Today, there is an Afton Alps Ski Area in Minnesota, offering 41 trails with 18 lifts. But there used to be an Afton Alps resort here in the Mid-Atlantic, in Afton, Virginia - and presumably much smaller than the Minnesota version.
Details about this ski area have been hard to come by, but Helen Pannell, a long-time resident of Afton, provided some memories. She remembers seeing a ski lodge at Afton Alps when she was young, in the early 1970s. She reports that there may also have been a ski lodge at the site of today’s Swannanoa Country Club, a golf resort located in Afton.
Mark Bedle writes the following:
“I was doing some research on historical aerial photographs and topographic maps and I think I have some additional information on the lost area called Afton Alps. It was mentioned by one of your readers that this may have been near or on land where Swannanoa Golf and County Club is now located. A topographic map, dated 1966, shows the location of the club with one building. The 1968 map shows the same location with additional buildings and a cleared area in the forest running from the peak, down a ridge, to the base. It looks like it might have been a trail with an approximately 800 foot vertical. There are no lifts shown on the map. The clearing is not as long on the 1974 map and is still present today.”