Avalanche Preserve Recreation Area
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This towering ridge is the center piece of Avalanche Preserve Recreation Area, a 300-acre Boyne City park that is predominantly a forested sloping terrain. The exception is its northern slope that was the site of a downhill ski operation beginning in the early 1950s. By 1958 the downhill had a 1500-foot poma lift and later a double chairlift before closing in the 1960s.
In the fall the hill is a favorite for leaf peepers who scale a 462-step stairway to a pair of observation decks near the top from which they can gaze down at Boyne City, practically all of Lake Charlevoix and even a sliver of Lake Michigan on a clear day. In the winter the park is renowned as one of the most thrilling sledding hills in northern Michigan.
Winding up and around the ridge is a 12-mile trail system that includes an 8.6-mile mountain bike system and a 2.8-mile hiking trail that is open to cross-country skiers and snowshoers. The park also features an 18-hole disc golf course with much of it laid out along the walking trails.
Needless to say, mountain biking and Nordic skiing at the park are rated challenging due to the extensive change in elevation experienced along both loops. Just climbing the stairway to the view at the top can be a workout for many people.
|Difficulty - Challenging|
|Difficulty - Moderate|