Hickory Hills History

Hickory Hills Recreation Area has been owned and operated as a ski area and municipal park by the City of Traverse City since 1952 and has been an iconic natural setting within the Traverse City micropolitan area. The name Hickory Hills came from the hickory boards that originally took you down the hills. Throughout the years, the City managed to secure 125 acres for recreational use. Hickory Hills is one of very few ski hills in Michigan that is still owned and operated by a municipality. 

Prior to 1985, Hickory Hills was completely at the whim of nature for its snow. The number of skiing days ranged from a low of 29 in 1983-84 to a high of 83 days in 1958-59. Since 1985, the number of days has stabilized with an average of 70 skiing days per year since snow-making equipment was installed. 

Hickory Hills Now

In 2018, Hickory Hills underwent significant infrastructure improvements, to the tune of $4 million dollars. With the recent expansion, Hickory Hills has  a new lodge, a new maintenance building, and much more ski terrain. A total of 16 runs may now be experienced: 4 beginner, 7 intermediate, and 4 advanced runs, plus a dedicated terrain park. On the beginner slope, "Fast Tammy," there is a conveyer lift for all ages to learn how to ski or snowboard at ease. 

Beyond hosting your next event, and beyond alpine skiing, Hickory Hills also has 6+ kilometers of cross country ski trails, two eighteen-hole disc golf course layouts, and ample hiking trails.