It’s not every day that you see a ski area come back from the dead, especially one that last operated in the 1970s. Since then, a large nordic center called Quarry Road Trails opened around the base of the ski area, while skinners have shredded the former downhill ski slopes. But this past weekend, Quarry Road Trails reopened a small part of the hill thanks to a recently purchased rope tow from TowPro, and services seventy vertical feet of terrain. The lift was open on Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 3 pm, and will be open today, Thursday, and Friday afternoon from 12 to 3 pm.
The first year of lift-serviced skiing will include a small terrain park, ski lessons, and snowmaking. Tickets cost $10, and season passes will be a modest $50. This comes after a downhill alpine day last February which was serviced by a snowmobile.
The ski area opened in 1938, with a twelve hundred foot rope tow beginning Quarry Roads skiing journey. At its peak, the two hundred and fifty-foot hill had a T-bar, night skiing, and a base lodge. The mountain was originally known as Dunham’s Mountain Farm, but it eventually was bought by Colby College and was renamed Colby Ski Area. According to Quarry Road and NELSAP, the ski area closed in the late 1970s due to various factors, such as the energy crisis, rising insurance costs from inflation, and minimal snowmaking coverage. The area has recently been revitalized thanks to the building of an intricate six and a half miles of a nordic skiing network around the former ski area by Quarry Road Trails. Summer activities currently include walking, biking, and running trails, paddling in the nearby Messalonskee Stream, and disc golf. In the future, other investments could be made on the ski hill, including a base lodge, lights for night skiing, a T-bar that goes to the original summit, numerous trails ranging in difficulties, snowmaking, and grooming. Congrats to Waterville, Maine for getting your ski area back!Image Credits: Quarry Road Trails