Fitzwilliam Ski Area
Fitzwilliam, NH
1961-Mid 1970's

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History Fitzwilliam at a Glance Memories Historical Photos 2000 Pics ~ 2007 Pics

History - Note, to learn more about the history of the town of Fitzwilliam, please visit

The Fitzwilliam Ski Area was originally built in the late 1940's on Pinnacle Mtn, as a novice/intermediate ski area, associated with the Fitzwilliam Inn. The area expanded in 1961, as the owner of the ski Fitzwilliam Inn, Mt. Bicknell, added two rope tows on the slopes 1/3 mile from the Inn, an upper and lower tow. Facilities were expanded to include a base lodge.

Fitzwilliam's logo, based on a character from the Inn. Provided by Phil D's father.

The trail map of Fitzwilliam, around 1970. An upper and lower tow provided skiing to the summit, as did a Poma. Two more rope tows, side by side, provided skiing on South Main and the Ski School area. Trail map provided by New England Ski Museum.
During the 1960's, a Poma was installed to the summit, having been bought from Mt. Sunapee. This was a traditional Poma, similar to Arrowhead's lift. A few more tows were installed at the beginner area, and were also used to bring skiers uphill from the base of the Poma to the base lodge.

Although the area had snowmaking, it likely could not compete with other nearby, much larger areas, like Temple Mountain, Pat's Peak, Sunapee, King Ridge, and Crotched. The area closed in the mid 1970's.

Today the area is clear and is still maintained. It is totally open to the public - trail maps are available on The topo map on the left shows the area just outside of downtown.
To the right shows an aerial shot in 1998. Note the decent amount of variety, from wide slopes to narrow trails.

(Most information on the above history provided by Phil D. and his father, who served on the Ski Patrol from 1961 to its closing).

Fitzwilliam at a Glance

Year Lifts Trails Other Information Source
1947-1949 none Novice trails and skating rink at Fitzwilliam Inn Hike up and ski down novice area NH Winter Map
1961 2 tows Unknown Fitzwilliam adds two rope tows and becomes a lift served area Phil D's Father
~Mid 1960's 1 Poma, tows Unknown Poma lift installed in mid 1960's, lift bought from Mt. Sunapee Phil D's Father
1966 1 Poma, tows Unknown, but snowmaking was available Vertical drop: 240ft America's Ski Guide
~1970 1 Poma, 4 tows 6 Rates: $4.50 adults, $3.50 1/2 day. $3.50 children, $2.50 1/2 day. Natur Teknik ski school. Fitzwilliam Brochure, from New England Ski Museum
1977 (but more likely 1974 or 1975) 1 Poma, 3 rope tows Unknown, likely 6. Novice and intermediate trails with snowmaking. Group rates available, ski school, rentals, ski shop, base lodge, snack bar, night skiing. Vertical drop somehow becomes 462 feet without adding terrain, vertical was likely closer to 300 feet. Fitzwilliam closes near this time. Skiing USA and Phil D.


Linda Gold: I saw your site when looking at info for Fitzwilliam NH and wanted to give you some more info.  I moved to Fitzwilliam in December of '75 when I was 15.  I had moved from Florida and I learned to ski on those slopes that winter.  It was open the next winter as well ('76/'77) It closed sometime during that season I recall.  We lived on the other side of the hill and had given permission for the Inn to use some of our property for the cross country trails they used from then on.  Some guys in their 20's moved into the little house that was up there and the next winter we spent some great times snowmobiling up the slopes and tobogganing down, making big bonfires and great memories.  I moved after graduating HS in '78 and haven't been back.  It's sad to see everything gone.  

Bonnie Jones: I grew up skiing @ the Fitzwilliam Ski Area - it was truly a fabulous experience. I've often thought of trying to get the area going again at some level - it was such an innocent and wholesome culture.

Jamie Lewis:  I grew up in RI and learned to ski a bit at Diamond Hill, but mostly at Fitzwilliam Inn ski area in Southern NH, where my parents had an old farm house as a vacation home in Richmond, one town over from Fitzwilliam.  I drive by the old area whenever I am in the area. I now live around 1 hour from Fitzwilliam.  Unfortunately, the Fitzwilliam Inn closed this year after being open for @ 200 years.  It was a wonderful Inn and hopefully someone will buy it before it goes to seed.  {Jeremy note - as of 2007, the inn is now open, visit it here.}The ski area, however, will never be resurrected for the obvious reasons.  It was wonderful for me at the time in the '60s!  I loved it, and the hot chocolate and burgers in the warming hut!  

Historical Images


Here's a view of the rope tow and the main slope, likely 1960's.

Many thanks to Phil D and his father for providing these great pictures of the ski area in operation. Most of these pictures are from the early 1970's.

Looking down the Main Trail to the village.

A view to the right of the first image.

Looking up the beginner slope to the base lodge. Rope tows are on the right. The Poma lift would be just to the left of where this image was taken.

Skiers gather at the base lodge. Hardly a trace exists of this building today.

2000 Images

Betsy McDonough and I found the area in November 2000. Today, the area is remarkably clear, as most slopes are still mowed, and maintained as a cross country area. It would be easy to hike up and ski down this lost area. All the lifts have been removed. It is unknown where the Poma was taken to, but one rope tow did make its way to East Hill Farm in Troy, NH.

The Poma line to the summit is still quite clear.

Looking up at the main slope from just below the site of the old base lodge. Very clear.

A pile of pulleys and towers are all that remains of one of the beginner rope tows. Found very close to the road that passes by the area.

2007 Winter Images

Tyler, a NELSAP reader, visited this area in February 2007 and took the following photos. The trails are very clear and open, unlike many lost areas from the 1970's.

The poma lift line is still clear, however, a tree has fallen at the base.

Likely the "Rte 63" trail, very clear.
Looking up the South Main slope (beginner)

Rope tow pulleys.
The "Main Trail".

Last updated: Feb 12, 2010

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