History Listings by the Year Historical Photos Current Pictures Memories
Ski Ohoho Ski Area was a somewhat major ski area that operated from 1977 to about 1989. It had a 1350' Mueller T-bar, 3 tows (one 1350' parallel to the T-bar, a 1400' one, and a beginners tow), and 10 trails. All trails had a Christmas connotation to them, including the Christmas Tree Lodge.
For a great article from January 2007 on this area in the Putnam, CT Traveler, please click here.
Bill Clew has some more information on the history of the area:
It was built by a man named Joe Campert, who lived near the hill. Joe was a pilot and jack of all trades who owned his own plane and bulldozed a runway next to his home for his own use. He did much if not most of the work cutting the ski trails. I talked to him one fall (I used to write the ski column for The Evening Gazette in Worcester, Mass., for about 14 years) and he took me on a walking tour of the area. On that day Joe got around with a cane. A day or two earlier he was bulldozing some trees. The bulldozer had a metal roof so he didnšt have good visibility vertically. He cleared out one tree which was supporting another. The second tree crashed through the roof of the bulldozer and landed in Joešs lap, pinning him in the seat. Luckily, he was able to knock the bulldozer out of gear so he wasnšt crushed. There was another man running a chainsaw nearby. The man didnšt hear Joešs calls for help until the chainsaw ran out of gas. Then he refueled and cut Joe free. The summit lodge was a thing of beauty, worthy of a larger area. It was three stories high. The main window at the south-facing end was designed in the shape of a three-story Christmas tree. The floors were made from salvaged bowling-alley lanes, very sturdy. Each of the three floors had its own huge fieldstone fireplace. The first season the area ran there was little snow and it was open only seven or eight days. After that, Joe added snowmaking. One of the rope tows was about 1,200 feet long. Ride that for a while and you had arms like steel and a handshake that wouldnšt quit. The area closed some time ago and the summit lodge now is a private home.
|Thanks to NELSAP reader Jon Rothenberg, we now have a copy of the brochure, from the late 1970's. This is great, as it is NELSAP's first CT brochure! Here's the description of the area.|
|Here's the trail map provided by Jon.
Notice how the area is upside down! You parked at the top and skied
downward. This was one of the few ski areas in New England to have this
A T-bar and a rope tow served Santa's Slope, while another rope tow served the Sleigh Ride slope. A few narrow trails, including the North Pole Trail, Blitzen, and Comet Trail provided variety.
Listings by the Year:
|1971||Unknown||Unknown||Year area opens||1982 Ski Guide from David DeMatteis.|
|1980||T-bar, 3 tows||5 slopes, 5 trails (novice thru intermediate)||Ski school, patrol, packer, 300 foot drop, NW exposure||Eastern Ski Map|
|1981||Same||Same||Area opens for only 4 weeks||1982 Ski Guide|
|1982||Same||Same||50% snowmaking, parking for 200 cars, crowds rarely top 300 people, lodge seats 250 (125 on each level), $8.00 weekend adult rates||1982 Ski Guide from David DeMatteis, click here to view it, including another trail map.|
|1987||Same, capacity 3500 skiers/hour||2 miles of trails, 5 slopes, tree lined. Longest run 3000'.||Season: Dec 1-Apr 1, Adults: $9.00 weekends, $7.00 halfday, Child: $7.00 weekend, $5.00 halfday. Ski shop, ski rentals, day lodge with snack bar, first aid, 40% snowmaking, 2 snowcats with powder maker, 2 acres for parking. Night skiing.||White Book|
|1989||Same||Same||Same, Closes this year||The Colorado Skier|
Historical Photos - 1981
Thanks to Nykola Dentico, we now have some historical photos of Ohoho. Here are Nykola's descriptions of the photos and memories:
These are two pictures from Ohoho, located in Woodstock CT. One is of the top shack for the rope tow (right), another has the lodge in the background (below). I am about three in the pictures which dates them from the winter of 1981. My sister and I always called it Hohoho. We could never seem to get the ho’s and Oh’s in the right order. This is the first area I skied at. On this day my parents took me skiing, leaving my baby sister at home with a baby sitter. They tell me that it was exhausting riding the rope tow with me because they would hold onto it but also hold me between their legs as they were pulled up. I remember trying to reach up to the rough rope so that I could hold on too. When I was a little older (six or seven) I remember skiing with a few friends and my sister, who was old enough to ski by now, down Mistletoe and feeling very old because my parents let us go down it by ourselves. We got on the T bar and it felt like we were on a huge lift.
|Nykola and the summit lodge.|
Chapin visited this area during the summer of 2001, and took
these great pictures. He had permission to visit this area which is now
on private property. Please enjoy and explore the area via what we have
here, but respect the fact the area is on private property.
Pictures were sent in by John Macarell.
Here's a view of the base lodge.
||Looking down Sleigh Ride. Glades on the left.|
|T-Bar unloading area. This is a classic Mueller T-bar.||
||Looking down Santa's Slope, rope tow on right.|
|Main rope tow shed.||
|Josh Segal: Mt. Ohoho used Santa Claus as their logo. This may be a chicken and egg thing. Was it Ohoho first and matched to Hohoho of Santa Claus or vice verse?||
Christian DaBica: I grew up in CT and took a ski lesson at O Ho Ho when I was five. During that winter I broke my collarbone and never skied again. I went back to O Ho Ho when I was in high school to snowboard (1987) but they didn't allow it. By that time the area had fallen further into disrepair than I remembered. Every year they would close trails, stop lighting trails, and close lifts (they used to have a ton of small surface lifts going in all directions, pre-1980). Anyway, they closed shortly thereafter. Too bad, it had a real nice feel to it, if only they allowed boards...but I digress.
Chance Beauchesne: I use to ski at Ohoho in Woodstock Connecticut as a kid during the mid to late 80's. I lived in Ashford, so, it was a short 15 minute drive to the slopes. Not sure why, but Ohoho had been on my mind lately so I decided to try searching for information on it on the web (wasn't sure if it was back in operation). Your info was just what I was looking for. It was a really cool place to learn to ski, or, just to go for a cheap afternoon of skiing. I think the lift tickets were well under 10 dollars. By the time I started going, Ohoho was already past it's prime and was only operating on a very limited schedule. The lack of natural snow in the area during the 80's didn't help. To bad it's no longer in business, it was a unique little ski resort.
Jay Pagliuca: When it first opened (I remember going there with my father) the rope tow in front of the lodge was driven by running the rope between the rear tandem wheels of an old cement truck up on blocks!
Mark P. Renson: I just rediscovered Ohoho on your website!! That was my first day of skiing, ever ! In January 1982, I returned for 2nd semester at UConn just hours before a Nor'easter hit. Rusty was gonna' go the next morning no matter wht the weather. I could not let him out on his on, so I tagged along and had a stellar powder day!
In the lodge, they had ham & cheese grinders kept warm by the orange sun lamp, so that and the blackberry brandy that we brought along kept us well nourished. Afterwards, we brought several fellow students during the next 2 seasons. and all had a blast. That side-by-side rope tow/T-Bar combo really moved the hordes of skiers.
Leslie Healy-Hall: My dad designed and started the ski schools to a few of these New England areas. Pine Ridge, Pine Acres, O-ho-ho. Sad story to that one. The owners wife wanted the Christmas theme and that was that. My poor dad well he didn't care for it at all. But that was out of his hands. The name he and I came up was Eagle Nest, due to the lodge being on the summit. Most of their success were from the school programs for ski schools and the family weekenders. This man could and did build any thing. His own air strip in his back yard so he could land in the yard. Lakes...not ponds! He was brilliant and a farmer by trade. So I think that is pretty much what happen to o-ho-ho.
Paula Burton: I was so happy to find Mt. Ohoho on your website. I attended Annhurst College in Woodstock, CT (now defunct) in the mid-seventies. There wasn't much to do in Woodstock in the winter in those days, but we sure looked forward to skiing on Thursday evenings at Mt. Ohoho. We were a bunch of crazy college kids, it was cheap, snow was good , and the cheeseburgers weren't bad-- the storm of '78 kept the trails open late in the season. I learned how to ski through the trees.
Matthew DeAngelis: This area is about 10 minutes from my grandparents house and when I learned to ski my dad took us there, This must have been in 1979 or 1980 I was seven or 8. It was a cool place to us. It was neat starting at the top. This was also my first experience with a rope tow. I don't think my Dad or I new what we were in for. I chose to wear down mittens that day we went. In the past these were the best mittens to keep my hands warm. We skied down and I was first down and then first in the tow line. I grabbed the rope and away I went. I was clutching that rope as tight as I could and I got tired quickly and the outer layer of my mittens began to rip and slide away from my hands. Thus the rope started to slide through my hands. This caused me to concentrate fully on holding the rope and not pay attention to the terrain I was gliding along. and when my gloves finally gave way I slipped off the rope and fell as I went over a dip in the track. When I fell I was directly under the rope and the rope fell on my leg and was starting to cut a hole in my snow pants. Well without gloves I couldn't get the rope up and I couldn't slide out because of my skies (I was young and couldn't or didn't think about reaching over the rope and taking off my skies. Several people coming up just yelled get out of the way and ran into me. They were young also. Until my Dad came up and managed to pull us all out of the way.
Well to make a long story short, that was my last
experience with a rope tow. I think I could handle it now, but they really
don't exist anymore. Well I think this experience has more merit and around the family fire place on ski trips now than it did at the time. My Dad still laughs hysterically at the whole thing.
While I never skied at OHOHO I have other fond memories of Woodstocks little gem!
In the early 90's a gentleman named STEVE MCKAY owned (or maybe leased) Ohoho and held concerts and music events there.
I am a musician and
played there several times for the CAJUN\ZYDECO festival he used to have there. I remember the stage was at the bottom of one of the slopes and vendors at the top. Plus some wet weather jam sessions in the XMAS TREE lodge. We camped right near the stage and there were drum circles into the wee hours. Mr Mckay now runs the SUMMERWIND AMPITHEATRE in WINDSOR CT and my band
"THE ZYDECO HOGS" still do great business with him.
David Sanford: As a non-skier, I never visited Ohoho in the winter. But I was there for several summers in the mid 1970's as Ohoho hosted a wonderful Bluegrass festival on the main slope, right below the lodge. The stage was set amongst many large trees at the edge of the slope, where a sort of clearing allowed 100's of folks to set up their chairs and blankets as the pickin' & fiddlin' carried up the hill to the crowd. Sitting high upon a hill, surrounded by stately trees as good old timey music by the likes of John Hartford & New Grass Revival filled the air - those were the days!! I seem to recall that at least some years the festival was sponsored by the Peace Train Foundation, the same organization that ran the New England Fiddle Contest in Bushnell Park, Hartford CT...another great '70's musical memory. One year, I even recall getting in touch with Paul LeMay, the Peace Train Director, and passing out pamphlets for the coming summer show.
Ray Boulanger: Boy the page about Ohhoho Ski area in Ct Brought back memories. I took an advanced first aid class in that lodge and spent a winter ,one of their first, on their ski patrol. I remember Joe walking around with his cane. I also remember his ingenuity. The long rope tow that severed the glade ,still one of the nicest ones I remember, was powered by an old cement truck. The rope ran around the rear tire rim. and they controlled the speed of the lift by the throttle of the truck some how. They built a building around the truck so you had to be looking inside to see the truck. Every thing seemed to always be under construction you never new what would be different from weekend to weekend. Everyone I knew that skid was always there.
Last updated: April 17, 2007
If you remember this area and have more info, just let us know.
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