Midwest Lost Ski Areas Project

Lost Ski Areas Near St. Cloud, Minnesota


Lost Ski Areas:

Buffalo Valley - Buffalo, MN
Crestwood Golf and Ski - Alexandria, MN
Crystal Hills (Alpenhorn) - Paynesville, MN
Darwin Winter Recreation Park - Darwin / Dassel ,MN
Eagle Mountain - Grey Eagle, MN
French Rapids - Brainerd, MN
Glenhaven - Glenwood, MN
Mt. Florida - Spicer / Willmar, MN
Mt. Notch - Avon, MN
Nordmarken - Belgrade, MN
St. John's University - Collegeville, MN
Tyrol Ski Tow - Avon, MN

Maybe rope tows at:

  • Winter Wonderland - Little Falls, MN
  • Winter Haven - Sartell, MN

Still Open:

  • Andes Tower Hills - Kensington, MN
  • Powder Ridge Ski Area - Kimball, MN



Buffalo Valley Ski Area

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

French Rapids


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 - - if you know a more precise location.
  • Location of resort on Lake:
    Google Maps / Google Earth
    45.25211772605166, -95.04016986545808
  • 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.."

    1 2

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

Nordmarken Ski Area

Saint John's University (Mt. Carmel)

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 - - 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



Possible Tow Ropes

Winter Wonderland - WORKING ON

Winter Haven - WORKING ON

Still Open

Andes Tower Hills

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

Powder Ridge Ski Area

  • still OPEN
  • Kimball, MN (Stearns County)- central Minnesota
  • o: 1959
  • website




Buffalo Valley - Buffalo, MN

St. Cloud Times, Sat. Feb. 8, 1969


Eagle Mountain - Grey Eagle, MN

St. Cloud Times, Thu. Feb. 1, 1979

SKI Magazine, Jan. 1976


Glenhaven - Glenwood, MN

SKI Magazine, Jan. 1979


Mt. Notch - Avon, MN

St. Cloud Times, Sun. Jan. 22, 1989


Nordmarken - Belgrade, MN

Pictures courtesy of Bob Larson, Kandiyohi County Historical Society


Tyrol Ski Tow - Avon, MN

St. Cloud Times,Mon. Jan. 3,1949 by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.