Hebron Academy
Hebron, ME
1960's-around 1985

Hebron Academy operated a 1055 foot ski tow from the 1960's until around 1985. The area was primarily used for students and their racing program. Before closing around 1985, the area bought a used T-bar, but never installed it.

Here are a few NELSAP readers accounts of the area which best describe it. 

Galen Crane: I had a chance to spend some time on the NELSAP page and was surprised to see Hebron's ski slope listed.  I noticed a plea for information, since not much was available.  You say that it operated with a rope tow in the 1960s, but I can vouch with 100% accuracy that it was going strong -- okay, it was going -- up through the 1984-1985 ski season.  I raced for Hebron from 1983 to 1987, and I absolutely remember, during my first two winters, riding the bus from campus around the four-mile loop and piling out at the bottom of the tow.  The rope was a nightmare -- heavy as hell as it went over a rise part way up, and it was a real rough yellow nylon. Tore through everything in sight, like gloves, pantlegs, the snow if no one was on it.  It was scary.  At one point I was riding it wearing a baggy sweatshirt an it slowly twisted the shirt up around itself as we went up -- when I tried to get off I couldn't, and was pulled through the safety gate, shutting the lift down. (Thank god, because I wouldn't have fit too easily through the hole in the side of the motor shack.)  The hill had two main slopes, one with a huge mound in the middle of it which we insisted on hitting despite the fact that we were supposed to be training gates.  It also had a little snowcat driven by a little troll-like fellow named Thorpe. (Anything Hebron owned that had an engine and a steering wheel, Thorpy drove it.)

Anyhow, the snow was often sketchy, so often we went to nearby Lost Valley, Pleasant Mountain (now Shawnee Peak) and Sunday River to train, depending on how much time we had.   I have a feeling the insurance policy was costly, because 84-85 was the last year for the hill.  There is (or was -- I'll bet stuff has grown in pretty good) a great vista of the trails, on Little Singepole Mountain just off Route 119, from the Dwyer [Hebron Academy] athletic fields.  Believe it or not -- I'm pretty sure I didn't dream this -- in 84 or 85 the academy bought a used T-bar with the hope of installing it at the mountain.  I can picture the towers piled up behind the maintenance garage.  Sadly, it never went in.

Ted Krauss remembers this area: "As far as Hebron Academy's ski area both my brother and I skied there in high school. I graduated high school in 1983, hard to believe it's been that long, and competed in many races there. The mountain had a rope tow and was not open to the general public then. As far as today, I am not sure if they are holding meets there."

Here's a topo map of the area, showing the lift and a few trails. 

An overhead view of the area today. Apparently the top lift shack still remains, and some trails are still visible, but are very grown in.

Dwight Wilder has some more information on this area and of an earlier Hebron Academy area:

I was briefly on the Hebron faculty (1969-1970), before the Vietnam-era draft intervened. In the fall of 1970. prior to entering the Navy, I assisted Addison Augusta, the Academy's Director of Athletics and ski coach, in expanding the slope further uphill, beyond the upper terminus of the rope tow. In reviewing the list of areas, I did not notice whether the earlier ski slope of the Academy was mentioned. It was, I believe, opened up in the 1930's, on the slopes of Streaked Mountain, between South Paris and Buckfield, but did not, as far as I know, have any tow equipment. The facility was short-lived; the Academy in the inter-war era was primarily a "post-graduate" school, which meant that, when WWII came along, its source of students dried up, with the result that the school closed for three years during the war. I do not believe the Streaked slope was revived when the school re-opened. Geologically speaking, Streaked and Little Singepole (where the later slope was) are part of the same range of hills, which forms a horseshoe, with the west end open.

Dave Hathaway, Hebron Academy ' 84, has some great info and pictures to share:


I came to your site excited to add a new piece about the Hebron Academy ski lift, which, surely, no one outside the Hebron Academy community has really ever heard of (except those competitors from other schools who went away from the hill with a severely ripped up pair of gloves and some bad feelings).  I see that Galen Crane beat me to it, with a very accurate description.  (And yes ..... Thorpy could drive anything with an ignition switch and a motor.)

Standing at the base, looking up the lift line:

The top house (back):

I recall racing there, although warm winters in ' 82 - ' 83 and again in ' 83 - ' 84 sent most of the action to other mountains as Galen pointed out.  
There was a new lift (could it have been a chair lift??) purchased around 1984 but never installed.

The top house (front):

From the top house, looking back down the liftline:

I still live in the area and this winter (2003) I snowshoed the old skill hill to see what is left there.  It hasn't been maintained since the mid 80s.  The saplings are starting to grow into the trails edges, but the trails would still be skiable if you didn't mind the hike. The tophouse is in rough shape (having become a winter haven for deer) but it's still standing and the diesel generator that ran the rope tow is still inside.  It's interesting to note that the cement slab that forms to the tophouse floor is inscribed "Aug. 1978" suggesting that around the late '70s early '80s the school was actually putting some money into the operation.

You can check out the Hebron Academy homepage at: http://www.hebronacademy.pvt.k12.me.us/

That's all I have on this one, anybody have anything else to add?

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