Hoping for snow? Where to ski, sled and enjoy the season in Livingston

This past week’s blast of cold temperatures and snow served notice, it’s time to pull out the skis and sleds and get ready for winter fun.

Snow-making machines will build a base at Mt. Brighton Ski Resort as soon as the temperatures cooperate. And when the natural snow falls, winter sporting activities such as sledding, cross-country skiing and ice skating will come back online for the snowy season. Local metro and state parks have those activities covered.

“Early in the season, we’ll have intermediate and beginning terrain, with some terrain park features open,” Mt. Brighton general manager Mike Giorgio said.

In addition to the longtime downhill skiing and snowboarding venue, the area offers a variety of places to sled and cross country ski as well.

Tape attached to the tips of rental skis at Mt.  Brighton, shown Monday, Nov.  14, 2022, indicate that they've been tuned, which includes waxing, base grinding, fine-tuning the adjustment for boot size and the binding release.

Here is where to find outdoor recreation in the snow in Livingston County.

Vail’s local winter sports venue

Mt. Brighton has been around since 1960. Vail Resorts purchased it in 2012 and has spent millions on upgrades to the slopes, terrain park, main lodge, restaurant and snow making equipment.

The ski and snowboarding resort in Genoa Township usually opens a limited number of lifts, runs and terrain park features during the first part of December, as soon as the snow-making machines can maintain a base. More lifts and runs open as the season progresses.

Rental lead Mike Millhouse checks the binding Monday, Nov.  14, 2022 on one of 940 sets of rental skis currently on hand at Mt.  Brighton as part of the tuning process all rental skis put through.  With additional skis ordered, the shop will have 1200 pairs to rent.

Resort officials say new events and entertainment offerings are coming to the mountain, which has lifted all COVID-19 restrictions and will run at full operation.

Skiers and snowboards will eventually be able to access 24 conventional trails, including “bunny” and beginner trails, from five chairlifts and seven surface lifts, and terrain park features. It also features intermediate and expert trails. The ski hill tops out at about 1,330 feet.

“We want people of all skill levels right from the get-go. We’re going to focus snow-making on that and then expand out from there as fast as possible,” Giorgio said.

He said private ski lessons will be available as soon as Mt. Brighton opens, and group lessons will likely begin in mid-December.

Lift maintenance crew members Caleb Kirasic, left, and Zach Kestner adjust the positioning of the belt on a Sun Kid conveyor at Mt.  Brighton ski resort Monday, Nov.  14, 2022.

Vail’s latest investment in Mt. Brighton includes a new ski race shack, which allows racers to line up and take off during competitions, and additional snow-makers to cover more terrain.

He said new LED lighting on the slopes should provide better illumination after dark and also cut power usage by as much as half.

Entertainment on the Mt.

He said resort officials want to make Mt. Brighton is a gathering place even for those who don’t ski.

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