Now that November is here, we are starting to see a few snow flurries in the northern Michigan forecast. Unlike some towns, Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Boyne Falls, Alanson and Bay Harbor embrace the coming of snow and the new season. And with good reason – we’re in the middle of three of the best skiing and snowboarding areas in the Midwest: Boyne Mountain, Boyne Highlands and Nub’s Nob.

Thanksgiving is the traditional start of the skiing and boarding season at those three awesome ski areas in the Petoskey Area. Right now, each is gearing up for another year of terrific conditions and days and nights filled with fun in the snow. Lifts are being checked out, hoses tested, and staff trained. All the things that help ensure a safe, fun and successful season are moving right along.

It began with a $1 bill and a million-dollar dream.

To the thousands of families who have learned to ski here, celebrated holidays and made some fantastic memories here, the three resorts – two in Harbor Springs and one in Boyne Falls –  are a winter playground like no other. Much of the credit goes to Boyne founder, Everett Kircher, who started Boyne Mountain with $1 and a dream before going on to buy what would become Boyne Highlands. His contributions to the ski industry are innumerable, but suffice it to say, guests wouldn’t have had nearly as many opportunities to ski if Mr. Kircher hadn’t first focused on winter fun.

No wonder our skiing is so famous

Since 2003, there have only been ten inductees into the Michigan Ski Hall of Fame. Everett Kircher was one of the first two (sharing the honor with Bill Pearson of Bill and Paul’s Sporthaus). In 2006, Nub’s Nob operator, James Dilworth was inducted into the array for his work on snowmaking machines. And this past summer, Jim Bartlett, who was General Manager of Nub’s Nob for thirty years, took his place in the elite group of recipients. JB, as he’s known, helped patent the Nub’s Nob fan gun, which means better snow when Mother Nature isn’t cooperating. With three of the ten Michigan Ski Hall of Fame award winners in the area, it’s no wonder those seeking a great winter experience naturally head to the Petoskey Area.

Beat the winter blahs

This is where those who love winter belong. If you aren’t excited about the fluffy white stuff yet, plan on spending a few days here and see why so many people think snow season is the best season. Take a lesson, spend a weekend and play, or participate in January’s Learn to Ski and Board Month. Odds are, you’ll be back. Again and again.

About the author

Diane Dakins is passionate about all the lakeside communities that comprise the Petoskey Area of northern Michigan: Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Bay Harbor and Boyne City. As assistant director of the Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau, she has ‘been there — seen that’ when it comes to virtually every area attraction. Her blogs give potential visitors the scoop on planning a northern Michigan vacation.