Innsbruck USA
Hawleyton, NY
Sometime between 1964 and 1967 - c1980

A view of the slopes from afar, sent by Alan Perrin from a postcard.

History   By the Year    Memories    Current Pictures    Directions

History


An old Tucker Sno-Cat tread found in the woods by Chris Shumeyko.

Innsbruck USA was a wonderful medium sized area with a wide variety of terrain for all skiers, just south of Binghamton. The area opened sometime between 1964 and 1967, and had expanded to 11 trails and 3 open slopes by 1972. 5 more trails or slopes would be added or renamed before the area closed. Several guidebooks claimed the area only had 9 trails and a few slopes, but other sources confirm 14-19 trails for much of its existence. Two side by side 485' vertical T-bars (with at least one having a midstation) brought skiers to the summit of Lucky Hill, where they could descend on such trails as the wide but steep Bregenz slope, or the easy winding Wein trail. A shorter beginner 150' vertical J-bar served a couple of open slopes near the base of the area. A cable tow or rope tow was added in the final years of operation. Snowmaking and night skiing covered a few major trails from the summit as well as the beginner open slopes, though for the first few years the snowmaking system was quite poor.
The area met an untimely end in the late 1970's, as the area could not pay its electric bills apparently. The power company just shut the power off and that was the end of Innsbruck USA. The equipment was sold off to mountains unknown. However, the ski area would find new life as Aqua-Terra park, a county or town owned area that is fully accessible and open to the public, great for hiking, picnicking, fishing, mountain biking, etc. Directions can be found below.


A topo map of the area, showing the terrain, and the Agwaterra Pond (must have been the idea for the name of the park).

1972 trail map, courtesy of Chris Shumeyko.

An aerial view of the trails today, still quite clear.
A patch of the area from Alan Perrin.

By the Year

Please note that trail counts vary from year to year, but the 1972 listing is accurate. Sometimes the Eastern Trail Map was slow to update.

Year Lifts Trails Other Info Source
1967-1969 2 T-bars, J-bar Slope, 9 trails, novice thru expert Ski school, ski patrol, 1 packer, snowmaking Eastern Ski Map
1972 Same 11 trails, 3 open slopes Skating, lodge Trail Map
1974 2 T-bars, J-bar Slope, 9 Trails, novice thru expert on a 485' drop Ski school, ski patrol, 1 packer, snow making Eastern Ski Map
1976-1980 2 T-bars, 1 J-bar, Cable Lift 2 slopes, 9 trails, novice thru expert on a 500' drop Northern exposure, ski patrol, 3 packers, cross country, snowmaking Eastern Ski Map
1977 2 T-bars, 1 J-bar, 1 rope tow 19 slopes and trails, longest 1 mile ATM and GLM ski school, medium rates, operatates Tue-Sun, snack bar, cocktail lounge, apres-ski, snowmaking, xc skiing. Skiing USA

Memories/More Info

Chris Shumeyko sent us a lot of info on this area: I live in Vestal, NY right near the Town of Binghamton, home of Innsbruck, USA. The resort opened I believe in the mid 60's and closed in the 70's because of unpaid electrical bills. During the first season,  the snowcat slid off a trail and was left there for the remainder of the season.

The power company just shut down the main T-Bar and the two rope tows to the open lower slope. The area did have snowmaking and grooming which was very poor for the first couple of years. The area is now a County Park called Aqua Terra which is fully open to the public to go and explore the assortment of trails. The area is used for open ATVing and mountain biking. When i visited the area I found the snowmaking pipe for a long traversing trail. When reaching the summit you can see the wide open area which housed the Summit of the T-Bar trails veer off in every direction eventually ending up at the base. I also discovered the treads for the old snowcat and the cement base for the lodge that was burnt down by vandals. The ski area is located on Maxian Road in the Town of Binghamton in the Southern Tier of New York.  

The main T-Bar slope is pretty steep for the area and the total vertical drop is about 500' with a summit elevation of 1800'. Roughly 10 trails still exist with some trail markers still visible. Also the summit is still very clear and you can take many different trails back to the base. Much of the base is now meadows so its hard to locate any cement lodge bases.  

Current Pictures

Chris Shumeyko sent us the following pictures of the area taken in 2003.

Hiking up the mountain. Notice that some trails are certainly grown in.

Looking down a slope to the base area.
One trail on the mountain.

One broken half of a T-bar, lying on the ground with the haul rope.
Cement foundation for the T-bar lift.

More foundations.
Snowmaking nozzles.

Directions: OK, youíre in the mood to climb one of these good size hill around here, or maybe just to be next to one, how do you find this place? It's pretty easy. If you know where Pennsylvania Avenue in Binghamton is, go to it and start heading toward Pennsylvania or from Interstate 81 take exit 4S (this on the section of road where 81 and NY 17 are together) toward Binghamton following NY 363. Take NY 434 West toward Vestal (this turn off is right behind The Broome County Veteranís Memorial Arena). Cross the Susquehanna River, pass The Number 5 restaurant and Thirstyís on your left, watch for a turn off for Pennsylvania Avenue, take it. Now all of us should be heading south out of town on Pennsylvania Avenue (you may encounter some road reconstruction on Pa. Ave.). Climb up out of the river valley. The road name will change to Hawleyton Road. At the highest point the road curves through a notched cut in the hill. Immediately after the curve Webb Road enters from the right. Note it, donít take it. In about another mile you will find the road you are looking for. Turn right off of Hawleyton Road onto Maxian Road. In less than a mile you will see a small pond on the left, slow down. Turn into a dirt road to the parking lot on the left. If you would like additional information, call Finch Hollow Nature Center at 607-778-2193 (in keeping with its unimproved status there are no phones or permanent employees at Aqua-Terra).  

If you have more information on this area just let us know.

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