A brochure cover and logo, thanks to Eric Ford.

Bald Mountain
Dedham, ME
Late 1930's - 1976
(Not to be confused with Bald Mountain, Oquossoc, Maine)


History ~ Brochures/Maps ~ By the Year ~ Memories ~ Recent Photos

Note - we have even more information of this mountain, stay tuned!

Bald Mountain was a medium sized ski area that operated for many years as a small rope tow area, and just a few, around 6, as a major area with a double chair and T-bar. The chair still operates today at the Camden ski area in Maine. The area today is quite grown up but still has some skiable lines. The details....


NELSAP is indebted to Eric Ford, who in college did a full report on the mountain in April, 2005 for his Applications in Geographic Information Systems class at the University of Maine. He was able to research the history of the mountain, find historic photos, take current pictures of the mountain, and discover other GIS related information on the mountain. Much of his report has been used on this page.

Below is a detailed history of the mountain from Eric's report:

Bald Mountain is located in Dedham, Maine, nestled between Phillips and Green Lake. It has long been used for a variety of recreational activities throughout the years and is currently a popular destination for day hikers, who take in the views of Cadillac Mountain and Mt. Katahdin from the summit fire tower. The mountain also boasts a rich skiing tradition beginning in the late 1930’s and continuing as a secret backcountry destination today.

Eric included this photo of the area. You can see the T-bar on the far left, double chair in the center, and the rope tow slopes on the right.

Originating in the late 1930’s, Bald Mountain Ski Area was first developed by the Penobscot Valley Ski Club who were looking for a centralized location for it’s members to ski and socialize. Originally, there were three trails along the Northern portion of the mountain and a small lean-to for camping. In 1951, a rope tow was moved from King’s Mountain to Bald, and several trails were cut along the Northwestern slope. The area grew rapidly and was eventually sold in 1967 to the Bald Mountain Ski Area Development Corporation who, along with the J.W. Sewall Company, made several improvements throughout the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. A 2200 foot double chairlift was added, along with a 950 foot T-bar, and several new trails were cut. A new base lodge was constructed, while the original lodge was moved, becoming the ski shop, and a warming hut was installed at the summit using one of the old tow shacks. Night skiing and snowmaking were also added shortly thereafter. The mountain offered a ski school and organized several racing events throughout the year. At one point, Bald Mountain was even considered one of Maine’s major ski areas.

The mountain, however, would not retain this title for long. Rising a mere 1261 feet, it was notorious for its lack of seasonal snowfall. In 1965, there were only five skiable days on the mountain. Due to the high operational costs from the expansion of the late 1960’s, the non-profit Bald Mountain Ski Area Development Corporation took heavy losses, and the mountain closed in 1976.

Currently, a small portion of the mountain is still skiable and is a popular destination for many local backcountry skiers. The remainder of the mountain has grown in over the past thirty years, with Birch, Spruce, Maple and Balsam Fir dominating where the slopes once resided. The double chair has been moved to the Camden Snow Bowl, and the T-bar has been removed as well. The main base lodge has been demolished, but the concrete lift footings, warming hut, parking lot, original base lodge and rope tow still remain. Remnants of the snowmaking pipes and electrical conduit for the lights can be found throughout the mountain. There is little hope that the mountain will ever operate again. It is currently owned by Prentiss & Carlisle Management Co., a forest products management firm who has allegedly denied several requests for purchase, including an offer from the University of Maine.

(Right - a view of the area in March of 2005 taken by Eric, showing the grown in trails)


Eric created this excellent trail map of the area. Below is the legend. Some trails were initially unknown in name, however, using another trail map we were able to fill in the blanks.

1. Old Race Trail (Exp) 2. Phillips Trail (Exp) 3. Lucerne Trail (Exp) 4. Return Trail, aka Scenic View (Easy) 5. Moulton Slope (Easy) 6. Curtis Slope (Easy) 7. Needle Eye (Easy) to Liftline Trail (More Difficult) 8. Red Trail (Easy-More Difficult) 9. Coal Chute (Easy-More Difficult) 10. Bald Trail (Easy-More Difficult). 11. South Slope (Easy) 12. Hurd Trail (Easy)

A. T-bar. B. Base Lodge. C. Ski Shop D. Chairlift E. Rope Tow. F. Warming Hut. G Firetower

Not pictured - Bumper Scraper, a narrow expert trail from the top of the chairlift to to the top of the T-bar, and Sidewinder (Easy), a trail just to the right of lower South Slope that was added in 1969.

Eric created this other view of the mountain, showing the layout at an angle. Another view is below, please click on it for the larger version.

Additional notes from Jeremy:

According to several brochures, the area billed itself as Maine's Biggest Little Ski Area during the 1970's. Night skiing was found on the lift line trail, Hurd, Needle Eye, and Red Trail.

After it closed in 1976, the double chairlift was sold to the Camden Snow Bowl, and is still in operation today! The rope tow is mostly still standing, and the T-bar is gone.


David Hunter sent us these great brochures of Bald Mountain from around 1970. For all of these, please click on image to see the larger version. The first, to the right, shows one side of a 1968-1969 brochure. Note the helicopter flying in a summit lodge, and the view of the trails from the air. Click on the image for the larger version.

From the same brochure, this inside view shows the Hall double chair, various slopes, and rates.
A Fall 1969 brochure discusses more trails, expanded night skiing, and more.

The trail map was found inside the brochure. For a 465' vertical ski area, there was a quite a lot of variety! Note the narrow expert trails on the left, and easier to intermediate slopes and trails on the right.

Also, note the rope tow is not on here, but was put in between the Red Trail and Coal Chute at some point a few years later.

By the Year

Here are several listings of the area in various publications:
Year Lifts Trails Other Info Source
1967-1968 Newly installed 950' T-bar with 130' vertical, 900 skiers/hour, 340'/min. New 1958' long double chair, 456' vertical, 1000 skiers/hour, 465'min Unknown All lifts made by Hall Skilifts.org
1969 T-bar and Chairlift 12 New Sidewinder trail, expanded night skiing, two for one nights. Brochure
1971 1100' T-bar, 2200' Chairlift, 900' Rope Tow 11 trails and open slope Night skiing, ski school, lodge and snack bar Ski Maine Promotion
1973 Double Chair and T-bar 10 trails, 550' vertical drop Base elevation 700', W-NW exposure, operates daily, snowmaking, night skiing, ski shop, snack bar, rentals, warming huts. Parking for 200 cars. 11 ski instructors using the modified American technique, 3 of those instructors certified. $4.50 weekday adult, $3.00 junior. $5.50 weekend adult, $4.00 junior. $80.00 adult season pas, $60.00 junior. Special 5 day ski packages available. Ski Guide to the Northeast


Walter Melvin wrote up his memories of the area in 2000:

During the 1940's when King's Mountain held the Penobscot Valley Ski Club's rope tow, the club held its annual "Golden Skiis Race" on Bald Mountain in Dedham, Maine. The event was held on the "racing" trails on the northern side of the mountain overlooking Lake Lucern.   Occasionally some events could be held on the open ledges on the south-facing side of the mountain when snow conditions were favorable.

The small ,open, Forest Service hut at the top of the mountain would serve as a coffee and sandwich stand and the races would take place on the narrow (sometimes 15 feet wide) trails. All telephone equipment, food, emergency equipment, toboggans, etc., had to be carried over the top of the mountain to the back side for the races.  I worked on these events as a young child and raced in them as a teenager.  The memories of that time are truly wonderful.

In the 1950's the PVSC obtained access to install their ski tow at Bald Mountain and began to clear an open slope on the wooded westerly side of the mountain.  The tow was installed and a one-room warming hut was built which was heated by a two oil-drum stove.  The outhouse was prefabed in a garage in Bangor and taken to the mountain by truck.

The tow-operated weekends and was very successful for a number of years.  In 1958, 59 and 60, when I was in high school, the races were held at the rope-tow area and the turn out was quite large.  The Young family who lived at a neighboring farm were very active in the operation of the facility and, among other things, Mrs. Young provided the lunch service at the warming hut.

A Bucksport resident, George Buck, spent hundreds of days at the mountain during the 1950's clearing trails.  Horace Chapman, one of the most active of the Bangor skiing group convinced my father to join him in a trip to Western Maine where this fellow, Amos Winters, was talking up a big mountain which had incredible snowfall and a trail he and some young fellows were cutting for skiing.  Horace and Slim gathered there at Amos' Mountain with other Maine Ski Council people and active skiers from the western part of the state and soon formed the Sugarloaf Mountain Ski Club.

In the 1960's, the PVSC sold its interest in the Bald Mountain Ski Area to a corporation which erected a chair lift and attempted to upscale the operation.  Poor snow and attendance caused the corporation to fail and the lift was sold to the Camden Snow Bowl where it still exists.

I made a trip to see the overgrown trails about six years ago.  The old rope-tow motor was still in place and the stove from the warming hut was rusting in the woods.

Brad Blake: When I attended UMaine, I skied several times at Bald Mountain in Dedham and Snow Mountain in Winterport.  I can't add much, except Bald Mountain got some sort of a government loan to invest in a new snowmaking system sometime in the 1970's.  Unfortunately, it purchased a new technology that involved a revolving drum mechanism and it failed.  The mountain kept losing money, defaulted on the loan, and was auctioned off in a foreclosure.

Maurice Payson: This area was purchased in the mid 70's by Mr. Richard Watson (one of the IBM Watsons). He donated the T-bar and chairlift to the Camden Snow Bowl in Camden, ME.The lifts were increased in length and installed there, and are still operating.

Suzette Cowan: I remember Bald Mountain very well: I learned to ski there. My Dad would take me there frequently. There were 2 wider trails that went to the summit, good for beginners and intermediates as well as 7 or 8 smaller trails suitable for intermediates to experts.

I don't remember a chair lift. I remember 2 T bar lines. I don't remember snowmaking there either....in fact, I was told the reason it closed was because it did not have snowmaking and did not make any money after a couple of snowless winters. (I could be wrong about this but that is what I was told). I do remember great times skiing and feeling very disappointed when the area did close down.

"PhishPhear": I "grew up" skiing at Bald Mountain, Dedham, Maine. What a great mountain it was. Mismanagement and problems with an expensive and temperamental snow making system proved to be its demise after the winter of 1972. Its T-bar and double chair were later acquired by and are still operated at The Camden Snowbowl! Even the picnic tables in the lodge found their way to Camden!

Bald Mountain had all sorts of trails including a "Glades" trail known as the "South Slope". You could ski around islands of trees just like out west. I remember it well. Hell, I can even give you the names of the last manager, most of the ski school instructors and the like.

Big event was in 1971, the Disney star Kurt Russell came to ski there. I don't know why he was there. Apparently his grandparents live in the Rangely Lakes area. Anyway, everyone was shocked to see a movie star there in Dedham, Maine! I got him to autograph my lift ticket. He was a horribly reckless skier...he skied very fast and damn near wrapped himself around the fence at the entrance to the chairlift!

Avery Brott: Just stumbled across your website; I love it.  Here's a morsel for you: I'm nearly positive that the double chair that was at Bald Mtn. is still in use at the Camden Snow Bowl.  My wife (who's got 9 years on me) remembers riding it in Dedham, and I remember when it was installed (late '70's?) at the Snow Bowl.  A helicopter delivered the bullwheel tothe top.

Recent Photos

As part of Eric's report, he documented much of the mountain. All the shots below were taken by him, and please click on each for the larger version.

Base of the chairlift. Looking up the chairlift line. Top of the chairlift.

Rope Tow
Base of the rope tow. Engine for the rope tow. Rope tow line.
Rope tow line. Return wheel of rope tow.

T-bar attendant shack. T-bar drive housing.

Base Lodge
Looking at the parking lot from the base lodge. Original base lodge. Looking inside the original base lodge. Looking in the original base lodge.

Skiing the Trails
Eric and others hiked and skied the mountain during the winter of 2005 and took these great shots!
Wipeout on the Lucerne Trail. Lucerne Trail with a foot of powdah. "Could be the best "yard sale" in the history of skiing!

A nice 15 foot huck off the backside. Not very color coordinated, but still looking pretty on the backside.

Summer Shots from Betsy McDonough
Betsy took these pictures in the summer of 2005. This shot shows some of the trails. Please click on image for the larger version. More of the mountain.

Last updated: September 18, 2007

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