Forbush Corners, which was opened by Dave Forbush in the mid-1980s on an old family homestead, quickly became the unofficial epicenter of cross-country skiing in northern Michigan.
Dave was passionate about the sport. He purchased some of the best grooming equipment available, which at times he brought to Traverse City to help with Vasa trail grooming for the race. That was back in the early days when the Vasa race was being held without a permanent dedicated track.
Forbush Corners was a skier’s paradise, from the ski shop to the warming area and waxing room, and, of course, the well laid out trail system with both deep tracks and skating lanes on all trails. Dave’s off season was getting ready for the next winter season.
It was devastating to the cross-country community when Dave passed away from cancer in 2014 after a short quick battle.
The good news was that he had thought ahead and laid the groundwork to keep his beloved Forbush Corners going for future generations. He passed the touring center onto five friends he knew had the same passion going into the future; Ann Wagar, Howard Hansen, Todd Hubbard, Larry Damic and Mario Kennedy. All had worked closely with Dave in establishing Forbush Corners and were committed to keeping it going.
I just made my first visit since Dave’s passing to the Corners this past weekend, and was pleased to see it’s still the viable cross country center it always was. They’ve even made improvements like adding snowmaking on about 2 kilometers of trail, which allowed them to open for groomed cross country skiing mid-November well ahead of the rest of northern Michigan’s touring centers. This is their first season with snowmaking, which they were able to add through a generous donation from a long-time patron. They are the only touring center around the Great Lakes with this amount of snowmaking.
They just received notice from the IRS that their application to become a nonprofit was approved, according to Wagar, which will allow them to apply for grant applications to make further improvements down the road.
“We’ve added a new trail called the Freeway Loop and reopened the Pines Loop. We also reworked a couple of trails to provide more intermediate loops, and continuing Dave’s passion for beautifully groomed trails we added another Piston Bully 100 to our fleet of groomers,” she enthused as we talked about touring center improvements.
Forbush Corners still has the same vibe it had when Dave was alive and overseeing the touring center. It’s good to see that passion is still there. It’s in good hands and the future looks very promising.