Beleaguered by bad weather and other setbacks, Hawk Island Snow Park was determined to salvage this winter and finally opened to the public on February 18, 2011. All weekend they were letting kids ride, ski, or snow-tube for free, so on Monday afternoon I made the drive up there to check out the happenings.
I got there right when they were opening for the afternoon around 4pm and met Sam (who has been volunteering with the park crew) in the parking lot to go shred. The tubing hill was definitely a draw yesterday and lots of families were out enjoying the mild weather and having fun. There were about a dozen people on the snow park hill, and a few more would come and go during the few hours I was there.
Right now the set up is small, and operating on a “conditions permitting” basis. They had built one small kicker, and a few guys built a bigger one a little higher up. For jib features there was a single-barrel rail (ollie-on), a barrel bonk on the runout from the rail, and a flat box.
Both the rail and the box were super smooth and the diggers were keeping them well-groomed in between sessioning them with us.
Maintenance: The Snow Park has lights for night time operations, a t-bar rope tow system, full snowmaking capabilities and a groomer. Individual features are maintained by usual methods: shovels, rakes, and elbow-grease.
The verdict: better late than never. I am glad they were able to open this year just to give people a taste of, hopefully awesome things to come next winter and beyond. When they get a full set of features they can rotate in and out, and a bit more snow, this park would be an awesome spot to ride with friends. The pricing is dirt cheap ($3 parking, and lift tickets are $5 or $7) and it is the perfect environment to dial in new tricks and really hone your jib skills.
For up-to-date info on hours of operation, pricing, etc., follow Hawk Island County Park’s facebook page.
Note: Google Maps might not take you to the right address (it took me down some residential dead-end street that backs up to the park property) so make sure you use the 1601 E. Cavanaugh Rd., Lansing Charter Township, Ingham, MI 48910 address.