Dutch Hill Backcountry Ski Area Development Moving Forward
The Southern Vermont ski area has been closed for more than 30 years.
Sunday, April 16, 2017, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
Dutch Hill ski area is about to start a new chapter as a backcountry ski area, thanks to a group of volunteers.
The Dutch Hill Alliance of Skiers and Hikers, Ltd. was formed as a Vermont Non-Profit organization on February 10, 2017. The officers include William Beattie, President, Diana Todd, Vice President, and Tom Boudreau, Secretary. The group is a chapter of the Catamount Trail Association.
After months of planning, the United States Forest Service approved the South of Route 9 Integrated Resource Project in October 2016, paving the way for the establishment of Dutch Hill as a backcountry ski area.
As part of the project, an "83-acre portion of the former Dutch Hill ski area in Readsboro will be managed for year-round recreation opportunities."
At least one future backcountry trail has been flagged up to the top of the defunct Dutch Hill ski area. Multiple trails have remained somewhat clear in the decades of closure and are still holding patchy snow as of April 16.
According to the October 2016 final project decision, an "open area will be predominantly located around the old trails named Dutch Meadow, Meadow
Extension, Connector, and Yankee Doodle, and the upper part of Dyke; these trail areas will be widened. The opening will allow for tubing, sledding and skiing on the lower portion of Dutch Hill, and
backcountry/cross country skiing, snowshoeing and hiking on the old ski trails."
In addition, "maintenance of backcountry ski lines may be conducted by an interested partner group or volunteers. The opening will connect with another opening proposed to be created to the south of the ski area summit (Compartment 120, Stand 21) to enhance the existing vista at that location."
Located just north of the Massachusetts border in Heartwellville, Dutch Hill closed in 1985 after four decades of operation. The T-Bar-served ski area was noted for its unique, steep trails. The lifts and ski area buildings are no longer standing.