The double chairlift
Mt. Agamenticus
York, Maine
Status: Lost/Defunct
First Season:1964-65
Last Season:1974-75
Vertical Drop:500 feet
Standing Lifts:
Past Lifts:1 double, surface lifts
Left: The double chairlift
Recent News:
Located west of oceanside York, Maine, 691 foot Mt. Agamenticus was home to an alpine ski area for about a decade. In recent years, the town has converted the mountain into a four season recreation spot.

Early Years and Ski Development Attempts

The early years of development on Mt. Agamenticus centered around detection. The first Mt. Agamenticus fire tower was constructed in 1918, standing for some two decades. Circa 1940, the mountain was scheduled to be turned into a recreational area, however the onset of World War II resulted in the construction of an army radar installation on the summit.

In 1948, a $300,000 winter sports development was proposed on Mt. Agamenticus. Fifteen years later, a $250,000 ski area was proposed by Frederick Wakelin and William Pickering.

Big A Opens

The Big A T-Bar
The Big A T-Bar

After decades of attempts, "Big A" ski area was finally developed for the 1964-65 season. Designed by Sel Hannah of Sno Engineering, Agamenticus was a unique upside down ski area that advertised a 400 car summit parking lot adjacent to its main lodge.

Mt. Agamenticus was formally dedicated by Governor Reed on Saturday, December 19, 1964. Managed by Ralph Amsden, the area was composed of a 2,400 foot double chairlift, a 1,200 foot T-Bar, and a rope tow, supplemented with snowmaking and night skiing.

While Agamenticus attempted to capture attention in the early 1970s with special learn to ski programs and a freestyle ski school, it found itself in financial trouble.

Expansion Proposed, Area Closed

The lodge (2007)
The lodge (2007)

Following the 1974-75 ski season, owner F. Anthony Zahn, an Oklahoma Democrat politician and financier, proposed a massive real estate development on Mt. Agamenticus. By May of 1975, Zahn owned 500 acres and had 3,500 more under contract with hopes of building up to 3,500 homes. As part of a $5 million project, Zahn planned to add more lifts and expand snowmaking at Big A.

After massive local opposition from York and Berwick residents, the development was scrapped, the ski area closed, and the chairlift eventually removed. Following the closure of the ski area, the land was moved into conservation status.

Today, the 10,000 acre Mount Agamenticus Conservation Region features multi-use trails that weave through the abandoned ski area.

On May 23, 2004, the David N. Hilton Memorial at Mt. Agamenticus was dedicated in honor of the long time firewarden, skier, and historian.

Click on lift name for information and photos
Standing Lifts
The T-Bar top terminal in 2007


Past Lifts
The top terminal circa the 1960s
Double Chair
Chairlift - Double - Fixed

1969-70 Mt. Agamenticus trail map1970 Big A Trail Map1970s Mt. Agamenticus Trail Map
View All Mt. Agamenticus Trail Maps

Year by Year History
Adult Weekend Full Day Lift Ticket; Adult Full Price Unlimited Season Pass
1970s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1972-73$6.501972-73 Ticket Price Graph1972-73 Season Pass Price Graph1972-73 Skier Visit Graph
1971-72$6.001971-72 Ticket Price Graph1971-72 Season Pass Price Graph1971-72 Skier Visit Graph
1970-71$6.001970-71 Ticket Price Graph1970-71 Season Pass Price Graph1970-71 Skier Visit Graph
1969-70$5.001969-70 Ticket Price Graph1969-70 Season Pass Price Graph1969-70 Skier Visit Graph

Visitor Memories
"They had a great toboggan run there in the 60's. My dad would take us skiing there also when we lived in Portsmouth."
Raymond Bates, Mar. 11, 2018
"Many memories for me. I worked there the 10 years it was open (except 68-69 season I was in Vietnam). Was on the ski patrol, lift operator, snow cat driver,and snow making "
John Dennett, Oct. 19, 2017
"I skied The Big A several times as a kid. I remember one trip with my Dad necessitated a trip to a garage in nearby York so we could have chains put on our old 1955 Ford station wagon, enabling us to finally climb the steep access road. Wind at the top could be a problem, but I have great memories of my ski trips there."
Pat Phelan, Sep. 11, 2017
"I skied the Big A when I was a kid. It was fun. We could see it from Annisquam"
Will Bloombergh, May. 1, 2017
"My family, Micum McIntire, held our August family reunions on Mt Agamenticus for several years.. Micum became a land owner in York in 1671. We've been holding our reunions for many,many years. Most recently at the Historial Society in York."
Carole Ranco, Mar. 14, 2017
"I remember my Dad taking us there on Sunday afternoons and sometimes we went for night skiing. We lived in Portsmouth so it was convenient. They had a toboggan run that was really .We really have a lot of enjoyable memories of The Big A."
Raymond Bates, Mar. 12, 2017
"There were a number of New England championship enduros for dirt bikes in the 1970s that created numerous trails. Many are used for hiking and biking today. The last race was an all women event called the Powder Puff enduro."
Peter Anania , Mar. 11, 2017
"Dad was one of the original investors in the Big A. He owned a local market on Organug Road across from the high school. When my brother Frank and I could get away from school and work obligations we skied there often. The snowfalls at that time and the temperatures were great for skiing. I was an original member of the Juinor Ski Patrol. It was a wonderful part of York."
Philip Filosa, Mar. 10, 2017
"I ski there when I was kid we love it my mom use bring us meal to top and eat in lodge so we could keep skiing a lot friend we're there"
Richard Foster, Mar. 9, 2017
"I have many pictures of our family traveling there from a Hamilton MA To ski during the late 60s. Loved the novelty of the Inverted hill ."
Kim White, Mar. 9, 2017
"I have fond memories of the lodge and ski area. I knew one of the caretakers after the ski resort was shut down. Spent many an evening looking down the ski slope to York harbor! It was peaceful and beautiful!!!!"
Cinda Roy, Mar. 8, 2017
"Skied and had lessons weekly through Portsmouth HS in the mid-60s. Many great times with school friends; I didn't realize it was open for such a short time. I do recall skiing one night when the power went out and stayed off. No problem anywhere else, but the parking lot was atop the mountain by the lodge. Quite a hike up. "
Bob Jarrett, Mar. 8, 2017
"I skied the Big A in the 60's and recall great times with my brother, sister and parents who were regulars up in Maine during the summer season. How fun to be up there with waist high snow drifts alongside the roads into which my father fell once, having a hard time getting out! I loved the Big A and the memories of St. Aspinquid who is buried at the top of Mt. Agamenticus."
Edward Suffern, Jan. 17, 2016
"I skied the Big A a couple of times with my family in the late 1960s travelling up from Ipswich, MA. Two unique features, as I remember, were that one parked at the top of the mountain where the main lodge and ticket office were located and you could see the ocean from the top. The Big A was a really fun place particularly after a good snowstorm."
Nibs Nichols, Oct. 16, 2014
"My wife and I visited the Big A today, 8/14/13.....what a beautiful place. Sad to see the old signs of a the old ski area. I grew up in NH and we too had a defunct ski area close. Like the Big A the trails are grown in and some equipment is left. Memories of some good times back in the 60s and 70s."
Ed Murray, Aug. 14, 2013
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External Links
  • Mt. Agamenticus - New England Lost Ski Areas Project
  • Mt. Agamenticus at York Maine - version of the late Dave Hilton's web site
  • Mount Agamenticus Conservation Region
  • Mt. Agamenticus - Hiking Guide
  • Last updated: March 8, 2017

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