Lost Ski Area: Snow Valley in Winhall - Happy Vermont

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Lost Ski Area: Snow Valley in Winhall

Snow Valley Vermont
The small but wonderful Snow Valley ski area in Winhall, Vermont operated between 1938 and 1982. The mountain had 15 trails with memorable names like Steeple Chase, Bulldozer, Boomerang, and Misery (a tough trail!).
Growing up in nearby Manchester, I was fortunate enough to spend my childhood skiing at four Vermont mountains – Stratton, Bromley, Magic Mountain, and Snow Valley. When Snow Valley closed, locals and out-of-state visitors mourned the loss of this no-frills, friendly little mountain.
Nearly 30 years later, plans to revitalize Snow Valley as a private ski area are in the works, thanks to a relatively new owner who is trying to bring the mountain back to life. You can read more about the rebirth of Snow Valley on the New England Lost Ski Areas Project’s website, which has an extensive history of lost and revitalized ski areas. Visit www.nelsap.org.
A ski map of Snow Valley from the 1940s.
(Courtesy of Eric Maloney and the New England Lost Ski Areas Project).
Bennington County, Lost Ski Area, Manchester, skiing, Snow Valley, Travel Tips, Winhall
  • David Barron
    Posted at 23:47h, 21 January Reply

    There’s a cool feeling of loneliness in the photo–wonder if it will ever be back in action.

  • Chris Petrak
    Posted at 12:20h, 22 January Reply

    It is fascinating to discover how many ski areas there use to be in VT in the “early” days of the industry. I’ve talked with several old timers about their mom & pop operations – rope tow on a hillside, free skiing in exchange for working the tow – or the weekend “lodges” in an old farmhouse. It’s too bad that there is no place for any hold overs like that

  • Kritter Keeper
    Posted at 04:56h, 24 January Reply

    interesting! we weren’t a ski family but i love reading your post!

  • roberta white
    Posted at 15:16h, 24 January Reply

    Absolutely loved our time at Snow Valley!!! We used to ski at Bromley for most of the Feb. vacation break with our cousins from MA and then the last day, we would head over to Snow Valley. So laid back, the lodge was creaky and warm and the owners always remembered us and the best part, after the lifts closed, they would let us take the plastic cafeteria trays for sledding down the mountain. So excited to hear someone is trying to revitalize it.

  • Erica Houskeeper
    Posted at 21:55h, 24 January Reply

    Dave — thanks! It will be interesting to see what happens.

    Hi Chris — It’s amazing to see how many ski areas there used to be in Vermont, and it’s sad that so many are gone. I remember skiing at Timber Ridge in Windham once in the 1970s before it closed.

    Thanks Kritter! The old ski areas are definitely an interesting part of Vermont’s history.

    Hi Bird! Thanks for stopping by. Snow Valley was such a great spot, and the lodge was so cozy. Sounds like you have many fond memories of the mountain.

  • Cedar ...
    Posted at 13:54h, 25 January Reply

    I do so hope that Snow Valley is re-born. Keep us posted!

  • Erica Houskeeper
    Posted at 11:26h, 26 January Reply

    I will Cedar! Thanks.

  • matthew houskeeper
    Posted at 18:40h, 31 January Reply

    The NELSAP site is amazing.
    There was also a ski area called Timber Ridge. We went there once or twice. In the 1980’s Magic Mt bought it, but then it eventually closed.
    Nice post!

  • steve
    Posted at 14:41h, 08 June Reply

    Snow valley was the FIRST mountain to have snowboarding. Although Statton likes to take that claim. In 1982 they held the “nationals”, a first competition. Too bad the big Mountain atkes credit. Go Snow Valley

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 22:54h, 26 October Reply

    Thanks for the link! The NELSAP looks like a really cool organization! I work for the Ski Patrol on Mt. Bachelor in Oregon. Our whole ski patrol just got outfitted with new avalanche beacons! There all Pieps Dsp, which I’ve never used but heard good things about!

  • yantra2008
    Posted at 21:40h, 10 October Reply

    Paul Kollsman, in 1940, purchased 800 acres (3.2 km) of land outside of Manchester Vermont from International Paper Company, and founded Snow Valley, which formally opened in January 1942, and was one of the earliest ski areas in the United States.
    By January11, 1942 it was ready for thousands of visitors with a new “sport center” and the first modern automatic ski-lift technology designed by brilliant inventor-engineer, Paul Kollsman. Sponsored by Paul Kollsman and the Manchester Commerce Chapter, Snow Valley included Hotels, Inns and even tourist homes. Snow Valley operated continuously until 1984. ….(Julia Brown bought the hotel and changed the name to the Worthy Inn the Browns sold the inn to Waltdorf Inc in April of In Waltdorf Inc sold the property to Snow Valley Inc who sold it on the same day to Paul Kollsman Ten years later , Kollsman sold the Inn To Fred and Mary Colclough They , in turn , sold it to Austin and Elizabeth Fox in October of the …)

  • Dan Murphy
    Posted at 16:53h, 10 June Reply

    Was forman on restoring Snowvalley in 1951 Stayed at the Worthy Inn In Manchester Depot
    Great People Helped

    • Erica
      Posted at 20:12h, 11 June Reply

      Very nice, Dan! Must have great memories!

  • Cody R
    Posted at 20:02h, 05 January Reply

    Do you happen to have any photos of Snow Valley while it was running? Or know anybody who does?

    • Erica
      Posted at 21:19h, 06 January Reply

      Hi Cody — I’m sorry, I don’t! Did you try the New England Lost Ski Areas Project? They might have some available. http://www.nelsap.org/.

  • Cody R
    Posted at 09:51h, 09 January Reply

    I have Jeremy doesn’t really have anything I’ve looked into it further but not much available. I’ve contacted New England ski museum and have gotten some brochures/copies of patches. I’ve found other little things here and there but Snow Valley is a tough one to search for.

    • Erica
      Posted at 12:37h, 10 January Reply

      Cody — Also try the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum in Stowe. They might be a good resource. Thanks! https://www.vtssm.com/

  • Larry Niles
    Posted at 22:00h, 30 April Reply

    My father Nat Niles ran the ski school at Snow Valley in the late 1940s and I have some photos

    • Erica
      Posted at 22:05h, 30 April Reply

      Hi Larry – They must be great! I love old ski area photos. If you put your photos online anywhere please send me a link! -Erica

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