DCSki Reader Jonathan F. believes there might be a Lost Ski Area near Deep Creek Lake, Maryland (other than Wisp, which continues to run today). He writes:
“This is going to be really really vague but I believe there is a lost ski area, very close to Deep Creek Lake. My friend’s parents had a house there and we used to go there in the late 80’s. It was walking distance to the lake and next to their house were two cuts of trees. One was a straight line from top to bottom. The second was a meandering slope that started at the top of the first cut and eventually met back at the bottom.
This leads me to believe the first cut was some type of lift and the second cut was the slope.”
If you know any details about this possible area, please let us know.
Jonathan's memory is correct.
The tiny ski area (two trails) is in a private, resort community called Sky Valley. I skied the two trails he describes in the 1970s. It was good skiing when there was enough snow. Sometime before the 1970s, there was a working rope tow at the site. Remnants of the rope tow infrastructure were still visible decades after it shut down, but I don't know if it can still be seen today. Across the street from the end of the ski trails is the Sky Valley care taker's lodge and a fishing pond (both are visible in the large clear cut area in the photo that Jonathan posted). And the trails are indeed walking distance to Deep Creek Lake. You must be a property owner in Sky Valley to use the trails today. With roads adjacent to the top and bottom of the two trails, one could use an automobile as a lift in lieu of the old rope tow.
And how does this relate to "Marsh Mountain"?
I have a postcard for Marsh Mountain Ski Area on my website. It's back reads:
The McHenry area of Deep Creek Lake, Garrett County Maryland. The ski Trails of Marsh Mountain Ski Area can be seen in the center. On the peninsula in the center is Deep Creek Lodge with U.S. Route 219 at the right.
Here is the url to the page: http://teachski.com/pcindex2004/MainpgMaryland.htm
Scott's comments are accurate. My family has been going to Sky Valley for 25 years, and during my entire tenure there those 2 trails have been known and used as a sledding hill. Years before, there was a tow system there, but local legend is that people would leave and not shut down the tow, and it simply wore out and was ruined too many times. As a kid in the late 80s we'd use a snowmobile to pull our sleds back up the hill on the roads, then figured out that it was more fun just to pull the sleds with the snowmobiles at 40 miles per hour or so on the roads. Amazing we're all still alive.
As I read your post I was thinking to myself, "it sounds like where my parents have a house in Sky Valley." As I read the comments, it appears that this was the place you were speaking of." Anyhow, parents built a place in Sky Valley back in 76". I have many fond memories of sled riding and skiing down the hill with my family and friends. Now, I have young kids, and would love to teach them to ski and sled ride n that former slope.