Hanley’s Happy Hill Ski Area

Eagles Mere, Pennsylvania

Ezra Burgess provides the following information about a Lost Ski Area in Sullivan County, Pennsylvania:

She followed up with:

Kevin Whipple writes that the area of Hanley’s Happy Hill is now known as Keystone Mountain Park, located in Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania. Kevin writes:

A 3-d view of the area from Google Earth. Image provided by Kevin Whipple.

An aerial image of the area from Google Earth. Image provided by Kevin Whipple.

Topographic map of the area, showing the probable area of the chairlift expansion, and the vertical drop for the tow and the possible chair. Image provided by Kevin Whipple.

Looking down the towline from where it cuts into the woods from the meadow. Notice the light attached to the tree pointed up the liftline. I didn’t see any other lights that would indicate night skiing. Photo provided by Kevin Whipple.

Looking up the towline from the base. This concrete slab, which now serves as a bench stand, is identical to one at the top of the tow. I don’t know what kind of lift this was, where the drive was, or anything about it really. Photo provided by Kevin Whipple.
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Reader Comments

alan cupp
May 13, 2010
hanleys had two rope tows ,no snow making,one trail was lighted ,i think they were open tues an /or thurs nights till 8pm .it was a great place to hang out and ski,rip hanley was a great guy . i thought there last season was 83/84. does anyone remember anything abuot broad horizons ski area ,south of eagles mere just off of route 42.
Jan Hamme
November 6, 2010
In the late '60s and early 70's groups could rent out the lodge at Hanley's Happy Hill. The swim club we belonged to in the summers rented the lodge for two consecutive New Years Eves. I learned to ski in Eaglesmere.
The lodge held bunks and we usually divided up between men and women. Frankly, I don't remember where the guys stayed--hmmm.
The downstairs of the lodge was the equipment room and the upstairs held the fire and eating areas.
There was a more gradual small slope with moguls to the left, a short straight slope in the middle and that's all I remember. The tow rope was on the other side of the slope. I remember my brother, who rushed out to ski straddling the tow rope and everyone watching him from the lodge window (he would have been about 10 or 11).
At nights we would rent snowmobiles and go for long rides, but I have no idea where we went. :)
Hanley's Happy Hill was happy and I have fond memories.
J Higgins
June 16, 2011
Rip and Wife Carolyn were fine people. I ran several X-C ski trips for the Columbia Ski Club to Hanley's Happy Hill between 1985 and 1991 and Rip was great to work with. We used the big lodge building he had. Also XC skiied there a few times with just a few of us, he had a small apt where he and Carolyn lived and let us stay there for free. The last year or 2 I was there, he had started building a big new XC ski lodge log building on Rt 42 just east of town, and ran the rental and trail passes out of there. He had built just the ground floor in true Rip fashion with plans to build above. Never got back to see how it progressed, but it sounds like it is gone and maybe Rip and Carolyn are no longer with us either?
August 21, 2014
Member since 08/21/2014 🔗
1 posts

I first met the girl I married on the slopes of Hanley's Happy Hill in Eagles  Mere, PA, in January 1964. We were both freshmen at Bucknell University, but we hadn't met until that day. Hanley's Happy Hill had both a rope tow and a J-bar in 1964.

We later skied at Whiteface in Lake Placid. After we married we moved to Washington State where we skied in the Cascades.

Now living on the central coast of California, we seldom see ski, but all of our kids do.

February 25, 2022 (edited March 1, 2022)
Member since 02/25/2022 🔗
2 posts

I started cross country skiing in 1992 at Hanleys Happy Hill in Eagles Mere, PA.  In 1993 Rip Hanley asked my wife and I to join the team and be on the ski patrol which we did.  Rip and Carolyn were so nice to be with and they always had something cooking in the crock pot for lunch.  They treated us like family and we really enjoyed helping out.  We had to wear a 2 way radio and patrol the entire course looking for people in distress.  They had numerous trails with many hills and valleys to test your ability.  Rip has a nephew, Matt who would help out too.  I also taught private lessons to help individuals who were just having a difficult time.  At the end of the day we had to ski to the outer loop of all the trails to make sure no one was lost and make sure they were heading back to the rental lodge.   We were on the ski patrol until we moved in 1998 and had a great time.

Thirty years later we are retired and still cross country skiing and I'm a volunteer ski instructor for PA DCNR in Tioga and Potter County.  Many PA State Parks have organized winter outdoor events at designated locations for snow shoes and cross country skiing.  PA DCNR has a ski trailer with enough skies, poles and boots for about 75 adults and kids.  Some parents want to ski and some just want to watch their kids learn how to ski.  All the events are FREE and parents really appreciate all our total efforts.  

Dave Snyder

Ski and Tell

Snowcat got your tongue?

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