West Springfield

Several NELSAP readers remember this small ski area that operated in West Springfield, MA. Here is what they know:

Bill McCombe:
"Please be advised that there was a small ski area named Paucatuck Ski Area in W. Springfield, MA. that was owned and operated by the W. Springfield YMCA for 1964 to 1974? It had four rope tows, night skiing and snow making.  The YMCA leased it to Chaning Murdock, the owner of Butternut Ski Area who operated the area for the last two years that it operated.

Ed Faits: I've got another Western mass entry for you.  The West Springfield YMCA operated a small ski hill in town, with two rope tows.   I learned there as a kid, skied it in 1962-63.   I don't know much else about it (it had a long name that started with a P... Pocquantic or something like that).

An overhead view of the ski area. Found by Betsy McDonough.

Glendon Coburn:
The name of the ski area was Paucatuck, and it had at least one rope tow and 2 ski runs. It is directly across the street from my grandparents house, and my mother grew up skiing there. It is currently a YMCA camp, and the outside swimming pool can be seen clearly in the terraserver picture. It is the white square about 150 yards north of the area. The trails look to be about 600 or 700 feet long from the air. It is a relatively steep hill, however, and is probably more like 800 or 900 feet of actual, measured distance. The area can clearly be seen about in the middle of this picture. I estimate the vertical to have been about 200 feet. I used to sled there as a child. The top of the hill remains mowed, but there was actually a fair amount below it that has grown in. Where the trail on the left gets pinched is where it has grown in. It is interesting to note that this was an "upside down" area. The stripe to the right off of Dewey St. is a gravel parking lot. The basic two trail structure remains visible from the air, but on the ground, the lower part is practically impassible by foot, full of young pines and thickets. The topo map on terraserver indicates the vertical to be about 150 feet. It is the ridge at an altitude of 270 feet running north-south along the left hand side of Dewey St. If my memory serves correctly, the towers for the rope tow are still standing.

John Carroll: My first ski love was Paucatuck Ski Area.  As some of your readers have noted, it was run by the YMCA.  As a child, the slopes were frightening yet the lodge was enchanting.  As I recall it was a single story rustic building complete with a dirt floor and an open pit stone fireplace which vented through the roof.  Children routinely warmed themselves by the fire, following an intense day of skiing. 

When I skied it there were a total of three lifts.  Two were intermediate/beginner rope tows and one was for more advanced skiers. They had an area off the one side which resembled a glade and had a very large school bell which one could ring as they skied by.

To this day I have found memories of that area and only wish that my own children could experience the kind of magic that comes from that experience!

Does anybody else have any more information?

Head back to Lost MA Ski Areas

Head back to the Main Page