Ski SnowPeak

Thompsontown, Pennsylvania

Ski SnowPeak was located in Pennsylvania between State College and Harrisburg on U.S. Route 322. The resort had a vertical drop of 643 feet and had 9 trails with one 3,200-foot quad and one 120-foot pony lift.

The resort opened in early 1989, but the concept originated as early as 1969, when a group of local investors formed the Tusquenita Corporation. The corporation purchased the land in 1972 and began cutting trails, intending to call the ski area Tusquenita. However, the land ended up sitting dormant, and the ski area was never opened. Tusquenita Corp. was purchased by John P. Hall in 1978. The ski area finally began materializing in late 1988, with a frantic effort to install a quad chairlift, install snowmaking, and build a lodge.

The first phase of the resort brought skiing halfway up the mountain. In a planned second phase, which was supposed to be complete in time for the 1998-1999 winter season, trails would go all the way from the top of the mountain. This would have given Ski SnowPeak a vertical drop of 1,340 feet, making it the highest vertical drop in Pennsylvania. Ski SnowPeak had north-facing slopes that were protected from afternoon sunlight, and an unlimited supply of water for snowmaking from the nearby Juniata River. Prospects for the ski area looked bright.

However, by February, 1991, Ski SnowPeak had plunged into bankrupcy; court records indicated that the ski area was at least $4.3 million in the red. That put an end to any further expansion plans, and caused the resort to shut down very shortly after it had opened. On February 27, 1991, the Harrisburg-based Patriot-News reported that John P. Hall was also trying to develop a ski area in Montana to be called Ski Yellowstown. But those plans were aborted when the U.S. Forest Service refused to provide necessary approvals, due to grizzly bear habitation at the planned area. The Patriot-News also included this information about Hall:

Three years later, with SnowPeak still bankrupt and out of operation, further tragedy hit the ski area in the early hours of February 13, 1994. Suspected arson caused the lodge to be destroyed by fire. It took firefighters six hours to contain the blaze.

In early 1995, the Patriot-News reported that potential buyers were looking at purchasing and re-opening Ski SnowPeak. Nothing ever materialized.

DCSki reader Joshua P. recalls some of the details of Ski SnowPeak:

DCSki Reader Rob had an old SnowPeak brochure on hand and sent us the following scans, providing some raw statistics for the resorts.

Joshua P. also provided the following photos showing what Snowpeak looks like today.

Overall view of the mountain from the Thompsontown substation. Photo provided by Joshua P.
View from billboard right out of town. Photo provided by Joshua P.
Lights still in trees, Cannonball run. Photo provided by Joshua P.
Base where Big-um quad was, and the last fall line of Cannonball run. Photo provided by Joshua P.
Base, Cannoball run and Locamotion. Photo provided by Joshua P.
The old lift house at the upper terminal, now used as a hunting cabin. Photo provided by Joshua P.

In early 2007, Joshua P. located a lady who used to work at Ski Snowpeak. She had a number of pictures of Snowpeak when it was in operation, which she provides below.

Big-um Quad.
Lodge being built.
Lodge being built.
The main base area.
Snowmaking in operation.
Snowmaking, using what appears to be portable airless fan guns.
Looking at base from the Big-um Quad.
Coming down Switchyard to the lodge.
Inside of the lodge, which burned down a few years later.

Reader Comments

February 15, 2005
Wow, I have been looking for that place for soooo long, i remmeber seeing it after it burned down a few years later2 on a road trip but i couldn't remeber what the place was, I only knew it was near Harrisburg. Thanks for all the Info
February 23, 2005
I did a lot of skiing at Snowpeak I live only minutes away. The management was terrible and that led to
its demise. It was great for those living in the area because the closest ski area other than Snowpeak was 1 hour away. It is sad to see it today. I believe an amish family now owns the land and they use it for hunting purposes.
Josh P.
March 8, 2005
I looked on the ski web site and it said that a borvig quad chairlift was installed in 1988(big-um quad) which would lead me to believe it opened around that time. It was the main lift going up cannonball run. But it also said a Borvig double was installed in 1990. Did this replace the ponylift? I don't remember seeing a double anywhere.Brian, maybe you know. I took a quick trip up a few weeks ago, and you could see the concrete pillars for the main lift still there and up the trail. Cannonball run still has some lights in the trees! Penn central and cannonball run both had decent fall lines to them. The top of the lift where the control room was is now a hunting stand, and there is also one midway up. Due to time constraints I didn't get to the east side where there was supposively a halp pipe and ropetow. Maybe next time.Where the lodge was is now a private business. Brian, is there anymore info about it you can provide? I did take some pictures and will post them when i get them developed.Note, the property is Posted.
Jeff H
December 26, 2005
I recall a number of stories around this sadly run operation:

1) The area was supposed to rise 1100 ft, but it was too poorly capitalized to build more than 600 ft.

2)During its first year of operation the area was unable to open until March because the lift cable delivered in Sept was 100' too short.

3) Most DC skiers never knew it existed. The area never posted an advertisement in the Washington Post, never sent sales reps to any DC ski show, nor did it ever have its snow conditions listed in the Washington Post Weekend magazine.

4) The area operated during the worst (shortest) ski seasons of the 80's. Undoubtably, this contributed to its demise.

5) One year heavy spring rains caused a mud slide that was wiped out its base lodge. (This may have been the putative fire mentioned in the history.)

6) FINAL STRAW: The area had inept lift operators. During a summer visit by prospective investors, the area lifted them to the top of the lift for a view. Then, the operator downloaded the investor group by fully loading each chair. Since this load factor greatly exceeded the posted lift capacity (most chairs can only download at 30-50% of the uphill capacity), the chair broke down--hanging up the prospective investors. Presumably, the investors were suitably impressed with the management and chose to put their money elsewhere.
Josh P.
December 28, 2005
Jeff, is there any other info you have about the place ? Pictures or anything ? I was told the amish family that owns it now might be selling it. My father said he had gone skiing there one time. He said the trails were not that bad, however he mentioned he took a big fall because one of the snow guns running was not adjusted properly. Apperently it was running tooo much water which was making slush , and he hit the slush and wiped out.This certainly seems to back up a lot of poeples thoughts on the poor managment issues.The lodge he said was a very nice lodge.Snowmaking came right out of the juniata river.What a shame it is to see it today. Maybe some day the right investors will see the great potential this mountain has to offer. 1100-1200' vertical only 30 minutes from Harrisburg, certainly a jewel in itself.
Adirondack Blues
January 7, 2006
I used to drive thast way on my way out to school in the early 90s- I've never skied there, but I always wondered what it was and what happened to it- thanks for the great info.
January 15, 2006
I have been sking for a while but never had skied there. I mostly do my snowboading at Ski Roundtop and i heard that they had bought much of skisnowpeaks snowmaking equipment and some of their lifts.Is this true or just a rumor?
Kevin H.
February 13, 2006
Never been there, but I found the satellite image on Terra Server at:

Lat 40.540
Long 77.245 W
February 14, 2006
Does anyone know if real estate is available in that area to buy?
February 17, 2006
I have heard of snowpeak before, and was excited to learn more information about it. I am an employee at Ski Roundtop, but am soon looking to invest in a mountain of my own. This sounds like it has potential. Does anyone know how to get a hold of the current owners? I would like to see if they are looking to sell the land. It would be a milestone to run a mountain that could have the highest vertical drop in the state.
Josh P.
February 17, 2006
Dan, e-mail me at . Might be able to provide some info for you.
bill erdman
March 1, 2006 the 1970s i was at this area..a old man was the original developer.i was there with my uncle to look at this new ski area which SKI magazine had done an major story on..they claimed it would have the highest vertical drop outside of new england..the published drop was 1200 ft.from the top...when i was there the man was at the location and had talked to us about his that time there was a mobile home base lodge 14x70...and he had cleared the first slope to the left(see your pictures)..that was all..except he did have the main lift line cut to the top of the mountain..if you recall you could see that even when the lower section was complete...i could go on for hours about this area..about the Hall family and how it was in SKI ROUNDTOPS best interest to have it go away..this area's potential who have hurt all area's to the south of it..if developed like the old man wanted to..if any of you would like to chat about this area or others that were nearby,and there were others..within 30 minutes of harrisburg, me @ and i will give you my phone number..thanks
Jebediah Stoltzfus
March 27, 2006
In response to Kyle:
If it is owned by the Amish as a hunting property...better plan on paying twice what it is worth. But nonetheless, Kyle, you should provide your number so other interested investors could contact you. Believe me, you will draw people from State College. Tussey Mountain is pathetic.
April 5, 2006
Has anyone gone skiing there recently? I never got to ski at this facility. I do remember as a child that the owners burnt the facility down when Roundtop was working on purchasing the property. That mountain needs to re-open
April 27, 2006
I'm looking for information on the Hall family that had owned this ski resort. Any information that you have and post would be greatly appreciated.
Josh P.
May 2, 2006
Stephanie, the only thing I know is recently he was in the paper and his address was on N. Arlington Ave. near colonial park. People search and white pages don't list anything. Seems like there is a lot of interest in this place, it would be nice to find out more and see if theres any way we could start it up again, you never know.
Ski Crazy
May 2, 2006
1200-1300' vert,we need to open this place again. If we could get enough interest and enough people with different backgrounds, it could be possible. Hey , John Hall did it!
May 3, 2006
Do we know where the amish family that owns this property lives? I would love to make a go of this place. if we could open snow peak to the top we could seriously give round top a run for there money.
Josh P.
May 3, 2006
Last time I hiked there (2/2006) I talked to a neighbor who said he believed they were going to sell it. The tuscarora hunting club is what name appears on the posted signs. Maybe we could ask around. The one house in front of where the rope tow used to be has been there since the slopes were there , maybe they might know whats going on.
May 3, 2006
Thanks for that info Josh, i think i will try calling the county and see if i can find any info on the property owners. I tried to bring up the tuscarora hunt club on the internet but nothing showed up. How hard would it be to finish clearing the trails and open the entire mountain the way it should of been.
May 4, 2006
Did John Hall sell SnowPeak or did the court sell it due to bankruptcy?
Josh P.
May 4, 2006
KAT, the trails only have small saplings and brush on them in spots. A loader or dozer is all that would be needed to clear the current trails, you can probably see that with some of the pics I posted. There is one open trail that I goes to the top, i think there was another started but not finished. The top half is extremely steep and would take a little more to completely open it up.But it could be done. On the topo map it shows the elevation directly above cannonball run at over 1700'. With a base of 427'that says it all.Stephanie, I believe the bank auctioned it, not John Hall. There is lots of rumors as to why in never kept running, Roundtop was involved, etc, who knows. If theres enough interest, we should try to find out if theres any way to start it up again.
Ski Crazy
May 4, 2006
If that not that exact property, for a few miles to the west is state forest land. The top elavation there is over 2000' with a base of 500'. Theres some vert!
May 4, 2006
The reason I ask is because I am doing a documentary on John Hall's castle like mansion in mechanicsburg so I'm just trying to find out what his life was like.

That would be so amazing to start this up again. This could be one of the best resorts if it's run right. Hey, you can count me in if you're planning to open it up. I'm willing to work.
May 4, 2006
I have been thinking about this alot lately. It seems that it would take dedication to get it up and running if you could add a camp ground there to make some profit in the summer months and have cabins for all year around use it could help add to the income. Josh i was just up that way this weekend and it is hard to see the trail that goes to the top. Josh hat are you thoughts on how this place ended. I am still looking for information on that hunt club. I will see if the county office has any other info.
May 4, 2006
josh do you happen to know the exact address is or the street name. i see the p.o box address above.
Josh P.
May 4, 2006
The trail that goes to the top you can see on microsofts terra server, since my pics are hard to see it. Was this roundtops best interest, well, Bill Erdmans comments certainly seem to point it that way. Even with the lodge burned, you still had all your pipes, lifts, etc. So if Roundtop was really interested in it, they would have bought it. The address from what I know was Ski Snowpeak, Rt. 333. thompsontown. It would take some money, but you do have some foundational elements already established, and with 1300' vert, i don't think you'd have to worry about ticket sales. I have more pics if anyone is interested.
May 4, 2006
i was reading the patriot news archives on john P. Hall it said that The bank sold the property to the highest bidder who bought it for 750,000 and it is 23 acres and they defaulted on there 3 million dollar loan. You are right though if you could just get the mountain to the point you could open it you should be in good shape.
May 5, 2006
i am sorry i posted that it was 23 acres cause i read it somewhere but it is showing that there is 550 acres. I would like to see the other pictures you got on this.
Josh P.
May 6, 2006
I also looked up some archives for the patriot news and found a lot of info. There was a great deal of info in these articles I found too. If anyone wants some more info and pics e-mail me at
May 8, 2006
I spoke to the assesment office for Juniata county. Im pretty sure that i had the right parcell number for the property because the records show the First Community bank of Princeton West Virgina previously owned this land and sold it to Tuscarora Hardwoods, Inc. T this is the only big parcell of land in that area. I was given the name of who owns this property now it is Seth, Mattie, kati and Steven Yoder. It appears that the property could of been split up.
May 11, 2006
Was just discussing with a friend the hike-to potntial of the former snowpeak. Has anyone hiked and skied/ridden recently. I loved snowpeak in 90/91..good stuff, never a lift line and half decent trails. With the northern exposure, it would hold snow days after a storm, no? I imagine that you would need at minimum 12" to ski it safely now.
November 6, 2006
Just a heads up on Ski Snowpeak, I am pretty sure that the community that it is located in is "dry". NOt that its the end of the world, just can make it difficult to run a lodge. The community that the upper portion of the slopes would be in is not dry. My family and I had interest in this place in the mid 90's and decided against it because of the capital investment necessary to get it back up and running. Don't forget about the potential problems with the withdrawl permit from the river. It has long expired.
November 6, 2006
Just a heads up on Ski Snowpeak, I am pretty sure that the community that it is located in is "dry". NOt that its the end of the world, just can make it difficult to run a lodge. The community that the upper portion of the slopes would be in is not dry. My family and I had interest in this place in the mid 90's and decided against it because of the capital investment necessary to get it back up and running. Don't forget about the potential problems with the withdrawl permit from the river. It has long expired.
December 30, 2006
I just heard about this mountain and am planning to take a trip up to see whats up with would be amazing since its the same distance as roundtop and with great management could blow roundtop out of the water...
January 10, 2007
I snowboarded there in 1989 several times and maybe once in 1990. The conditions were usually bad and the place was poorly managed and rarely ever crowded. I never been back since, weird seeing those pictures of what remains.
Larry S.
January 18, 2007
Being a volunteer at Snowpeak during it's dark days it's interesting to see there is still interest in the area. The management, John Hall, only purchased the property to use it as collatrial for the purchase out West when that fell through so did Snowpeak. The working management worked very hard with what they had, machine and money, to make it go. They did attend shows in D.C, and Baltimore in 91 also Valley Forge that I remember. John Hall did not pay for this ,the employees took it out of their own pockets. The management of Doe Mountain ran Snowpeak once in bankruptcy. The first year they broke even the second they were forced by the bank in West Virgina to close. They were up until that time showing a profit. I believe the quad chair lift went to Doe Mountain or it's management. I think at auction the property went as two parcials. I live directly over the mountain from Snowpeak and would love to se it operational again.
January 18, 2007
I also live only minutes from the slope. Comments before blame the managers. Put a big portion of your blame on John Hall! His children and wife thought this was their personal playground and treated everyone poorly including customers. John took more money from the business than he ever put in, making it difficult for the mangers to run a business. I worked in the office and all over as an unpaid volunteer. My husband and I gave Snowpeak the computers and a friend gave them the phone system and installation. We all worked on donated lumber and equipment, but it just didn't help. Weather of course was a prime factor those years along with the temperature inversion that the mountain deals with (freezing at the bottom but anywhere from 10 to 20 degrees warmer at or near the top). Also someone (no blame here) torched the lodge long after it closed down. My husband and I knew something was wrong as the mountain just lit up late one evening like it use to when they were making snow. We laughed and said well I wonder if he finally decided to burn the lodge also. Must laugh about that. I have pictures when the Snowpeak was running, but will have to find them and scan if anyone interested.
Jamie C.
January 20, 2007

If you ever complete that documentary on John Hall's mansion, do you think you could post it online? I always thought that was the coolest place and I'd love to know more about it. If you're looking for more information on Hall's family, I think this is his sons' website:
January 21, 2007
Hey guys I'm an avid snowboarder and I think some awesome pictures of the old ski resort when it was in bussiness would be nice to post and also some more on Halls life and information. My grandfather helped put the roof on crazy man halls Belltower. Supposedly Hall was kind of out their... I'm in mechanicsburg near the mansion that all my friends talk about is haunted... More info on everything would be awesome
Josh P.
January 25, 2007
Nancy, i think a lot of people would be interested in seeing some pics of the place. I only have current pictures. It would be nice if someone could come up with a solution to get this place running again.
Richard Hays
January 29, 2007
I believe I may be one of the last people who ever ski'd there. On that day, there were only three people there; me and two guys on snowboards. The lodge was still there and I remember two lifts actually; the main quad and a triple chair servicing the beginner slope to the left?
I first became aware of "The Tusk" as it was called by hangglider pilots back in 1977. We used to fly off the top of the mountain. Trails had been cut for skiing but it never materialized as far as I knew. Not until Snowpeak opened. As a member of the local hanggliding community, we gave a flight demonstration that day of the grand opening which...was in October I think. No snow, but they trucked in some stuff to ski on for promo purposes. It all seemed VERY promising.
The trails were wonderful! They were fairly easy but each had its own personality, full of twists, turns and drops. The main slope was fun too. The promise of expanding to the top was going to make this one heck of a ski area. I also remember the lifts and snowmakers were all state of the art stuff.

But...on what I think was the last day, I got about a dozen runs in with the two other guys. They eventually shut the lift down, apologized saying it was costing too much to run the lifts for only three skiers. They gave us our money back and that was it. Shortly thereafter the lodge burned. Rumor has it as arson. I still have a promo tee-shirt from the grand opening day too. Sure wish it would reopen. It really had potential and wasn't a bad drive at all from Baltimore.
I stopped by there several years ago. I was shocked. All the slopes were overgrown. Footers were all that remained of the lodge. One of the owners of the property chased me off. Said it was a hunting reserve now, with no chance of ever being a ski area again. What a shame! C'mon...somebody bring back Snow-Peak!!

Richard Hays (Maryland Hanggliding Assoc.)
February 1, 2007
Josh. I'm not sure how I can get those pictures of Snow Peak on the site? Any ideas? Please email me at let me know how I can do this. I still have to dig through the pictures and scan. But at least I will know what to do.
Josh P.
February 13, 2007
With the expected snow the next two days, maybe a possible powder run or two down cannonball run! The trails are still passable in some spots!
Jamie C.
February 25, 2007
Thanks for the new pics!
February 28, 2007
I skied SnowPeak during its heyday numerous times. If memory serves me, wasn't there a beer party that was busted there toward the end? Or were they serving illegal liquor without a license? I am pretty sure I heard something about liquor atht the end.
Darrell S
March 8, 2007
For all you rail fans out there, notice that the trails were named with a railroad theme. One of the trails was even named "Penn Central". Now that was a bad omen if ever there was one!
March 12, 2007
Hey guys, here is a weird link. this is his old Hall Manor location... If your interested in seeing pictures of that I have some too... Check out this link for his Hellipad at his old home Hall manor. I'll take pictures of it maybe today or tomorrow...
March 14, 2007
Here is a link to pictures of the hose after the fire... Go to the very very bottom of the page to see it, its the one with the huge belltower...
Rockin Robin
July 3, 2007
Kevin Neustadter
July 6, 2007
I remember driving past the ski area about 1991 on my way to visit my future wife while she was in college at Penn State. I actually stopped and visited the lodge and ski shop in late Feb.(?). the ski area didn't have a lot of snow on the ground at the time. I had always wanted to ski there, but never had a chance to.
September 11, 2007
Its interesting to read the stories of this place... My dad took me skiing there when I was 13-14 years old... All I really remember were great times with my old man and thinking this was an awesome place close to home...In hind sight I don't remember it being very crowded... that must have been a "bad year"... Its a shame I cant take my son there (this will be his first ski season!... Is 4 too young?!)... If anyone is interested in opening this place up again, I have no money but I am a Landscape Architect experienced in Land Development approval... I could donate some consulting time!! (
February 11, 2008
If anyone wants to make a run at this place I'd be willing to be an investor as well. It's been my dream since a young kid to own a ski area and I've spent a lot of times researching possible locations, and this seems like the best all around in the East. Looks like about 1320' vertical maximum (425' base, 1745' max). 127 miles from BWI, 140 miles from PHL, 54 miles from State College. This place is a GEM!!!
February 11, 2008
The name SnowPeak has GOT TO GO THOUGH!!! Juniata Peak, Susquehanna Trails, whatever!
Josh P.
February 13, 2008
Tuscarora Mountain would be the name!! The main problem is getting the land! If that could be acquired I would love to see this place open once again.
John P. Halls Grandaughter
February 19, 2008
My mom lived in that bell tower mansion. It's where she grew up.
Bob N.
March 28, 2008
I can remember skiing last in either the 92/93 or 93/94 season, and thought about trying to buy it and turning into the Winter Park of Central PA.

The concept of potentially operating a ski train ala Denver/Winter Park seemed like a natural. The train tracks run right beside the area.

I fondly remember being busted by the ski patrol for skiing down a closed slope. Snow making was occurring, but instead of roping off the top of the trail, the area put a little sign at the top. I never saw the sign.

A relocation to Texas in summer, 1994 ended any of my hopes of buying SnowPeak.

The only reason I'm here today is I was cleaning out snow old stuff and happened to find an old trail map. Thought I'd check to see what ahappened to the place.
Claire Wilson
April 7, 2008
Is John P. Hall still alive? What exactly happened to him? I've tried to find information on this guy for years, and have only come up with rumors and a few articles hinting at conspiracy, bankruptcy, etc. Did he end up in jail? What happened to his kids? Etc. Email me -- if you have any info, I am VERY curious about this!
Neighbor of the Halls
May 23, 2008
I went to school and was friends with one of John's kids. The story of John Hall is quite cool. As you may know his father was the owner of Halls Trucking. He pretty much paid John to keep out of the daily business. Back in the early 80's I would go to the mansion and play with John Jr.. There was no bell tower back then, but it was cool because they had a playroom that was a 3 story open square. Place was filled with toys and authentic suits of armor (wierd). The garage was incredible. If you ever watch Happy Days and see that Yellow Hot Rod in the opening credits, that car was sitting in the garage. In the late 80's John Hall got busted for embezzelment. He stole over 4 million in bonds from his dad's company. And get this, the bonds where actually buried around his property. Then came the bell tower fiasco. All the owners in my neighborhood put up a huge stink because the tower was in everyone's line of site. He got the thing built and when first built, actually had bells that would ring once and hour. Noise ordinance got the bells taken down. At the time he claimed bankruptcy, he was in the process of building a moat around the entire compound. For as eccentric as John Hall was, his 8 kids and wife were the nicest people in the world. I would love to know what happened to all the kids. Sherri Hall is still living in or around the Harrisburg area and I think the entire family disowned John when he was being investigated for the arsons.
Matt F.
July 11, 2008
My brother posted the 5/23 info on here. We used to rip at snowpeak, there where huge rollers that you could pop off of and crank out huge lofty tricks the way you can hit the right roller on ram rod at round top. the place had huge potential it's a shame john hall was the loser that tried to make it happen. r.i.p. snowpeak.
John Hall Jr
January 12, 2009
Yes, My dad was a little eccentric, and liked to spend money, drink and gamble. If his dad wasn't soo busy with his truckin business maybe he would of been a better role model.
January 30, 2009
Well then "John Hall Jr" make right by the family name. snowpeak is just sitting there, already cut out, perfect water source and ready to be the place it should have been in the past. buy it and rock it out.
DCSki Reader
January 31, 2009
Hey John Hall Jr (I'm assuming your the real John Jr),

Do you have any pics of the Hall Mansion in its prime? I always thought that was the coolest place. I'd love to see some pics of it.
February 26, 2009
Yes, I also would love to see pics of the Mansion prior to the fire. A person that I know has up close pics as it is today. Very interesting. I see there is a RV on the site. Who lives there now?
April 13, 2009
I would love to see the mansion before the fire. My friend tells me how amazing it look before that. She and her family told me how magnificent and hugh it was, but still hard to imagine. I hope someone can local pics before the fire. Ms. Sherrie is still in the area, not far from her old ruins.
Medic Martin
December 15, 2009
I was a young boy about the age of 8 or 9 when Ski SnowPeak opend. I remember watching the helicopters set the poles of the main lift line. The Highschool/Jr High had "ski clubs" and the resort had School Nights, I believe they were on Tue nights where students could ski for around $15. I have not done much sking since the demise of SnoPeak and long to have a backyard resort again. I have no pic's just lots of fond memories. I remember that Cannonball Run in the late season would turn into nothing but ice and you couldn't turn. I did do some biking and hiking in the area a few years ago. To the left of the last slope was the maintenance area and a resivoir. Most of the info I have read here states that they used river water but there was a resivoir. It was fed by mountain springs. The maintenance shed still had a small groming machine that people had busted up and I think I remember a snow maker in there too. The 'A' frame house at the base of the beginner slope was used as a party house for years untill the land began being used again. As for the current use I believe the land has been sold to a development company and there are plans for a housing development on and around the slopes. If anyone has any specific questions I would be happy to answer them. (just give me some time I check my Email only about once a week)

Glad to see so much interest in this lost but not forgotten resort.
Mike MacPherson
January 13, 2010
Myself and a bunch of others flew our Hang Gliders from Tusquenita back in the 70's.
bo reed
February 23, 2010
im only 18 but i live right in thompsontown and the trails are still there but are a little grown up but nothin major and if i can i would like to get it running again and im dead serious and if i cant do it i will make sure someone else can
David Kirkpatrick
August 26, 2010
Hello. After reading all of this information on John P. Hall, it's making me very curious on his life. I'm ready to make an article on his life. I've gotten some information off of this, but it seems I need more information on his so called "mansion" that I have no idea is. So, could some people please email me at with all the information/pictures they have.. I'm very interested to find out what was once a popular place or mansion it seems and what it is of now.. Thanks fellas!
David Kirkpatrick
August 26, 2010
David Kirkpatrick
August 26, 2010
Mechanicsburg Resident
November 16, 2011
(In reference to the tower) I have lived 3 miles from this for the past 10 years and I finally had enough and I am doing research on all of this. I have heard countless stories and rumors. I really want to see pics from the late 60's thru the late 80's. the only new information about it is there is now a lare fence around the sructure. It is under new ownership and for sale. The owner of Essis and sons Carpet One owns it and the asking price is $2.25 million. it is 16 acres with a fairly large pond and the creek runs past it.
January 2, 2012
There is a good article about John P. Hall at
Jamie C.
February 12, 2012
Is that story in the article about the man drowning in the moat true? I've followed this place and it's history for some time now, and that's the first time I've heard that. I even checked the Patriot News's achieves and saw nothing on it.
January 9, 2013
Snow peak is where I first learned to ski when I was 4. My famy and I skied there almost every weekend until it finally closed. It was a nice resort that was rarely crowded. Someone please bring it back!
FYI - I saw a post that Tuscarora hardwood owns it and they have their business in elliottsburg, perry county. The owner is Amish and I know he's from around the snow peak area.
July 28, 2013
I remember stopping at the lodge once when I was a kid. The owner, John hall I've learned, was there and talked to us quite a while about his plans for the place. He seemed friendly and excited about it.
I did a lot of camping there in 1998 and 1999. My friend was from juniata county and used to mountain bike the place. A group of us hiked to the top and it was dark by the time we got there. It was a beautiful view across the river and into town, Ill probably never forget the hike and how much it was worth it.
After that trip we would park where the lodge was and just hike to the middle where the lift stopped. There was still a chair at the top and the control room was still there. We camped there a few times until some locals in a giant pickup almost ran us over while four wheeling the place at night.
I used to love diving on 322 in the winter and seeing it. The last time I was nearbye there was a house built at the base of the easternmost slope.
August 7, 2013
YouTube video of Ski SnowPeak, Thompsontown Pa;

Just found this video I took back in December of 1990 as snow was being blown Dec 25th on Ski SnowPeak and skiers on Dec 29th of 1990. Ski SnowPeak was definitely the talk of the town back then. Everyone sure hoped it would succeed, but unfortunatly it did not.
Josh P
September 8, 2013
Thanks Jim for posting the video, neat to see!
January 31, 2021 (edited January 31, 2021)
Member since 01/30/2021 🔗
3 posts

I was on the ski patrol at ski snow peak being first a junior ski patroller and then after getting my wec became a wec certified first aider.. I could ski on a mid- intermediate level, but didn't take the skiing portion of the exam.  I spent most of the time in the first aid room, and just skiing and reporting conditions.

Since I lived close by I could often staff the first aid room while one or two other persons from the area or blue Marsh would come and staff the mountain. There were times, very few, where there were no other ski patrollers on hand. Fortunately we did not have a large evening or weekday ski population or large number of injuries..

I built the one exam table out of scrap 2x4 pieces and some donated plywood. The thing must have weighed 100 pounds. I think the other exam table came in from another ski area. It was nice to see that when we had a larger person or a serious case the patrollers usually chose to use the sturdy table.

The first year it was open, most facilities were in the basement of the ski lodge, as the main Lodge area had not yet been built. The ski rental shop, the ski school, ski patrol and some offices ran out of the basement. Other offices operated out of a trailer house or maybe the A-frame with extended wings that was nearby.

There were a few incidents that were sad to remember, it was a BYOB and occasionally some of the skiers would get pretty plastered. There was twice that I remember personally that we carried fellows out of the woods. One in particular went into the rocks and messed up his skull pretty good. He was life flighted. I believe there were two or three Life flight victims but one may have been either cardiac or a stroke.

A friend of mine also local to the area, built swimming pools in the summer and found a second career as head maintenance and snowmaking overseer. 

When there was good snow, the skiing was also a very good. The slope to the far right was a good  moderate/intermediate slope.

Cannonball run was at places challenging for a intermediate skier and I think it was there we had the most accidents and sprains. The top portion of the soap to the left had a dog leg to bring it back into the area of the ski lodge. It was at that dog leg with that we had the skier in the rocks call.

It was not a real good slope for beginners to learn on though I know many people learned there. The beginner area bordered the area of the lower left run which as mentioned here in the responses had been turned into a half pipe at times.  This is 31/32 years ago by now and the memories are recollected by the pictures. Would love to see more pictures.

I remember the fireplace in the center of the ski lodge was HUGE, It had been built by the pyle Brothers Stone masons from My Pleasant Mills, about 25 miles me of the slope.

As also mentioned above there were a lot of donated time and labor in the hopes that it would take root and flourish. There had been talk of asking the railroad company to put a siding track near or in front of the lodge. It was hoped that on a Friday weekend that several rail cars full of people from DC/baltimer could be dropped off at ski snow peak and somehow arranged to be picked up again on Sunday afternoon. I think there was even talk of having some chalets built to accommodate weekend  patrons, but I don't know if those were ideas and rumors circulated by the volunteers and staff or if by the owners and management. The railroad nixxed or at least tabled the idea of a siding track, and I think that took a little wind out of the enthusiasm that staff and volunteers had for the slope.

I believe there was at least one weekend in the second year when a bus from Baltimore ski club arrived. BYOB was in practice.

But again the skiing itself, I thought was very good. The trails were wide long enough or short enough if you came straight down cannonball to appeal to a wide variety of people. I think only the skier exiting the beginner stage and attempting to learn to ski on the bigger slope was wanting for a more moderate transition.

If any other ski patrollers read this and especially if they have pictures, would love to hear from them. There was a controller named Doug who lived in the Stone House on the north side of thompsontown on the road going to kokomus who was a pretty active member of the ski patrol. The captain came from blue Marsh and was a very well-known member of ski patrol circles. But I can't remember his name, unless it was Jim Mars.

I don't know if we have the right economic climate or area to support a ski slope. It would have to almost be turned into a year-round activity center with things such as mountain bike races and trails and possibly music fest or a summer toboggan slide as some of the Pocono resorts have in order to be profitable. But in my opinion the location was pretty good and if not for the fact that we had some warm Winters and short ski seasons, it may have had a different outcome.

Josh P.
February 10, 2021
Member since 01/30/2018 🔗
8 posts

I found a newspaper clipping showing Snowpeak and Blue marsh advertising together, 1992-93 ski season.

So it would appear it was open for 5 seasons from what I gather, the last being 92-93, as the lodge burned down in February of 1994 and was not open at the time.

A local firefighter was convicted of the arson along with other arsons in the area. Many believed it was Hall but clearly it wasn’t.

Last time I was by the area there are more houses on the slopes, looks like any chances would be a fantasy now to ever open back up, and I doubt the state would let anyone operate anything in the ‘wild’ areas just to the west.

Ski and Tell

Snowcat got your tongue?

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