Spring is a time of renewal—the days are longer, the trees are slowly waking up from their slumber, and gardening plans begin to seem reasonable. Soon, the first spring plants will burst from the thawing soil. Migrating birds will return. Also, the skiing is absolutely fantastic.

You heard us right. Forget the blistering cold days when you can’t feel your hands and you need goggles to keep your eyeballs from freezing in their sockets. Sure, you might cherish your family tradition of skiing over the holidays. Maybe you even dream of hitting the fresh powder all summer long. However, spring skiing is a whole new level of enjoyment, and the Petoskey area has lots of reasons to help you make the most of the season. Keep reading to find out just what’s so special about spring skiing in the Petoskey area.


1. The sun. The sun. The sun.

Year-long residents don’t take even the faintest glimmer of sunshine for granted during the cold winter months. When a haze of gray clouds stretches as far as the eye can see, every golden moment is precious. Just ask Debbie Esposito, a long-time Harbor Springs resident. She and her husband love to ski Nub’s Nob in the spring. “The feeling of the sun baking you as you ride up in the chairlift is incredible,” she says.

When you’re skiing in the spring, you don’t need to layer yourself like a flaky French pastry to keep frostbite away. Esposito dresses to ward off the chill, but she’s seen people in flannels and shorts, or even bikinis and sunglasses, enjoying the warmer weather and sunshine. It’s a feeling of true freedom to finally enjoy the sun and the snow together after being smothered by winter clouds.

2. Soft-serve snow

Marcella Olds of Nub’s Nob says that spring snow is best. Nub’s starts making snow around Thanksgiving, stops main production before the New Year, and then adds a little touch-up snow as needed until the season ends in April (make sure to check with resorts for season dates). She describes the snow in February and March as “soft snow,” saying it’s a perfect mix between powder and slush. It’s not icy and it’s not melting; as Baby Bear would say, it’s just right.

Charlie Stratton, a Bahnhof Sport employee, agrees. Bahnhof rents skis and snowboards for the winter season. Stratton, who’s a snowboarder, loves the ease of moving through spring snow compared to heavy winter powder.

3. Spring ski parties

Olds says that skiing is a popular pastime for students up north during Spring Break. There are multiple events going on at all the resorts for that last-bit-of-winter fun.

There are lots of events coming to Boyne Mountain. Their Winter Rail Jam Series runs through May 25th, 2024. Check out Kid’s Festival Weekend on March 8-10, and your family can choose from silly ski races, face painting, rock wall climbing, and more. For our next-door neighbors, there’s Canadian March Break March 10-15. The festivities culminate in Carnival Weekend, March 15-17, with a Party Through the Decades featuring different themed parties throughout the weekend, live music, an Aprés Ski Party, the ever-popular Slush Cup, and plenty of opportunities for refreshments.

Ring in Spring at The Highlands at Harbor Springs with the annual Slush Cup March 16th, enjoy live music and try fine wines. Click the link for event updates.

At Nub’s Nob in Harbor Springs, March 16 is Mardi Gras. There are Silly Slaloms for kids and adults, a modified dual Grand Slalom race, a Soaker Cup across Lake Nubs, a chance to ride your fat tire bike down a ski slope, and more. Check out the website for more details about event registration. And, get on their calendar to learn about more spring events.

4. It’s the last hurrah

In the icy cave of winter, it sometimes seems like the season will last forever. That can be a bad deal if you’re aching for a sunny day at the beach. But, it can also make a skier take a snowy paradise for granted. Spring skiing is a bridge between seasons, and a reminder to make the best of what the weather has to offer.

“It’s the end of March and you’re skiing and it’s sunny out and you’re thinking, ‘Wow, I got a freebie!’” explains Esposito. “It feels a lot like the hope of spring and the last hurrah of winter all rolled into one.”

“There’s just so much hype and build-up to the spring ski season,” says Stratton. “It just seems to get people more motivated: the weather is better, the skiing is easier, and there’s just kind of a carnival feel to it.”

5. The perks of a Northern Michigan spring

Spring brings with it bluer skies and (sometimes slightly) warmer weather. That expands the possibilities for outdoor fun. Olds mentions that Nub’s Nob has an outdoor Winter Garden with fire pits that can be more appealing in better weather. “It has an outside bar and it’s just so nice to hang out in the sun without so many layers on,” she says.

Both Boyne Mountain and the Highland at Harbor Springs offer lodging and a variety of winter activities. If you’re not inclined to hit the slopes, you can try fat-tire snow biking, sno-go biking, horseback riding, tubing, and zipline adventures. Or, enjoy a spa day and join your friends later for some après ski time.

Hopefully, we’ve convinced even die-hard fans of winter skiing to give the spring season a try. Visit one of the below resorts or rental shops, and head out for a dreamy day on the slopes during spring break. Don’t forget to sign up for a Slush Cup or slalom!

Skiiers at The Highlands. Photo courtesy of The Highlands.


Boyne Mountain

1 Boyne Mountain Road

Boyne Falls, MI 49713



Nub’s Nob

500 Nub’s Nob Road

Harbor Springs, MI 49740



The Highlands at Harbor Springs

600 Highland Drive

Harbor Springs, MI 49740




Bahnhof Sport

1300 Bay View Rd

Petoskey, Michigan 49770



Boyne Country Sports

1200 Bay View Rd

Petoskey, MI 49770



Shaggy’s Copper Country Skis

100 Air Industrial Park Drive

Boyne City, MI 49712



Webster’s Northern Lower Sports

2022 M-119

Petoskey, MI 49770



About the Author: Jen DeMoss is a newcomer to the Petoskey area and loves northern Michigan. You can catch her paddling a canoe, hiking a trail, or swimming in Lake Michigan as often as the weather cooperates. She’d love to help you make the most of your time in this paradise she now calls home.