The long-lost Colby College ski area is making a comeback this winter. New England Ski Industry was the first to report that Waterville, Maine City Council had approved for the rope tow to operate this winter. After a fundraising campaign, Quarry Road Trails has raised $42,300. The cost will be nearly $58,000. Quarry Road confirmed on Tuesday that the lift will open in January, and construction has begun. Some fundraising is still needed to finance the project. Quarry Road Trails announcement of the rope tows opening is below.
Quarry Road Trails is a nordic center situated around the site of the former downhill ski area. The rope tow is manufactured by TowPro and will service seventy vertical feet of terrain. The first year of lift-serviced skiing will include a small terrain park, ski lessons, and snowmaking. Tickets will 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 first saw skiing 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 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. You can donate to the project here.
Image Credits: Quarry Road Trails