Klein Innsbruck
Franklin, MA

History    Personal Memories    Listings by the Year    Current Pictures


Klein Innsbruck was, unfortunately, the last major eastern Massachusetts area to close. It began operation during the late 1960's or around 1970 in the town of Franklin, with a classic Hall double chair and a rope tow, on 4 slopes and a trail.  Most of the slopes were not all the wide and were as wide as many of today's "trails" at larger ski areas. The area grew, adding another Hall double chair by 1977.

Skiers enjoying the main double chair, late 1980's.

Snowmaking, 1980's

The area continued to operate thru the 1970's and 1980's, adding plenty of snowmaking to eventually cover 80% of the area. Night skiing was also added during the 1970's, as was typical of most eastern Massachusetts areas.

The rope tow was eventually removed and replaced with a pony lift at some point during the 1980's.

A view of the slopes in the 1980's, from their brochure. A. Hamilton also provided NELSAP a similar brochure. Notice how the slopes are not all that wide, and that there was a decent variety of skiing at this area. And a Terraserver view of the same area. Notice that a few patches of snow can be seen on the slopes, and that the view almost matches the overhead on the left.
A topographic map of the area, showing the 200' drop ski slope on Oak Hill.

Unfortunately, the good times at Klein Innsbruck came to end during the winter of 1999/2000. The area had made some snow and had operated until around early February, but mild weather made snowmaking difficult. The area did not likely operate during February Vacation week. 

I visited the area that year to scout it out as I had no heard much of it in the prior years...I found that two slopes had snowmaking, including this one, which was the middle slope. This picture here is of the last man made snow at the area.

Later in 2000 we heard from Andrew Davis of Sno Country Reports who told us the area was closed and would be developed for Senior Citizen Housing. The area has not been developed yet and is in pristine shape. For recent pictures, click here.

Personal Memories

Scott Fletcher: A small area in Franklin, MA just closed within the past year - Klein Innsbruck.  I have only had the opportunity to ski it once about a year ago - two doubles and a couple of runs if I remember. 

Susan Hammond: I was a ski patroller there several years -- right up to the end.   One of my friends was on patrol at KI (that's how I got involved).

David Schoenfeld: My son Jonathan learned to ski there in 1986, he was 5 years old. There was an elderly ski instructor there who gave him a private lesson. He tied a rope around Jonathan's waist and slowed him down that way. While Jonathan took his lesson, his two older sisters played a game. They would ride the chairlift and then try to ski down fast enough to catch the same chair as the one they rode up on. There were no lines and they usually made it. It wasn't much of a ski area but the kids loved it.

Shanna Marszalkowski: I first learned to ski there at the tender age of 2, my grandfather owned it so I had the privileges of enjoying the area free of charge for many many years. I also had the pleasure of working pretty much all the department within the ski area. I always looked forward to the ski area opening. It was a lot of fun in it's hey-day. It was very sad in the end to see it lose business and end up closing, I think that it deserved a little more than just a silent disappearance. I just wanna say hi to all the people I know from those days... It was always a lot of fun except when people would park in my parking spots in front of my home.

The ski shop that was referenced was later turned into the area for ski school and then into the house. My father was the main care-taker of the place he was pretty much in charge of everything.. I guess you could say he was the operations manager. The ski area was quite a family affair considering over the course of the years there were various members of my fathers side that worked in the departments. My father's cousin Steve was in charge of all the grooming. I also know that the ski area opened in 1967.

We're looking for more memories, so send them in if you used to ski there.

Listings by the Year

Year Lifts Trails Other Info Source
1973 Double chair, rope tow, 2000/hr capacity 4 trails Parking for 500 cars, NE Exposure, cocktail lounge, snack bar, rentals, American Technique Ski Guide to the Northeast
1977 2 double chairs, rope tow 5 slopes, 1 trail Operates daily, ski school patrol, rentals, repairs, ski shop, restaurant Skiing USA
1982 2 double chairs 1 trail, 5 slopes Snowmaking, season Dec - Mar Billy Kidd's American Ski Guide
1986, 1987 2 double chairs, 2400/hr capacity 5 slopes, 1 trail Vertical 200', open ever evening, weekends, holidays, $18.00 weekends, $13.00 nights, snowmaking 70% White Book
Late 1980's 2 double chairs, pony lift 1/3 mile main slope, 4 slopes, 1 trail 80% snowmaking, rental shop, National Ski Patrol, night skiing Brochure
2000 Same Same Area closes before late February. Senior citizen housing planned Andrew Davis, Jeremy Davis (no relation) personal visit, newspaper article
Feb, 2002 Double chairs remain Slopes still clear Nothing built yet! Jeremy Davis' personal visit

Recent Pictures of the Area

Click on each thumbnail for a larger version:

2001 Pics:

Base of far right double chair (Brian O'Malley).

Feb 22, 2002 Pics:

The beginner area, where the rope tow and pony lift once operated

Snowmaking guns lined out just below the lodge

The main lodge

Looking up the main double chair lift slope

The base of the main Hall double chair

Rules for using the lift

The operator's shack

Looking up the main Hall double chair

A closeup of the classic Hall logo on the double chair

The middle slope

The far right chairlift (used much less often)

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