Croom, Maryland

Want to go downhill skiing less than 30 minutes from the heart of D.C.? Well, you can’t -; not anymore, at least. But in the 60’s, you could, at the Mattaponi Ski Area near Croom, Maryland. DCSki Reader Marvin Hass uncovered this lost ski area, and pointed us to an article written in the Washington Post by Ron Fett in 1967 providing some details about the area.

Mattaponi was less than 30 minutes from Washington, D.C., and had two tractor-powered rope tows that were 800 and 400 feet in length. According to Ron’s article, the area had “broad, gentle slopes” and billed itself as “The Place to Start,” targeting beginners.

Mattaponi had floodlights for night skiing, and used snowguns to make snow. During the summer of 1967, the ski area built a new warming hut, and dug out a small skating rink at the top of the slopes.

During its first two years, the area operated mainly on natural snow. The owner-developer was Elwood Sager, who learned to ski as an undergraduate in Hanover, N.H., according to Ron’s article.

The main house at Mattaponi was built in 1745 and owned by Robert Bowie, an early Maryland Governor.

During the summer, Mattaponi offered activities such as fishing, boating, horseback riding and tennis. During 1967, a nine-hole golf course was under construction. Ron also notes that several sky diving groups used a landing strip on the property.

DCSki Sponsor: Canaan Valley Resort

Reader Comments

March 19, 2005
were can i find more information about this ski area in mattaponi?
April 1, 2005
I Have two articles about this ski area, which include the directions to the ski area and what was offered at the ski area.I will be going to check out the ski area in a couple of weeks to get some photos.if anyone would like to buy this information then it is for sale for $5 for everything.just send me an e-mail @ and i will tell you were to send your payment.I am also going to try to see if they can open this ski area back up.if anyone wants to help me to get it reopened, just drop me an email.Thanks
Tom Huhn
January 25, 2009
My father was Elwood Sager's lawyer. I remember as a child going to visit the Mattaponi property many times, including the period when Mr. Sager was trying to create a ski operation. I would be happy to try and answer anyone's questions on the subject.

Ski and Tell

Snowcat got your tongue?

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