Michigan has a sick new spot: Hawk Island Snow Park in Lansing gives park riders exactly what they’re looking for!
So for our opening article we are going to touch base on Hawk Island Snow Park in East Lansing. This is written for the person who has never been there, so excuse me as I will spare little detail. My first visit was a slightly mind blowing experience. Honestly I was weirded out a little bit. First off, it was the end of April. I mean this was after Boyne closed. I didn’t think there was any way there could have been a bit of snow in this area. So you pull up to what looks like your local town park, stock Michigan green park sign, etc. A shack attendant stops you. I told her who I was and that I was expected and she let me pass ;). You drive back a little ways and you approach the backside of a hill. From the parking area all you can see is a bull wheel running their tow bar. Yes, a tow bar. At this time (it was April remember), they did not have snow all the way to their summit. Being new there I had no idea how to get over this hill and I started walking up the back board in hand. After eating shit twice two kids that were in the parking lot yelled “hey man, just walk around the front bro”. I laughed. They walked me around the front and low and behold there it was.
Again my mind was blown, not only did this place have snow but this hill (think big sledding hill) was packed full of rails and jibs, respectably considering the amount of snow. I mean it was like 80 out, seriously!?! So I meet up with my contact, Tom Z. We chat a little bit about how something like this came to be (which is a whole other story) and I went to it. At this time it had been about 2 weeks since I had shred and to be honest shit was looking burly. One of the down rails had a real short run in and was through a mudded area. Another down rail had a wooden kick to it. Again to be honest, I bitch when there are ruts in landings and iffy kicks so I was like ‘shit man’! None the less, I went to town and after a few minutes I settled in.
This place is fun as shit. I went when this park was at it’s worst and the crew there made it super fun. They had as many features out as they could muster and worked the entire time cleaning stuff up when it got washed out. They have nice rails, well built stuff. Not left over water pipes and such that you see at other places. The crew is nice too. I totally dig it. Aside from a few raging asshole locals all the riders were cool dudes. Which leads me to this: Put your pants on if you’re going there. It’s a terrain park on a hill and the kids that go there are on-point. I’d say 90% of the riders I saw there were damn good rail riders. Not the best on rails, but looking to progress? I am under the impression they’re going to have an intermediate area next year, so don’t cross Hawks out as a place to shred just because you’re not Joe Sexton.
The bottom line is this place is a terrain park in a town park. It’s like a skate park only for snowboarding. It’s bizarre, but awesome! It’s for sure a smaller area so I could see it getting nuts to butts, but I wouldn’t let that sway you from going. It’s a good time. If you’ve got skills this place could make you better. They seem to change things up a lot to from what I gather so no getting bored and it’s pretty inexpensive, so that’s cool. Make the trip for realz its worth it fo sho!