Hawk Island Snow Park – 2/2/2013

After a soft opening last year, Hawk Island Snow Park in Lansing, MI is finally in full swing this year. Lights are installed, a j-bar lift takes you up the hill, snow is on the ground and the crew is changing out features to make creative lines. Although they have been open for about a month so far, yesterday was the official “Grand Opening” so I headed up to check it out.

Conditions and Grooming: Recent snow made for great conditions and it continued to snow throughout the day. Although overcast and flat light made visibility a bit difficult, the crew at Hawk does a killer job maintaining all the features throughout the day.

Jib features: I think there were 6 or 7 rail/jib features. In the beginner section which I didn’t really see I think it was flat box & dance floor box. On the main slope they had a gnarly double-closeout feature, wide diameter down pipe with a donkey dick, something they refer to as a tommygun rail which as far as I can tell was just a wide diameter pipe elevated a bit, a mellow rainbow box, a down rail, and some hip to wallride pyramid thing which lights up at night.

front lip on the double closeout set
Down rail at Hawk Island Snow Park

Jump features: They had two small jumps, maybe a 10 footer and another smaller jump.  Despite their size, they are absolutely perfect low angle wedges, well-maintained and suited for progression; you could cork or flip off the first jump if you were so inclined.The park is small enough that it is impossible to get too much speed for the first jump. The landing was long and relatively steep, no possible way to overshoot it. The second jump was smaller but the terrain bottoms out before it so again it would really be hard to wreck on it. This was about the size of a jump you’d put in your back yard. The jumps were absolutely perfect for learning/progressing on, on account of their size and how well maintained they were.

Snow Tubing: There is also a snow-tubing hill adjacent the snow park, which was full of families and kids enjoying a nice February afternoon.

Pricing: Parking is $3 for residents and $5 for non-residents. A day pass to the park is $15 or you can buy a season pass for $99.

Lifts: Hawk Island uses a j-bar surface lift which, although slower than an ordinary tow rope, requires no energy to use so it doesn’t tire you out and it doesn’t shred your gloves to pieces. I think that’s a fair tradeoff.

Location: Hawk Island Snow Park is inside Hawk Island County Park, at 1601 E. Cavanaugh Rd., Lansing, MI.

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Overall Impressions: This was a super fun park and ideal for getting laps, progressing, dialing in new tricks. There’s no bad vibe, everyone riding there was pretty cool, and the crew does a great job keeping everything in good riding condition.


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