All posts by Nick Nerbonne

Winter Trails Day 2018

Boyne-Vistas-Trail
Photo Courtesy of Boyne Mountain

Entering its 26th year, the Great Lakes Winter Trails Council presents “Pure Michigan” Winter Trails Day on Saturday, January 6th, 2018. Whether you’re an experienced snow sports enthusiast or you’re looking to learn more about winter activities on Michigan’s winter trails, we hope you’ll join us for a day of winter fun!

Adults and children receive a free facilities pass and cross country ski or snowshoe lesson at GLWTC member properties, as well as discounted equipment rentals and other specials. From cross-country skiing to snowshoeing and fat tire biking, bring your friends and family, and discover how fun winter in Michigan can be!

Pre-registration is required for this event. Visit our “Where to go” page to find a Winter Trails destination you’d like to visit, and pre-register by contacting the property via the contact info on their member page.

See you on the trail!

Behind the Scenes at Forbush Corner

REDERIC-For a different cross-country ski experience put Forbush Corner on your ski list.
Located just east of I-75 at exit 264, 20 miles south of Gaylord, a short drive to the east brings you to Forbush Corner.
You’ll know you’ve arrived when you come to the split rail fence and a maintenance shed with a couple of red and white Pisten Bully groomers parked in front of it.
If the 35 kilometers of groomed trails aren’t enough skiing for you, get on a connector trail to Hartwick Pines State Park and it’s eight miles of trail. Trails are also open for snowshoeing.
Chances are if you see a groomer out and about Larry Dami, one of Forbush’s owners, will be at the wheel.
These German built snow machines are huge and designed for moving snow, laying track and grooming.
“We offer beginning to advanced trails,” Dami said as he operated one of the Pisten Bully rigs. “There’s a little bit of trail system for everyone,” he said with a smile and added, “We had a three-year-old girl out here skiing.”
The trails at Forbush are 12-feet wide making lots of room to navigate hills and curves as you glide through a coniferous forest that seems to never end.
Forbush Corner was begun as a cross-country ski destination in 1986 under the ownership of Dave Forbush.
Forbush’s grandfather owned the farm known as the largest apple orchard in the country. Eventually it received Centennial Farm status.
“The soil around here wasn’t very good for an apple orchard,” Dami said. He’s been a co-owner for the past three years.
“Most of the people that come here ski free style. We do get some skaters,” he said.
Forbush opens at Thanksgiving and closes for the season in March or early April, depending on the weather.
Dami began cross-country skiing when he was 16. “I skied the first White Pine Stampede in 1977. Gus Knopnicki, the founder of the race, led the way on a snowmobile with everyone following.”
He’s also skied the Birkebeiner cross-country ski race in Wisconsin, the oldest ski race in the country.
Forbush Corner offers ski lessons, custom fitting, along with ski rental and sales and one kilometer of lighted trail.
Weekend hours are Friday-Sunday, 9a.m.-5p.m. Call for other open days and time at (989) 889-1644 or visit forbushcorner.com.
Make a day of skiing. Bring your lunch, warm up in the snack shop/clubhouse and enjoy soup, beverages and a warming area.

Forbush Corner Cross Country Ski area. Co-owner Lary Dami near Pisten Bully track layer. By Roger forbush roger bukBeukema

Bob Frye Hall of Fame 2017

Michigan Ski Hall of Fame

ROSCOMMON-The Michigan Ski Hall of Fame presented Bob Frye, owner of Cross Country Ski Headquarters in Roscommon, with the 2016 “Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership and Contributions to the Ski Industry in Michigan.”
Bob and his wife Lynne have been operating their ski shop since 1977.
Describing his induction as a “big surprise,” Frye was recognized not only by other Michigan ski resorts but by Midwest ski dealers as well.
“This achievement was only met with our customers. Without them we wouldn’t have this award. I owe it to all the skiers and cross-country skiers in Michigan,” Frye said.
Frye said his wife Lynne has worked side by side with him all of these years.
“I thought that my wife Lynne should have been inducted into the Hall of Fame also as she is such an intricate part of this business,” he said.
Last year, the Frye’s sold Cross Country Ski Headquarters to their daughter Mariah and her husband Stewart Collie, however, both Lynne and Bob can be found at the shop most days.
Frye has been a strong voice supporting families, promoting getting outdoors in the winter and cross-country skiing for winter enjoyment and exercise.
“The biggest thing that got us going was the terrain here in Michigan. It’s ideal for cross- country skiing.
“Michigan is extraordinary for downhill skiing but really extraordinary for cross-country skiing,” he said.
Along with a shop offering everything cross-country skiing; the latest in clothing, skis and poles, walking poles, ski boots, bindings and installation and other accessories such as lip balm and headlights, Cross-Country Ski Headquarters has its own practice loop with a teaching area.
Skis may be rented or demoed. Once you’ve had a lesson or tried out those new skis, head indoors to the Stone Turtle snack shop.
You’ll find a warming fire, plenty of seats and tables and great soup and homemade sandwiches to keep you energized. Or bring your lunch and eat inside where it’s warm.
The practice loop-Blizzard Ski Park and Trail- is accessible early in the season when snowfall hasn’t been enough to cover trails.
“We operate our own snow making equipment for making snow early if there isn’t enough to get going,” Frye said.
Once you are comfortable on your new skis, head for one of seven nearby trails ranging from beginner to intermediate levels of skiing.
Trails total 11.2 miles or 20 kilometers and groomed daily along with trail clearing as needed. On weekends stop by Trappers Cabin located trailside for a warm fire and snack.
A board member of the Cross-Country Ski Areas of America for eight years, Frye also was on the board for the National Cross-Country Committee of Snowsports Industries of America for four years.
“This is the Heart of Michigan,” Frye said. It’s a cross-country ski trilogy that includes Cross-Country Ski Headquarters, Hansen Hills and Forbush Corner all nearby.”
In 1988 Frye, along with Treetops General Manager Barry Owens formed the Great Lakes Nordic Ski Council, which is now known as the Great Lake Winter Trails Council. Frye remains as president of the Trails Council.
Frye served on the board of Cross-Country Ski Areas of America for eight years and on the Nation Cross-Country Committee of SIA (Snowsports Industries of America) for four years.
Frye holds the patent for the popular ski accessory called “Ski Bones” since 1982 after the company went out of business. He further developed Ski Bones making it a lasting product.
Sold throughout the country, Ski Bones, used to hold skis together, are Michigan made from rubber.
The Cross-Country Ski Headquarters is open for the ski season on October 29 remaining open seven days a week until seasons end.
For more information visit crosscountryski.com or call (989) 821-6661 or (800) 832-2663. For trails information in Michigan visit mywintertrails.org.

Michigan Ski Hall of Fame inductee, Bob Frye. By Roger Bob Frye Hall of Fame 2017Beukema

Welcome Founders!

The 2016-2017 Winter Trails season is finally here and we are thrilled to announce our new presenting sponsor is Founders Brewing Company! We can’t think of a better way to relax after a long day on the trails than with an All Day IPA.

The Founders Family, a group of passionate beer enthusiasts, has grown around this simple philosophy: “We don’t brew beer for the masses. Instead, our beers are crafted for a chosen few, a small cadre of renegades and rebels who enjoy a beer that pushes the limits of what is commonly accepted as taste. In short, we make beer for people like us.”

We can think of a few renegades and rebels who like to get outside in the snow and play. Thank you Founders for supporting winter activities in Michigan. We can’t wait to share all the opportunities for Winter Trail users to find Founders after skiing, snowshoeing, or fat-tire biking. As always, we want everyone to be responsible and stay safe on the trails. alldaysnowshoes

Winter Trail Days 2016

Treetops-header

Old Man Winter took his time this season, but he came home for the holidays and 2016 is off to a great start! Winter Trails throughout northern Michigan are covered with a blanket of winter white – with more on the way. Are you ready to get outside for some winter fun? We’ve got you covered!

Snowshoeing-thumbWinter Trail Days (January 9 and 10) offer children and adults new to snow sports the chance to try snowshoeing and cross-country skiing for FREE! Discover the great fitness and social benefits of these easy-to-learn winter sports while enjoying the spectacular beauty of our northern Michigan surroundings.

How-to clinics, tours, and other special events are scheduled at Winter Trails destinations across northern Michigan, so find a trail and get out there! Contact individual member properties for event details.

See you on the trail!

Priority Health Winter Trail Days

Priority-Health-Winter-Trail-Days-100Mother nature has been busy lately, blanketing northern Michigan with over a foot of fluffy, white lake-effect snow this week. Are you ready to get outside for some winter fun? We’ve got you covered!

Priority Health Winter Trail Days (January 10 and 11) offers children and adults new to snow sports the chance to try snowshoeing and cross-country skiing for FREE! Discover the great fitness and social benefits of these easy-to-learn winter sports while enjoying the spectacular beauty of our northern surroundings.

How-to clinics, tours, and other special events are scheduled at Winter Trails destinations across northern Michigan, so find a trail and get out there! Contact individual member properties for event details.

See you on the trail!

Winter Trails Adventures for 2015

Winter Trail facilities of the Great Lakes Region are gearing up to embrace the magical months of a Northern Michigan winter. Winter sport and activity enthusiasts of all levels and ages are invited to dive into new adventures on the scenic, rustic, and elegant trails of Northern Michigan.

New snowshoeing adventure trails are available at Boyne Highlands Resort- Harbor Springs, MI. There will be SIX new enchanted snowshoe expeditions offered this winter; each followed by a gourmet dinner. Event dates will be announced on boynehighlands.com. Offering another unique way to venture along the picturesque, snow-covered trails; Dog Sledding will be available at Boyne this winter.

During this one-of-a-kind experience, you’ll enjoy charming, snow-covered trail network behind a team of eager sled dogs – including Ididarod veterans and their relatives. Tours are hosted by knowledgeable guides who share the inside details about their dogs, their racing history and local knowledge about Boyne Highlands and its surroundings. Each ride typically accommodates two adults, or one adult and two children under the age of eight.

Can’t get enough snowshoeing adventure? Crystal Mountain offers up more trails exclusive to snowshoeing. Michigan Legacy Art Park will dedicate most of its trails to snowshoeing this winter. Over a mile of trail offers the chance to view and contemplate 47 outdoor sculptures but blazing a path through the deep snow that collects on these rolling hills is what provides a true snowshoe experience.

Forbush Corner presents an exceptional experience to cross country skiing enthusiasts. Designed for all levels of ability, the trails of Forbush Corner flourish in miles of rolling, wooded, scenic views for all to enjoy.

At Hanson Hills in Grayling, both snowshoeing and cross country skiing are two activities heavily scheduled throughout their winter calendar. Pure Michigan Winter Trails Day – January 10, 2015- is entering its 19th year at Hanson Hills this upcoming winter. This event offers children and adults who are NEW to snowshoeing and cross country skiing, the chance to try both activities for FREE. Discover how fun winter fitness can be, and relish in the social aspects that accompany these easy-to-learn winter sports.

The winter fun continues at Treetops Resort in Gaylord with its Skiable Feast. Back by popular demand, the Skiable Feast fills each weekend with foodie fun hosted trailside SIX times throughout the season. The culinary excursion will take cross-country and snowshoe enthusiasts; both novice and experienced through the rolling landscape and pine forests surrounding the resort. Each skier will enjoy both skiing or snowshoeing, and culinary fare at their own pace on immaculately groomed trails.

Gaylord Michigan is a desirable destination come winter. With over 180 inches of snowfall, heavily wooded rolling terrain, Gaylord offers some of the most enjoyable and challenging cross country skiing in Michigan. All levels are invited to experience the Gaylord facilities that range from rustic and scenic to elegant and expertly groomed.

Along with these featured Northern Michigan winter fun events, the fastest growing and most popular off-slope activity returns. Fat Bike aka Snow Bike Trails are available this winter season at Treetops Resort, Crystal Mountain, and Timber Ridge. Timber Ridge will feature a new 10 mile Fat Bike Winter Trail featuring Einstein Cycles Fat Bikes. Einstein has a Fat Bike series of Races in the lineup beginning as early as Dec. 21, 2014 at Timber Ridge in Traverse City.

Ski Walk Industry Partner, Nordic Ski Walking, introduces a new activity- high in health benefits- to the trails. Nordic Ski Walking Poles used with snowshoes, hiking boots or even with cross training shoes on pavement offer up a healthy stretch, balance and toning benefits, and the ability to burn nearly 30% more calories.

The White Pine Stampede, Michigan’s premier Nordic event, returns this season. Originally a 50 kilometer, point to point, race from Frederic to Mancelona, Michgan, the race is now contested 50 kilometers or 20 kilometers from Mancelona to Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire. There is also a 10 kilometer timed, but noncompetitive event available for those who wish to take a more leisurely trip.