and saw foot prints thinking it was someone walking out there. I got mad because it's our secret spot. When we got down to the river we noticed it was bear tracks instead. Something must of scared him from his den. Be aware.

- Kathloon

Thu, Feb 15: Hanson Hills (Grayling)

Trails are surviving the warm up so far 40 yesterday and 40 today. Skate lanes are decent, tracks are marginal in spots. We will not be running grooming equipment today in an effort to save the trail system. Cooler temperatures are in the forecast tonight with hopes everything will firm back up .

- Justin Andre

Thu, Feb 15: Cross Country Ski Headquarters (Higgins Lake)

For those who got out skiing yesterday before noon, conditions were absolutely fabulous with bright blue skies and great gliding skis. However, the warm temps yesterday afternoon softened and slowed the snow quickly, and will remain soft and slow until temps come back down below-freezing tonight. Due to the softer snow conditions, we request only classic skiing today (no skating today except on Blizzard Park).

Today’s Stone Turtle Cafe lunch special is the Pesto Tuna Melt! Albacore tuna, basil pesto, provolone cheese, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, banana peppers and spinach, grilled on a ciabatta bun. Served with Great Lakes chips and a pickle!

Our Demo Center is open! Try a new pair of recreational classic, high performance classic, back country or skate skis today, free of charge!

- Mariah, Stu, Bob, Lynne, Fran, Matt, Kelsey, Alex, Dodge, Kim, Missy, Annie J., Annie B., Denny, Erin, Mike, Dana, Butch, Brian and the crew