Michigan: Northern Lower Peninsula

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

Sat, Apr 21: Cross Country Ski Headquarters (Higgins Lake)

Today is an historic day in XC Ski HQ history! Never before in our 44 years of business have we been open for skiing this late in the season. Groomer Bob Ginzu snowcombed the skating lanes this morning, and the classic tracks are still holding up from earlier in the week. While the trails took a hit in the sunshine and warm temps yesterday afternoon, much of the system is still in very good to great condition. There are some thin spots opening up in the usual places, with the largest being at the top of the first hill on Manitou (portaging required). Barring another snow event, today is our last day of grooming for the 2017-18 ski season.

Join us today for a History-Making Spring Ski Party! Let’s celebrate the latest day of skiing in XC Ski HQ history.

When: Today, Saturday, April 21st
Who: Skiers, trail sponsors, customers, family, friends, YOU!
Shop opens: 10:00am (skiers are welcome to hit the trails earlier – the best skiing will be in the morning!)
History-Making BBQ Party on the sundeck: 1:00pm
HQ will provide brats and sauerkraut. Bring a dish and/or a beverage to pass, if you like! Looks like a beautiful, sunny afternoon, so come ski and share in some good food and great company with Bob, Lynne, Donnie, and your fellow XC skiers.

- Mariah, Stu, Bob, Lynne, Fran, Dodge & crew

Sat, Apr 21: Forbush Corner (Frederic)

Re-groomed most of the East Trail System this morning. Temps dropped to the low 20's overnight which allowed the trails to set up firm. 2 passes with the Pisten Bully PB100 snowcat - 1 to till and 1 to groom the skate lane and the classic track. Come and get it !!!

- Todd

Fri, Apr 20: Forbush Corner (Frederic)

100% full white coverage. >50 degrees basking in warm spring Sun (January seems to be over for good). Glorious, beats mud season down state. Plenty of snow left for the weekend. Enjoy! There was an owl along Little Coaster, who did not like my presence!

- Gui G

Fri, Apr 20: Cross Country Ski Headquarters (Higgins Lake)

It’s another fine day to spring ski! Groomer Bob is out Ginzu snowcombing all the trails this morning, and the classic tracks are still in very good shape. We are happy to report that conditions overall are very good to excellent, with one bare spot opening up on the top of the first hill of Manitou. Otherwise there is really good coverage, and still good for “A” skis! Of course the best skiing from here on out will be in the morning before the sun gets too high and the snow softens up. This is spring skiing at its very best!!

Join us tomorrow for a History-Making Spring Ski Party! Let’s celebrate the latest day of skiing in XC Ski HQ history. In 44 years in the XC ski business, we have never been open for skiing this late in the season. It’s time to party!

When: Saturday, April 21st
Who: Skiers, trail sponsors, customers, family, friends, YOU!
Shop opens: 10:00am (skiers are welcome to hit the trails earlier – the best skiing will be in the morning!)
History-Making BBQ Party on the sundeck: 1:00pm
HQ will provide brats and sauerkraut. Bring a dish and/or a beverage to pass, if you like! Looks like a beautiful, sunny afternoon, so come ski and share in some good food and great company with Bob, Lynne, Donnie, and your fellow XC skiers.

All the best,

- Mariah, Stu, Bob, Lynne, Fray & crew

Fri, Apr 20: Forbush Corner (Frederic)

Larry is out early this morning tilling and setting track on the entire East Trail System - Flatlands, Badlands, Pancake, Roller Coaster, and Little Coaster. The trails set up firm overnight, but the Pisten Bully PB100 will make them near perfect for skating and classic skiing - no problem. Spring Skiing Bonus Weekend #3 prices in effect - $10 for 1 day, $15 for 2 days!!!

- Todd

Thu, Apr 19: Cross Country Ski Headquarters (Higgins Lake)

Hard to believe that skiing on the morning of April 19th, was even better than April 18th. Amazing! Gorgeous trails, Robin’s egg blue skies....Thank you snow Dr. Ginzu (Bob), your TLC on the trails is appreciated!!

- Leigh

Thu, Apr 19: Cross Country Ski Headquarters (Higgins Lake)

Crust skating on Manitou trail this morning before 10:30 was stupendous.

- Ernie Brumbaugh

Thu, Apr 19: Cross Country Ski Headquarters (Higgins Lake)

The trails are still in very good to excellent shape. Groomer Bob is snow combing the skating lanes this morning on all trails, and the classic tracks set a couple days ago are still in great condition. With the warmer afternoon temps, we are seeing some thin spots start to appear in the usual places, but overall the trails are grooming up very well to day and there is still lots of coverage for good skis. The best skiing will be in the mornings from here on out, before the temp gets above freezing during the day.

Bob and Lynne will be at the shop today from 10am until 4pm. Come on in and shop the sale, demo some skis, and enjoy this fabulous spring skiing!

- Mariah, Stu, Bob, Lynne, Fran & crew

Thu, Apr 19: Forbush Corner (Frederic)

Bonus Ski Weekend #3 - don't miss out!!! This is now the 3rd weekend in April we will be skiing at The Corner. We want to share our excitement by offering discounted trail fees - 1 day for $10 or 2 days for $15.

Feel free to bring a beverage (or two) and maybe an appetizer or whatever and hang out with us Saturday on the deck. The apres-ski will take place when it gets too soft to ski.

- Forbush Corner

Wed, Apr 18: Cross Country Ski Headquarters (Higgins Lake)

If you haven’t been out for an April ski yet, then you really should. All trails at HQ were heavenly. I would liken conditions to mid/ end of December or end of Feb. First half of the day is best to get out to avoid too much warm up but anytime is wonderful to get out and enjoy the fresh air and unprecedented skiing conditions. As a bonus, there are plenty of songbirds out for your listening enjoyment and Bob and Lynne are in the shop. Classic skiing is very reliable right now with 2-3” deep tracks but I also did a bit of skate and that was a heck of a lot of fun as well. I could see that people seemed to be getting 10’-20’ of glide on skate depending on if you are on the flat or uphill. Outstanding! I don’t know about you but I’d rather be skiing than sloshing around in mud puddles for cardio. :-) :-)

- Leigh W.

Wed, Apr 18: Lost Lakes Pathway (Interlochen)

Probably my last ski for the season but great morning to enjoy skiing with friends & a little glide in my tracks from yesterday. We heard a loon flying overhead, and spotted a sandhill crane on one of the pothole lakes, so Spring must be on its way here!

- Sara Cockrell

Wed, Apr 18: Cross Country Ski Headquarters (Higgins Lake)

The trails are looking fabulous! Groomer Mike was able to set classic tracks yesterday, which set up overnight and should be in great condition today. He also Ginzu snow combed the skating lanes again this morning. All the trails are open for skating and classic skiing. The best skiing today, and for the rest of the week and weekend, will be in the morning before it gets too warm. The early bird gets the worm – and the best snow!

The shop will be open from 10am to 4pm today. Fran, old Bob and young Lynne are ready to assist with ski and clothing sales, demos, rentals, and more!

See you at HQ!

- Mariah, Stu, Bob, Lynne, Fran & crew

Tue, Apr 17: Lost Lakes Pathway (Interlochen)

Wet, heavy, sticky snow (no crust) = great workout breaking trail on the back 2 loops, whew! I was thankful to the snowshoer who broke trail on the campground loop when I returned to it & then when I passed Molly (Scott), I enjoyed her tracks, too. Although no real hills, I love this gorgeous trail around the pothole lakes. And, I was also thankful that the snow did not clump on the bottom of my fishscales! Maybe I'll get to ski in my self-groomed tracks tomorrow morning! And, final thankfulness, for the generous snowplower who made a path through the deep snow in the parking lot. I bet the DNR has decided enough is enough, no more contractor plowing! So lucky to have access to this trail only 10 mins from home!!! I was in skier heaven this afternoon!

- Sara Cockrell

Tue, Apr 17: Forbush Corner (Frederic)

We have lots of snow! We got another 6 inches after Larry groomed yesterday. Plan is to till up both East and West side Wednesday/Thursday and let it set up before regrooming everything Friday morning. It should be a great weekend for skiing. Skiing will be best in the morning and the afternoon will be best for working on your sun tan. I'm still using my good skis. More updates to come.

- Ann Wagar

Tue, Apr 17: Cross Country Ski Headquarters (Higgins Lake)

The snow/ice pack finally firmed up enough for us to roll and Ginzu snowcomb the skating lanes on all the trails this morning. Groomer Mike rolled in tracks yesterday, and reset them today on the entire system. The results are a little soft as to be expected, but over all just excellent!

The shop will be open from about 11am until 4pm today. Stop in to ski, shop the sale, and demo some skis! When there is snow, what better thing is there to do than to cross country ski in beautiful Northern Michigan?!

Hope to see you on the trails!

- Mariah, Stu, Fran & crew

Mon, Apr 16: Cross Country Ski Headquarters (Higgins Lake)

I went to Headquarters as I was hoping to ski and then go to check on my cabin so it was late, around 3:30. Temp was hovering around 30 to 32 with vailed sunshine. Thus the heavy spring snow was even heavier. The trails were groomed but had not had time to set up in the half warm temperatures. I skated, glide was good but the trail was soft and I kept worrying about the grooves I was making. Small trail so I had to keep the stride small too. However, it was definitely fun and with a little cool down tonight should be excellent. I had hoped to go to Forbush as I know it would have been good also but time got in my way. Get out and ski, I really believe this is the last hurrah!

- Linda Susan Weeks

Mon, Apr 16: Forbush Corner (Frederick)

Ann said the skate skiing was incredible yesterday. Larry is headed out to re-groom this morning - both the skate lane and classic tracks will be reset on all of the East Trail System, the Green Trail, and the entrance and return to the Back Forty. Open a little later this morning - 11 AM.

- Todd

Sun, Apr 15: Vasa Trail (Traverse City)

Where do I begin! This afternoon I was itching to get out and ski. We waxed the Classic skis as we knew it was not groomed but the parking lot was plowed. All good. I waxed blue, Gary used his skin skis. I had zero kick Gary a tad of kick. It was snowing ice pellets. Such odd conditions. We did the 5K plowing our way through but still happy to be out on April 15 th. How special is that, on April 15 (and yes, we both already did our taxes :( ) The parking lot out was another matter. The hill only had around 3 inches of new snow but it was little ball bearings! We ended up shoveling our way out and up with a snow scraper. I had already removed the little shovel. Oh well, glad to be out but we only saw one other skier and never saw where he came in. Gary claims he was an alien skier dropped in. Tomorrow we plan on going to Forbush to a groomed trail, skating. A little wimpy but happy!

- Linda S Weeks

Sun, Apr 15: Cross Country Ski Headquarters (Higgins Lake)

Well if this isn’t the whackiest spring in recent memory! We received about 7-8 inches of precipitation yesterday – a mix of snow, ice pellets, and just ice. While the un-groomed snow on the trails is skiable now, it is still too wet for us to groom today. Tomorrow (Monday) morning, however, we will attempt to roll in tracks, and pack and snow comb the skating lanes, starting with Rolling Hills, Wild Turkey, and Trapper’s Cabin. The store will be open tomorrow from 10:00am to 4:00pm as well. Hopefully driving conditions will have improved greatly by then.

We will send out another report after grooming tomorrow morning. We still have plenty of skis to demo and lots of great shopping, so plan on skiing and checking out the end of season sale. Make the most of this tremendous late winter in northern Michigan!

- Mariah, Stu, Fran & crew

Sun, Apr 15: Forbush Corner (Frederic)

Larry is out grooming and reports that it is looking great !!! If you can make it - we hope to see you. Open tomorrow too !!!

- Todd