Hickory Hills Ski Area is owned and operated by the City of Traverse City. Hickory Hills began operations in the winter of 1950 -51 on 12 City owned acres. Adjacent land was leased or used by friendly agreement. The City now owns approximately 125 acres. The lodge that was constructed in the mid 1950's is still in use today with a fireplace and snack bar.
Hickory Hills features 8 runs with 1 beginner, 5 intermediate, and 2 advanced runs that are serviced by 5 rope tows. Night skiing is available on 7 of the runs. Cross country skiers will find 5 k of trails with a 1 k trail lighted for night skiing. The Ski Patrol assists by promoting safe skiing and offering first aid services.
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. Snow making capabilities now exist on six of eight runs.
Each year thousands of recreational enthusiasts enjoy the Hickory Hills Ski Area for snowboarding, alpine skiing, cross-country skiing and recreational snow-shoeing. In addition to the general public, many community organizations rely on Hickory Hills for their programs and activities including the Grand Traverse Ski Club, the Traverse City Central High School Varsity Ski Team (2010 Boys State Champions!), the middle school ski teams of TC West Middle School and TC East Middle School as well as the TC High School Nordic Ski Club. Clearly, the long-term financial viability of this tremendous community asset is an important issue for not only the City of Traverse City, but also for those families and young people who enjoy the accessible and affordable recreational opportunities available at Hickory.