Most ski areas don’t have ocean views, but there are a few that have existed in Maine. In terms of active ski areas, there’s the Camden Snow Bowl. There are a few abandoned ski areas in Maine that are near the Atlantic Ocean, including one near the tourist hubs of York and Ogunquit.
Mt. Agamenticus was a ski area that operated from the 1964-65 season to the winter of 1974-75. With a peak elevation of 691 feet, it was just a few miles away from the Atlantic Ocean, meaning that it didn’t get as much snow compared to more Northern New England ski resorts. In 1975, the owner of the Big A wanted to expand the ski area, add more snowmaking, and build up to 3,500 homes. Locals were vehemently opposed to these plans, leading to the ski resort being closed for good. The land was eventually moved into conservation status, and it has become a hiking and biking destination.
After watching a Chronicle video on the growing hiking destination, I decided that I wanted to check it out. Last summer, I visited Mt. Agamenticus, which was probably too warm of a day to hike. Luckily, even the shorter hikes here immerse you in what was once a very unique upside-down ski area.
The summit lodge, which was a part of the ski area, still exists. It’s now used as a learning center for the conservation area. The building is now home to educational displays, hands-on activities, and a gift shop. It’s typically open on weekends from 12-4 p.m. during the summer season.
From the deck that’s attached to the lodge, you get the best ocean views. From the deck, you can see the oceanside towns of Ogunquit and York.
From there, I walked the Big A. This is a one-mile hiking trail that’s an easy stroll. The walk goes past the remnants of two of the three lifts. In spite of being closed for nearly 50 years, the lift towers are still standing.
One of the coolest remnants is the bullwheel from the t-bar, which is still standing.
As the walk on the trail continues, you get to see the lift towers that still remain from the t-bar. One of the neater parts of the journey is that you see flora and fauna that aren’t typically seen at a ski resort. The lower elevation, along with it being close to the ocean, leads to you seeing some interesting plants.
The top terminal of the double chairlift has been repurposed as a pretty cool-looking observation deck. You can climb up the stairs, which gives you views of the surrounding mountains.
The views from the observation deck are pretty great. On the clearest days, you can faintly view the Whtie Mountains and Mt. Washington.
Since I visited in 2022, they’ve worked on improving their infrastructure. This year, new parking lots have been added to the base and summit areas. An admission fee has also been introduced, which is $2 an hour for people who aren’t residents of York.
With the mountain still using porter potties, the Mount Agamenticus Conservation Region is currently constructing a bathroom facility. They’re hoping to open it later this year.
If you’re making a trip to the Maine Coastline, this place is worth checking out.