*This article has been updated for 2018.


by Julie S


There is a lot of snow on the ground this year, which is perfect for skiers. Grab those skis and your family, because we’ve compiled a list of some wonderful skiing opportunities in the Kalamazoo area. Don’t forget that sunblock!


Timber Ridge

Famous in the Midwest, Timber Ridge is located in Gobles. Whether you are a first-timer looking for lessons or an avid skier, you are sure to find the perfect trail for the entire family. If you’ve never skied before, Timber Ridge has a great FAQ section and a 1st Timers Guide that will answer any questions about skiing. Make sure to check their website or Facebook page for fun competitions and many other activities.

LESSONS: Timber Ridge offers many options for lessons for different ski levels, ranging from beginner to advanced.

COST: Check the Timber Ridge guide for the current information, including schedules and rates, as they vary depending upon age and rental use.

CONTACT: Ski Resort | 269-694-9449 | 24 Hour Snow | 269-694-9158

LOCATION: Timber Ridge Ski Resort 07500 23 ½ Street, Gobles, MI 49055

Bittersweet Ski Resort

Bittersweet Ski Resort can be found in Otsego and even has their own ski school. Bittersweet has a great variety of hills that make it easy to find just the right slope to match with your skill level. You can even check out the weather conditions on each hill before you go.

LESSONS: Bittersweet has an impressive range of lessons and clubs that vary by age and level, so check out their detailed information

COST: To get the most accurate information, make sure you check out the rates based on hours and rental choices. Kids 6 and under are half off!

CONTACT: Snowline | 269-694-2032, ext. 23 | Business office | 269-694-2820

LOCATION: Bittersweet Ski Resort 600 River Road, Otsego, MI 49078


Swiss Valley Ski & Snowboard Area

Located a little over a half hour south is Swiss Valley in Jones. First time trying out skiing? Be sure to visit the First Timers page for helpful tips. They have events running all the time, and their Facebook offers the latest information.

LESSONS: Swiss Valley offers many different types of lessons at their Ski School depending on skill level. Also of note is the Valley Kid Program. This half or full-day option program includes includes a lift ticket, ski or snowboard rental, helmet rental, hot chocolate and snack breaks as needed, and on-hill instruction for kids ages 4 – 12. Reservations are recommended and can be made online.

COST: Check out their rates page for the most accurate information, depending on age, hours, and rental choices. Swiss Valley also offers Homeschool days, with discounts for homeschoolers and their families.

CONTACT: Snow Phone | 269-244-8016 | Office | 269-244-5635

LOCATION: Swiss Valley Ski Area, 13421 Mann Street, Jones, MI 49061


RELATED: Sledding & Tubing Around Kalamazoo


Cross-Country Skiing

Downhill skiing not your thing? Lace up the cross-country skis instead! The Kalamazoo area has some great options if you are looking to enjoy some of the Michigan winter wonderland we are so lucky to call home. Check out the Kalamazoo Nordic Skiers  for more information about this slower paced winter sport and trail conditions. For another resource, visit the Michigan Trails website, specifically the listing for Kalamazoo County.

Here are a few more ideas on where to go cross-country skiing. Be sure to verify specific locations and hours before heading out:

Kalamazoo Nature Center Trails

Fort Custer Recreation Area

Milham Park Golf Course

Kal-Haven Trail

Saugatuck State Park

Allegan State Game Area


Ski Rental

If you are in need of cross country or downhill skis and/or want to ‘try before you buy’, local adventure sports store Lee’s Adventure Sports is a great place to pick up some quality equipment no matter your budget or experience level. For availability and reservation information, contact Lee’s at 269-381-7700.

Portage Winter Jamboree and Cross Country Ski Class

Lee’s is offering a Cross Country Skiing class at the Portage Winter Jamboree on Saturday, January 27th from 9:00-11:00 am, for ages 8 and up. You must register in person at Lee’s and can bring your own equipment, or arrange for a rental. Cost is $15 for ages 8-14, or $20 for ages 15 and up.


Bundle up and have a great time skiing with your family!




By | 2018-01-12T14:58:19+00:00 January 16th, 2018|Categories: Around Kalamazoo, Kids, Learn, Newly Published, Parent resources|Comments Off on Winter Skiing with Kids in SW Michigan

About the Author:

Julie is stay-at-home mom who homeschools two beautiful rainbow girls, and a self-professed geek. She enjoys playing video and board games, writing, reading, tennis, traveling, and just about everything else. She never wants to stop learning and loves sharing what she's learned with KZOOkids readers.