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Skiers honor Huron Meadows Metropark trail groomers

Wed, Apr  10, 2013 - By Denise Semion

How do you stretch four days into four months of skiing? At Huron Meadows Metropark, park staff armed with a snowmaking machine enabled cross-country skiers to enjoy their sport from December up until the end of March, longer than other locations in Southeast Michigan and farther north provided this past ski season.

“We’re rebuilding the enthusiasm for skiing in southeast Michigan,” said Ken Roth, who along with Mike Muha, donated $5,663, to the park, the proceeds from two races held at Huron Meadows this past January.

Mike Muha, Adam Haberkorn, and Ken Roth at the XC ski groomer appreciation party

Mike Muha and Ken Roth present a check or the proceeds from the Frosty Freestyle and Krazy Klassic cross country ski races to Adam Haberkorn (middle) for the Huron Meadows Metropark.

Park employees, led by supervisor Adam Haberkorn, used a PoleCat snowgun to make enough snow to keep Buck’s Run, a 1K looped trail, open almost every day December through March.

“We hosted a ski race on a day when other races up north were cancelled - even races in the Upper Peninsula,” said Muha, race director for the REI Frosty 5/15K Freestyle Cross-Country and Priority Health Krazy Klassic ski races held at the park last January.

With sufficient natural snow, Haberkorn and his staff groomed nearly 15 miles of trails for tracked, classic skiing and nine miles of trails for skate-style skiing, in addition to the 1K Buck’s Run trail. Huron Meadows is one of only a handful of parks in southeast Michigan that provides groomed skate-style ski trails. The park collects a $5 user fee for Buck’s Run to offset operations costs.

“If we had relied on natural snow, we would have only had five or six good days of skiing,” said Roth.

Ken Roth presents custom photos of the Huron Meadows cross country ski trails to Adam Haberkorn and Bill McConnell

Ken Roth presents custom photos of man-made snow portions of the Huron Meadows cross country ski trails to Adam Haberkorn and Bill McConnell.

This is the fourth year that proceeds from the race were donated to the park, making a total donation of $12,596, which has been used to purchase rental skis and other ski-related equipment. Stories and photos of the race can be seen at www.nordicskiracer.com or on the race web site, www.nordicskiracer.com/frosty.

“We can always count on outstanding ski conditions at Huron Meadows Metropark,” said Roth. “I”ve met skiers from Ontario, Toledo, Lansing and Clarkston who traveled here this past winter to ski.”

Hamming it up at the Huron Meadows Groomer and snow maker Appreciation Party

Hamming it up at the Huron Meadows Groomer and Snowmaker Appreciation Party

Huron Meadows Metropark is located off US 23, exit 55. For more information on Huron Meadows Metropark, go to www.metroparks.com or call 810-231-4084.

Located along the Huron and Clinton rivers, the Huron-Clinton Metroparks provide a natural oasis from urban and suburban life as well as year-round recreational activities and events. A regional park system, the Metroparks consist of 13 beautiful parks covering 25,000 acres, ten spectacular public golf courses and two marinas on Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair, respectively. The parks also offer scenic nature trails, breathtaking beaches, educational activities and exciting winter sports.

A vehicle entry permit is required to enter any Metropark and is only $25 annually for regular admission, $15 annually for seniors, or $5 daily. General information can be found at www.metroparks.com or by calling 1-800-47-PARKS.