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Kents Hill rope tow and the Liz Cross Mellen Lodge
O'Connor Alpine Training Center
Readfield, Maine
Status: Open
First Season:1950s
Vertical Drop:210 feet
Standing Lifts:Surface lift
Past Lifts:
Left: Kents Hill rope tow and the Liz Cross Mellen Lodge
Recent NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News:
Located northwest of Augusta, the Joanne and Dick O'Connor Alpine Training Center is the private ski area of the Kents Hill school.

Kents Hill School was originally founded as the Maine Wesleyan Seminary in 1824. Operating as a co-educational institution from its inception, Kents Hill School may be the oldest school of its kind in the United States. With its rural location and alumni such as Leon Leonwood Bean (founder of LL Bean), outdoor activities have played a huge part in Kents Hill's past and present.

Alpine Skiing Starts at Kents Hill

Trail work in the early days of Kents Hill School's ski program
Trail work in the early days of Kents Hill School's ski program

Formal skiing at Kents Hill School dates back to 1942, when Bill Dunn started a ski program. Students cleared a slope on the northeast side of campus, dropping to the shore of Torsey Lake. In addition to the slope, a 70 foot ski jump was constructed. The school sported competitive ski teams for men and women starting in 1947.

Modernization

According to NELSAP, a rope tow was installed in the early 1950s, while snowmaking and night skiing were added in the 1980s.

In 1998, the Liz Cross Mellen Lodge was constructed at the top of the slope, providing the ski area with a robust operational center.

In honor of their continued donations, the ski area has been named after Joanne Bass O'Connor and Dick O'Connor, both 1964 graduates of Kents Hill School.

Visitor Memories
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External Links
  • Kents Hill School - official site
  • Kents Hill - New England Lost Ski Areas Project
  • Last updated: October 23, 2016

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