Welcome to the Save Denton Hill Page! In late fall of 2014, the current managers of Ski Denton announced they could no longer operate the ski area due to financial reasons. The Potter County Commissioners brought together a group of community leaders and elected officials to address the situation. The group includes the Potter County Visitors Association, Coudersport and Galeton Chambers of Commerce, Pennsylvania Route 6 Alliance and many others.
Denton Hill State Park was the first ski operation run by the Pennsylvania Department of Forests and Waters (a predecessor to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources). The park was established in 1951, opened in 1959, and the lodge and ski area were built between 1958 and 1967. The ski area was operated by the state until 1979, when it became a concession run by a private contractor ("Ski Denton" as of 2011).
The skiing ranges from easy, beginner slopes to some of the most dangerous, expert, black diamond slopes on the east coast of the United States. There are four ski lifts at the park, each of which stops at a different elevation on the slopes. Lift-accessed snow tubing is also available at Denton Hill State Park, or Ski Denton.
There are five chalets on the grounds of Ski Denton. Each cabin has wall to wall carpeting and two bedrooms that sleep up to six individuals. There is a large living room with a cathedral ceiling in each cabin. The cabins also have a full kitchen, dining room, and bathroom. A hostel style bunkhouse sits atop the main lodge.
Ski Denton opens its slopes and trails for lift-serviced mountain bikers in the off season. There are over 50 miles (80 km) of maintained downhill and cross-country single track and trails available for riding. A mountain bike trail begins at Denton Hill State Park and is 15 miles (24 km) long, passing through Patterson State Park on its way to Cherry Springs State Park. Part of the Susquehannock Trail System, an 85-mile (137 km) loop hiking trail, forms the southern border of the park.
The park is also host to two major archery events each year in late summer. The Eastern Traditional Archery Rendezvous and Potter County Bow hunter Festival. These events are among the top five events in terms of attendance in the county.
In recent years, the concession has suffered due to the aging infrastructure of the park facilities.
Denton Hill State Park represents one of the few assets in the region that enhances economic activity during the winter season, which is historically the slowest time of the year. Unlike other seasonal assets, it is less dependent on the weather because of the ability to make snow. This allows visitors to make plans in advance with the confidence that they can have a fulfilling experience.
The closure has brought new attention to the park. After the announcement, state and local elected officials released statements calling for the state to make Ski Denton a priority. The Potter County Commissioners brought together a group of community leaders to discuss the situation including the Potter County Visitors Association, Coudersport and Galeton Chambers of Commerce, the Pennsylvania Route 6 Alliance and many others.
The closure of Denton Hill State Park impacts more than just the local Potter County community. Since the announcement of the closures the Tioga County Commissioners, Tioga County Visitors Bureau and the Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce have all expressed their support for the park to remain open.
We support and applaud DCNR's fast-track effort to conduct a feasibility study for Denton Hill State Park.
Investing in Denton Hill supports the DCNR mission and goals, as well as the goals of the local community.
It is our hope that feasibility study examines the following opportunities that we see for the park:
• The potential to expand the current ski-only operation to a four-season operation, taking advantage of the current trail connections into the park such as hiking, biking and cross-country skiing.
• The opportunity to upgrade the park facilities (ski operation equipment, main lodge and infrastructure, parking lot, additional cabin rentals).
• How the park could potentially complement and enhance other state investments in the region such as the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum, Lyman Run State Park, Cherry Springs State Park, Sinnemahoning State Park, Kinzua Bridge State Park and Elk Country Visitors Center.
While the feasibility study is in progress, we will be starting a public campaign to raise awareness of the issue and to gather and organize support from the public. We'll be utilizing all of our communication channels including this website, social media and will be requesting the assistance of chambers of commerce, regional partners and local and regional media outlets to help spread the word.