MINNESOTA

69
lost
areas


MWLSAP Homepage

Any information or pictures on the lost ski areas of Minnesota would be greatly appreciated. Please e-mail: mark@mwlsap.org

| lost | working on | never opened | still open |


LOST AREAS

Allen's Thrill Hill

Alpenhorn* (became Crystal Hills)

Anderson's Hill+ (became Ski Haven, still open as Mt. Kato)

Arctic Park* - also called Mt. Sitzmark

Bamber Hills (also called Rochester Ski Hill)

Barkers Alps (also called North Star Tow)

Battle Creek Park

Benton Valley * see Hole in the Mountain County Park

Big Ojibway *- see Ojibway Ski Bowl

Blaine Ski Area^

Breezy Point Estates

Buffalo Valley Ski Area

Bush Lake

Cedar Hills Ski Park

Comet Skiways

Crestwood Golf and Ski

Crystal Hills (formerly Alpenhorn)

Darwin Winter Recreation Park

  • Darwin / Dassel MN (Meeker County) South Central Minnesota
  • Google Maps / Google Earth
    45.09393830016789, -94.37771733834762
  • From Midwest Lost Ski Areas Facebook Page - Old ski hill between Darwin and Dassel Minnesota. We fly our paragliders off it now.
  • from Meeker County Museum at the GAR Hall
    • Hi Mark,

      We weren't able to find any definite dates, but I did put a request for memories from a local Facebook group and was able to gather a few details from their comments. The rope tow was in operation sometime during the 1970s-80s. It was shut down due to liability concerns. One person remembered watching more than one person shoot across the highway on their toboggan. You would lay on your tube or sled and grab on to the rope (often with a good jerk of the shoulders) to be towed up the hill, hoping you don't lose your sled on the way up. One gentleman commented that he went through a pair of gloves each year.

      Sorry we couldn't be of more help, but it looks like the people enjoyed reminiscing! If we get any more details, we will be sure to pass them along if you are interested.

      Danelle Erickson

 

Eagle Mountain Ski Area

Edina Ski Tow

  • Edina, MN - Twin Cities area (Hennepin County) - "near hwy 169 and (old) county road 18"; on 169 [hwy 169 realigned in 1988]; hill faces north; 5 min from Edina Country Club; on the George Vessey Farm, 6501 Hwy. 169 West, Hopkins Rt 1 (in 1951)
  • v: 100 ft, o: 1951, last mention Jan.1953
  • Edina Ski Tow Open - Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minnesota) · Tue, Dec 25, 1951
  • Google Maps / Google Earth ???
    44.91082661542455, -93.33988875076484
    near Edina Country Club (5 min)
    Email sent to museum@edinahistoricalsociety.org on 10/30/23.
    Please email - mark@mwlsap.org - if you know a more precise location.
  • Edina City Council Minutes - Edina Docs Document Archive
    (Thank you to the Edina Historical Society)
  • Scene in Edina - Minneapolis Tribune, Jan, 6, 1952 (nice pictures)
  • Ski Resorts Ready as Snow Piles up - Minneapolis Tribune, Jan. 6, 1952, p. 27
  • Ski Reports - Minneapolis Tribune, Jan. 1, 1953

Egan's Resort / Egan's Hidden Valley Ski Tow* (see Hidden Valley)

Eko Backen

Finland Air Base

  • Finland, MN (Lake County) - northeast Minnesota - 2.8 miles north of Finland, MN
  • v: 190 ft. o: 1950
  • Google Maps / Google Earth
    47.45385365963821, -91.23748584915985
  • skimap.org (0 maps)

Fond du Lac Winter Sports Center* - see Ojibway Ski Bowl

French Rapids

Glenhaven

Gokey's Hlil + (still open as Buck Hill)

  • Burnsville, MN (Dakota County) - near Twin Cities
  • o: 1940
  • Ski Run Lift Is Being Built - The Minneapolis Star (Minneapolis, Minnesota) · Mon, Nov 22, 1937
  • Ski Trails - The Minneapolis Star (Minneapolis, Minnesota) · Sun, Jan 14, 1940 (Gokey's Hill)

Golden Gate To Fun

Hallaway Hill Ski Area (Hollaway)

Hidden Valley

Hidden Valley (another one - also called Egan's Resort and Egan's Hidden Valley Ski Tow)

Hole in the Mountain County Park - also called Benton Valley and Lake Benton Valley

Inver Hills Ski Hill (previously called NorSki)

Kenwood ( see Ski Kenwood)

Knob Hill Ski Club (Nob Hill)

Lake Benton Valley* - see Hole in the Wall county Park

Lester-Amity Park Ski and Jumping Area

  • Duluth, MN (St. Louis County) northeast Minnesota - 2940, Seven Bridges Rd, Duluth
  • v: 62 ft.
  • 1 rope tow
  • Google Maps / Google Earth
    46.855314045405954, -92.01268887825745
  • skimap.org (0 maps) - this is the only reference I can find stating that there was a rope tow, but this reference has been removed.

Little Squaw Valley

Lone Lake Ski Club

Lookout Mountain (Lookout Lodge, Minnesota's Lookout Mountain)

Marthaler Ski Area

Moon Valley Ski Area

Mt. Carmel *- See Saint John's University

Mt. Florida

  • Spicer / Willmar, MN - (936 S, First St.) (Kandiyohi County) - central Minnesota - 13 mi. N of Wilmar, 5 mi. W of Spicer
  • Dickerson's Resort, 13194 2nd Street N.E., Spicer, MN fornerly called Shady Rest Beach Resort and Lake Florida Resort - pictures
  • 1958-59, 1959-60
  • on 1958 and 1962 maps
  • Highest hill in area:
    Google Maps / Google Earth
    45.25569532780207, -95.0359808636332
    Please email - mark@mwlsap.org - if you know a more precise location.
  • Location of resort on Lake:
    Google Maps / Google Earth
    45.25211772605166, -95.04016986545808
  • The American Ski Directory, by William Pain, Permabook, 1961
  • These are the only references that I could find:
  • Bob Larson, Kandiyohi County Historical Society:

    "I can't find any articles or pictures of Mt. Florida. I did talk to a family member and it was a Downhill Ski and Toboggan Hill on the NE side of Lake Florida 1958-1960. They had rope lift and a warming house. Because of lack of snow in those years it never got going. Here are pictures of where it would have been. I hope you can use this; it is all I could Find.."

    Pictures
    1 2

Mt. Frontenac

Mt. Normandale+ - still open as Hyland Hills

Mt. Notch - same location as the Tyrol Ski Tow (1949)

Mt. Rockwood

Mt. Rushford* (see Rushford)

Mt. Silver (silver Creek?)(may be the same as Two Harbors)

Mt. Sitzmark - also called Arctic Park

New Brighton Rope Tow* (probably same as TCAAP)

Nordmarken Ski Area

Norski Hill* (later became Inver Hills)

North Oaks (also North Oakes)

North Star Tow* - see Barker's Alps

Ojibway Ski Bowl - Also called: Big Ojibway Mountain, Fond Du Lac Ojibway Bowl, Fond du Lac Winter Sports Center

Old Smokey Hill Ski Park (Smoky)

Pine Bend Ski Area

Pine Valley

Pipestone* (may be Hole in the Mountain / Benton Valley)

Potter Ridge * ???

  • Kimball, MN - central Minnesota
  • v: 250 ft.
  • Ski Area Guide, SKIING Magazine, Sept. 1969, pp. 162-164 This is the only reference I could find. Probably did not exist. May be confused with Powder Ridge, Kimball, which is stlil open.

Prior Lake Ski Area

  • Prior Lake, MN (Scott County)
  • o: 1967
  • Google Maps / Google Earth ???
    44.72864101813653, -93.4330808520157
    location of town of Prior Lake
    Please email - mark@mwlsap.org - if you know a more precise location.
    Email sent to City of Prior Lake and Scott County Historical Society 10/30/23
  • Suburban Neighbors - Ribbon Cutting Opened Prior Lake Ski Area - Minneapolis Star, Jan. 31, 1967 (Note: this is the only news article that I could find.)

Quadna

Rochester Ski Hill* - see Bamber Hills

Rock Hill* - see University of Minnesota Duluth

Royal Oak

Rushford (Mt. Rushford)

Saint John's University (Mt. Carmel)

Saint Mary's College

Sawtooth Mountains Ski Area

Shingobee Ski Area

Silver Slopes

Singing Hills

Ski Devil

Ski Haven+ - became Mount Kato in 1977 - still open

Ski Kenwood

Ski-Tonka

Skidahlen

  • Pelican Rapids, MN (Otter Tail County) - In what is now Maplewood State Park- west central Minnesota
  • v: 186 ft
  • Google Maps / Google Earth ???
    (Maplewood State Park)
    46.515740796570945, -95.95133621436293
    Please email - mark@mwlsap.org - if you know a more precise location.

    From Kathy Evavold of the Otter Tail County Historical Society:
    • In materials I looked at today, I have not been able to find the location of Ski Dahlen on any maps. It may be described in 1956 as, “a hill developed by Monson a short distance west of the hill [,] facing Lake Lida.”

      This same 1956 newspaper article says that Hallaway Ski Hill Inc. became part of a new corporation known as Hallaway-Ski Dahlen Inc.

      For a time today I had thought it was located further south, on land owned by Philip Monson, but I am still not certain. In a newspaper article from 1967, it is mentioned as part of an article regarding the proposed development of “Maple Mountain” which appears to have never materialized. That article says, “the area will include what was Ski-dahlen, with three hills to provide runs up to 2400 feet. The vertical drop on the hills is 225, 200, and 190 feet.” This project was dropped after the accidental death of the person who spearheaded the idea, and also with two other large area fundraising projects going on. This area, including Hallaway Ski Hill, became Maplewood State Park, which was first proposed in 1961.

  • The Daily Journal, Fergus Falls, Dec. 30, 1960, p. 9
  • Minnesota Outdoor Recreation Plan, 1965 - p. 251
  • Hallaway-Skidahlen Inc.

Snail Lake

Snofun

  • Inver Grove Heights ? (Dakota County), MN - 8 miles south of St. Paul at South Robert Trail and Highway 55
  • Google Maps / Google Earth ???
    44.84145333476944, -93.08527531731154
    Please email - mark@mwlsap.org - if you know a more precise location.
  • 1,000 May Jam JCC Ski Train - Minneapolis Tribune, Jan. 18, 1953, p. 42
  • Ski Reports - Minneapolis Tribune, Jan. 1, 1953

Snobakken Ski Tow

Sugar Hills

Timberlane

ToMo (Toad Mountain)

  • Detroit Lakes, MN (Becker County) - west central Minnesota (15 miles east of Detroit Lakes on US 34)
  • v: 300
  • Google Maps / Google Earth (exact location unknown)
    46.86951926133622, -95.51206625395382
    Toad Mountain, Toad Lake township
    Please email - mark@mwlsap.org - if you know a more precise location.
  • In 1978 (Skalka): 1 rope tow, 4 chairlifts ??

Two Harbors (probably the same as Voyageur Skiway; may be the same as Mt. Silver)

  • Two Harbors, MN (Lake County) - northeast Minnesota (don't know exact location), 28 mi. NE of Duluth
  • Google Maps / Google Earth ???
    ( Town of Two Harbors)
    47.03501246314212, -91.67445528911047
    Please email - mark@mwlsap.org - if you know a more precise location.
  • Midwest Ski Areas, Minneapolis Tribune, Dec. 7, 1958, p. 52
  • on 1958 and 1963 maps
  • Minnesota Outdoor Recreation Plan, 1965 - p. 251 (Voyageur Skiway)
  • The American Ski Directory, by William Pain, Permabook, 1961

Twin Cities Army Ammunitions Plant (TCAAP)

Tyrol Ski Tow - Same location as Mt. Notch (1989)

  • Avon, MN (Stearns County) - Hwy 52, 17 mi. W of St. Cloud (14 mi on Hwy 52, then left a half mile before Avon, and go 3 mi)
  • o: 1949 (may only have been open only two seasons); 2 rope tows
  • Google Maps / Google Earth ???
    45.58268651659414, -94.45001853405277
    Please email - mark@mwlsap.org - if you know a more precise location.
  • The Fanning Mill - St. Cloud Times (Saint Cloud, Minnesota) · Sat, Jan 1, 1949
  • Tows Ready For Skiers - St. Cloud Times (Saint Cloud, Minnesota) · Thu, Dec 30, 1948
  • Picture1 Picture 2 - St. Cloud Times (Saint Cloud, Minnesota) · Mon, Jan 3, 1949
  • Good News: Tyrol Opens: "It's Tops" - Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minnesota) · Sun, Jan 9, 1949
  • Upper Midwest Ski Facilities Outlined - Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minnesota) · Sun, Jan 29, 1950

University of Minnesota Duluth - also called Rock Hill

  • Duluth, MN (St. Louis County) - northeast Minnesota
  • WR Bagley Nature Center on the University of Minnesota Campus
  • v: 124 ft.
  • Google Maps / Google Earth
    46.822208358145694, -92.0893055790312
  • Picture - University of Minnesota Duluth Facebook Page
  • Picture - UMD Libraries Media
  • skimap.org (0 maps)

Val Chatel

Val Croix+ - became Wild Mountain, still open

Val Hulla ??

  • Mankato, MN (Blue Earth) - south central Minnesota
  • on 1963 map
  • Skiers Take to Chartered Busses - Minneapolis Star, Dec, 20, 1963
  • The only reference found is the Dec. 20, 1963 Minneapolis Star article and map. It is doubtful that it actually existed.

Viking Valley

Villa Park (Villa-Arctic Park?)

Voyageur Skiway* (probably the same as Two Harbors and Comet Skiways)

 

MWLSAP Homepage

 

WORKING ON:

Keller Golf Course Rope Tow

  • Maplewood, MN, Ramsay County - Twin Cities area
  • late 1960s to early 1970s
  • Google Maps / Google Earth
    45.006134855651524, -93.05691460533164
  • Skiers and Snowboarders of the Midwest Facebook Group - see comment by Robert Palmquist
    • "The Keller Golf Course in Maplewood, MN (suburb of St. Paul), which is still operating as a golf course, used to have a small ski area next to its clubhouse. It was just a single tow rope, with lights for skiing in the evenings. I used to go there a lot as a kid, but I can't find a single picture of it or barely any mention of it on the Internet. It was definitely open in the late 1960s, I do not know when they shut it down, I'm guessing in the early 70s. Here's a link to the golf course: https://www.ramseycounty.us/residents/parks-recreation/golf/golf-courses/keller-golf-course"
  • emails sent to info@maplewoodmuseum.org and info@maplewoodhistoricalsociety.org on 4/29/24

Lost Valley

  • Lutsen MN - northeast Minnesota
  • Upper Midwest Ski Facilities Outlined - Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minnesota) · Sun, Jan 29, 1950
    • Maybe an early name for Lutsen 280-26 mi = 20 mi south of Sawtooth

Moundsview Ski Club

 

location of Crestwood Golf and Ski

location of Edina Ski Tow

location of Mt. Florida

location of Mt. Notch and Tyrol Ski Tow

location of Mt. Silver Silver Creek?

location of New Brighton Rope Tow* (probably same as TCAAP)

location of Prior lake Ski Area

  • email sent to info@scottcountyhistory.org

location of Royal Oak

location of Rushford

location of Saint Mary's College

location of Silver Slopes

location of Skidahlen

location of Snofun

location of Snobakken Ski Tow

location of ToMo

location of Two Harbors

 Lester-Amity Park Ski and Jumping Area

Potter Ridge - probably Powder Ridge

Deer River ski hill - WORKING ON

  • Deer River, MN (Itasca county) - north central Minnesota
  • Deer River Finds Answer to Sports Program Finances - The Winona Daily News (Winona, Minnesota) · Thu, Aug 7, 1952
  • no mention of tow
  • Deer River Sliding Hill ???
    Google Maps
    47.36472982780351, -93.7616420404384
  • Itasca County Historical Society
    ichs@paulbunyan.net

Winter Wonderland - WORKING ON

Lanesboro, MN and Pigeon Falls, WI both ski jumps - WORKING ON

  • Voice of the Outdoors - The Winona Daily News (Winona, Minnesota) · Sat, Feb 4, 1950
  • Benson Hill ski jump 2 mi N of Lanesboro

Winter Haven - WORKING ON

MWLSAP Homepage

PLANNED, BUT NEVER DEVELOPED

Maple Mountain

  • Pelican Rapids, MN
  • Oasis Survey Completion Assured by Funds - The Daily Journal (Fergus Falls, Minnesota) · Thu, Apr 11, 1968
  • Enjoying the Outdoors - The Daily Journal (Fergus Falls, Minnesota) · Fri, Sep 20, 1968
  • "Maple Mountain" Idea Near Pelican Dropped - The Daily Journal (Fergus Falls, Minnesota) · Tue, Dec 17, 1968
  • From Kathy Evavold of the Otter Tail County Historical Society when asked about the location of Ski Dahlen:
    • In materials I looked at today, I have not been able to find the location of Ski Dahlen on any maps. It may be described in 1956 as, “a hill developed by Monson a short distance west of the hill [,] facing Lake Lida.”

      This same 1956 newspaper article says that Hallaway Ski Hill Inc. became part of a new corporation known as Hallaway-Ski Dahlen Inc.

      For a time today I had thought it was located further south, on land owned by Philip Monson, but I am still not certain. In a newspaper article from 1967, it is mentioned as part of an article regarding the proposed development of “Maple Mountain” which appears to have never materialized. That article says, “the area will include what was Ski-dahlen, with three hills to provide runs up to 2400 feet. The vertical drop on the hills is 225, 200, and 190 feet.” This project was dropped after the accidental death of the person who spearheaded the idea, and also with two other large area fundraising projects going on. This area, including Hallaway Ski Hill, became Maplewood State Park, which was first proposed in 1961.

     

 

STILL OPEN (MN)

Afton Alps

Andes Tower Hills

  • still OPEN
  • Kensington, MN (Douglas County) - west central Minnesota
  • website
  • skimap.org

Buck Hill (formerly Gokey's Hill)

  • still OPEN
  • Burnsville, MN (Dakota County) - near Twin cities
  • Ski Run Lift Is Being Built - The Minneapolis Star (Minneapolis, Minnesota) · Mon, Nov 22, 1937 (Gokey's Hill)
  • Ski Trails - The Minneapolis Star (Minneapolis, Minnesota) · Sun, Jan 14, 1940 (Gokey's Hill)
  • website
  • skimap.org

Buena Vista

  • still OPEN
  • Bemidji, MN (Beltrami County) - north central Minnesota
  • website
  • skimap.org

Chester Bowl Park

Coffee Mill

Como Park

Detroit Mountain

  • REOPENED [opened in 1958, closed in 2004, reopened 2014]
  • Detroit, Lakes, MN (Becker County) - northwest Minnesota
  • website
  • skimap.org

Elm Creek Winter Recreation Area

Giants Ridge

Hyland Hills Ski Area (formerly called Hyland Ski and Snowboard Area and Mt. Normandale)

Loppet Foundation Alpine Learning Hill - see Theodore Wirth Park

Lutsen

  • still OPEN
  • Lutsen, MN (Cook County) - northeast Minnesota
  • o: 1948
  • website
  • skimap.org

Mount Itasca

Mount Kato (formerly called Anderson's Hill and Ski Haven)

Mount Ski Gull

Pine Valley Ski Area and Jump Center

Powder Ridge Ski Area

Spirit Mountain

  • still OPEN
  • Duluth, MN (St. Louis County) - northeast Minnesota
  • o: 1974
  • website
  • skimap.org

Steeplechase Ski & Snowboard

Theodore Wirth Park ( also called Wirth Park, Mt. Wirth) now open as Loppet Foundation Alpine Learning Hill

Welch Village Ski Area

Wild Mountain Ski Area (formerly Val Croix)

MWLSAP Homepage


1955

Minneapolis Tribune, Dec. 4, 1955, p. 52

1958

Minneapolis Tribune, Dec. 7, 1958, p. 52

 

1959

Minneapolis Tribune,Sun, Dec 6, 1959

 

1960s

Trollhaugen Troll Facebook Page

 

1961

Minneapolis Tribune, Dec. 17, 1961

 

1962

Minneapolis Tribune, Dec. 23, 1962, p. 53


1963

Minneapolis Star, Dec. 20, 1964, p. 62

Error: Timberlane located on map south of Bemidji was actually in Red Lake Falls, 90 miles northwest of Bemidji

1964

Minneapolis Tribune, Dec. 13, 1964, p. 62


1966

Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minnesota) · Sun, Nov 13, 1966 (information on each ski area)


1969

Minneapolis Star (?) Mon. Nov. 16, 1969

 

1971

Minneapolis Star, Mon. Nov. 15, 1971, p. 2B (information on each ski area)


1972

Minneapolis Star, Nov. 10, 1972, p. 28 (information on each ski area)


1974

Minneapolis Star, Nov. 7, 1974 (information on each ski area)


1977

Winona Daily News, Sunday Dec. 11, 1977 p. 25 (information on each ski area)


1977

Minneapolis Tribune, Nov. 20, 1977

 

1978

Minneapolis Tribune, Nov. 19, 1978

 


1978

St. Cloud Times, Dec 8, 1978


1980

Minneapolis Tribune, Nov. 9, 1980

Skiing in the Great Lake States: the industry and the skier [by] William A. Leuschner. 1970
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/10567

 

FROM: Ski Magazine, Dec., 1977

 

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* renamed; closed
+ renamed; open
^ never opened



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