Allegany State Park
Red House, NY
History ~ Layout ~ By The Year ~ Memories ~ Recent Photos
|Bova Slopes (pronounced
Bov-ay) was a former ski area that operated in Allegany State Park in
Red House, NY. It began as a hike up and ski down area in the late
1930's, as skiing was rapidly becoming a popular sport in New York
State. Several slopes and trails were available initially, including the
substantial expert run, Spillway.
At some point in the mid-late 1940's, a 1000' rope tow was installed on the main slope, Bova 1. Several more slopes were added, Bova 2 and Bova 3, along with a narrow "Bova Trail". The vertical of the area varies widely depending on the listing but was 250', give or take 20'.Two additional rope tows were then installed by 1950, including a 900' tow, and a 500' portable tow, that mainly served a beginner slope. Rates were inexpensive - 75 cents weekdays and $1.00 weekends!
(Right -a view of the area in late 1940's, showing the main and lengthy rope tow, and the wide, smooth slope of Bova 1. From a Ski New York Guide).
||The peak usage for Bova
was in the 50's into the early 1960's. By the early 1960's, another area
was operating in Allegany State Park, called Big Basin, and several
other areas opened up within a 30 minute drive. By 1970 the area had
closed, as it had become outdated with its rope tows.
(Left - a closeup of the rope tow from 1951. From the 1952 Ski New York Guide. This slope is likely Bova 2).
|Another shot of Bova Slope # 1, sent to us from Art D. Note the rope tow on the right, and another likely rope tow on the left.||
Significant remnants still exist of this area, which can be viewed below. The rope tow towers remain, and the slopes are fairly clear.
|The topographic map of the area in the early 1970's. Note how it shows just one rope tow (though there were 3), and the few wide slopes.||
||A more recent satellite photo clearly shows the 3 wide slopes, though one could make the argument that there are 4. The location of the Bova trail is unknown.|
By The Year
|1939||None||Spillway - 2000' long, 460' drop. Starts on a hill in back of Administration Building. Novice Run - 2200' long. Starts at same point as Spillway. Bova Trail - Cross country trails with flats, drops and rises.||Other trails available too||Skiing in the East: Ski Trails and How to Get There|
|Late 1940's||1000' tow||See below||Adults: 75 cents, under 16 50 cents, operates daily 1-5pm, weekends 10am-5pm, evenings by group request||Ski New York Map|
|1949||2 1000' tows, 225' rise. 500' portable tow||See below||Same as above. Canteen at bottom of slopes.||Ski New York Guide|
|1950||1000' Tow (1350/hr capacity), 900' tow (500/hr capacity), 500' portable tow (360/hr capacity)||Bova No. 1- 1450' long,
283' drop, 200' wide, needs 6" to ski, lighted. Served by tow.
Bova No. 2 - 1000' long, 218' drop, 130' wide, needs 9" to ski. Served by Tow.
Bova No. 3 - 850' long, 204' drop, 130' wide, nees 9" to ski. Served by Tow.
Bova Trail - 1500' long, 260' drop, 20-50' wide, needs 9" to ski, intermediate. Served by tow.
Novice - 2400' long, 350' drop, 12-15' wide, needs 9" to ski. Not served by tow.
Spillway - 2100' long, 465' drop, 12-100' wide, needs 12" to ski, expert. Not served by tow.
|30 and 50 meter jumps. Cabins, rooms, dorm accommodations available. Ski shop rents poles, skis, skates, toboggans. Weekly snow report sent each Wednesday during ski season.||Ski New York Guide|
|1951||Same||Same||Rates: 75 cents weekdays, $1.00 weekends. Operates weekdays 1-5pm, weekends 10am-5pm, evening 7pm-10pm. By group request: 75 cents.||Ski New York Guide|
|1952||Same||Same||Nothing new to note||Ski New York Guide|
|1953||Same||Same||Same||Ski New York Guide|
|1961||Same||Unknown, probably same||$1.00 rates. 100 skiers average weekdays, 300 weekends. Manager: Leigh Batterson. Average snowfall: 36" (sounds low). Season: December - April.||The American Ski Directory|
|1970||Same||Same||Area closes around this time||Readers|
"Belbloom":...After Dad was finished we would ski at the Big Bova area at Allegheny State Park.We always ate dinner at the Castle Restaurant. Theyhad an all you could eat buffet every Friday. Free from my Mother's concerns over table manners the three of us went on a complete gorge!
Jim Slifka: Around 1993 ago while camping and hiking at Redhouse State Park in Western New York I came across an abandoned (lost) ski area near Redhouse Lake. We camp here about every other year. Last fall I took a few pictures of the slopes and remaining equipment/building. I asked at the park office as to when it was last open. The lady at the park office said that as a kid she skied here in the early 70's and it closed shortly after. On some of my older road maps it is called "Bova ski area". It appears to have about a 250+ vertical drop with about 2 easier and 3 steep slopes and 2 T-bars.
was a rope tow area that
had two tows, warming hut, fairly large parking lot and hosted amateur ski
|Many thanks to Steve
Spiggle, who visited the area in 2004 and took the following excellent
photos! For all photos, please click on each to see the larger version.
To the right, the main Bova Slope 1 is still mostly clear, and the the rope tow towers on the right are still standing.
Closeup of the lower towers.
The tower and cable.
Closeup of wheel.
More rope tow towers.
|Counterweight.||More of the counterweight.||Terminus of tow.|
Engine for the Rope Tow
|Engine house for the tow.||More of the engine house.||Collapsed engine house.|
|Engine.||Engine house debris.||Foundation for the tow.|
|Top tow building.||Top tow building.||Collapsed top building.|
Top of the Slope
|Top of the slope, looking down.|
If you have more information on this area just let us know.
Last updated: August 15, 2008
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