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Highlands Heaven

Highlands Heaven

Travel Midwest
By Jim Neff
posted: 12/15/2001

Since Boyne Highlands openedfour decades ago, the Michigan resort has attracted skiers from far and wide with lake-effect snow and extensive lodging. The resort sleeps 1,500 in a variety of accommodations, from secluded cottages to slopeside townhomes to the classy Bavarian-themed main lodge. All are packed with first-class amenities. As for the mountain, it gets 150 inches of snow per year—every inch of which is manicured by the same crew that meticulously mows the greens on the resort's four championship golf courses each summer.

The Highlands sometimes gets short shrift regarding its terrain, but in fact it offers a generous mix. The heart of the mountain is, indeed, full of blues, but the narrow stair steps of Rob Roy and the precipitous plunges of both Olympic and K2 make for a trio of binding busters. Next door, South Challenger has been the battleground for many pro races. And North Challenger—from which you can see the Mackinaw Bridge connecting the state's upper and lower peninsulas 40 miles away—can quash any hotshot's ego.

A unique element completes the Highlands experience: The Austrian-American Snowsports School. "The school brings different techniques and learning styles together, says director Toni Sendlhofer. It offers everything from private lessons to race classes, but the children's programs are the most innovative. Mountain Explorers (ages 3—12) tour the mountain, visiting stations to learn about the Highlands ecology. It's just such services that have made Boyne Highlands a 40-year favorite.

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