Cate's Hill
Berlin, NH
Before 1938-early 50's

Originally, we thought that the Cate's Hill development mentioned here and the 12th Street Ski Area were the same, since they were located on the same hill. Thanks to several NELSAP readers and a great article in the Berlin Sun in January, 2001, we now know that this was a separate area. The area had a very long rope tow, and at 2500' long was probably one the longest (if not most painful to ride) lifts in New England! The tow was shortened in the early 1950's.

The area can not be found on any Terraserver maps, as the area has been closed for almost a half century.

To read the first article on NELSAP and lost ski areas in the Berlin area, click here.

To read the follow up article on NELSAP, click here.

The following NELSAP readers or contributors to that article best explain this area.

Rob Blais  There was another slope on Cate's Hill years earlier (30's & 40's?) that was much longer.  It roughly paralleled Cate's Hill road on the south side above Route 16. It started somewhere near the top of the hill and ran pretty much all the way down to Rt. 16.  I once walked on the remains of that slope, But it hadn't been actively used for skiing since long before I was born Most people didn't remember it, but  my father remembers it as having the first rope tow in the area.   Parts of the slope were still identifiable when I was last there in the early 80s.

Conrad Aube: Aube said he believes there was another rope tow that operated for a few years on Cates Hill around 1950.

Bob Vashaw: I remember as a youngster in the late 40's early 50's of skiing on a homemade rope tow at the top of Cates Hill across from Lettre's Memorial. This was on the south side of the Cates Hill road going up from the Coos County Nursing Home. I lived on Finland Street in the Norwegian Village and I would ski from home to the rope tow through the woods. Also we had a ski jump that was built by a gentlemen by the name of Pokey Paulson that was located in the woods off the end of Denmark Street. He coached us in ski jumping and held carnivals for us. He also formed a ski club for us that was called the Norsemen Ski Club. I am a 65 year old retired New Hampshire Conservation and have many fond memories of skiing in my youth at these areas.

A few sources by the year:

Year Lifts Trails Other Comments Source
1938-1939 Ski tow Mica Mine Trail: 650' drop in 1 mile, Pipe Line Trail: 150' vertical drop in 3/4 mile
103 acres, open and semi open slopes
Direction signs available from Nansen Jump, smaller jumps at Cates Hill NH Winter Sports Map
1939 Rope tow 103 acres with open and semi-open slopes none Ski Guide to New England
1940-1941 Rope Tow 100 open acres and semi open slopes. Trails: Mica Mine, Mount Cate, and Pipe Line ski jumps NH Winter Map
1947-1949 2500' rope tow 100 open acres and semi open slopes. Trails: Mica Mine, Mount Cate, and Pipe Line ski jumps, lunches NH Winter Map
1951 1200' rope tow 2000' slope warming house, weekends and holidays NH Winter Guide
1951-1952 Rope Tow 2 Trails, 2 slopes, novice through expert 2 jumps, skating Eastern Ski Map
1953 - - No mention of area Ski NH Winter Guide

If you have further information on this lost area, please email us, thanks!

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