The abandoned ski resort at Denton Hill State Park in Potter County is a case study in dystopian beauty.
The ski slopes and facilities at Denton Hill State Park were built between 1958 and 1969, and operated by the state until 1979.
After that, the job of running the ski resort was bid out to private contractors, with the last contractor being Ski Denton, who operated it until their contract expired in 2014.
Now the resort sits empty and abandoned, with no buildings or even a restroom open to the public, even though the state park is still open to visitors.
So if you’re looking for a unique place to enjoy the fall foliage, or a quiet, STEEP hike any time of year, here’s what you need to know about exploring the abandoned ski resort at Denton Hill State Park.
How to Find the Abandoned Ski Resort at Denton Hill State Park
The entrance to the abandoned ski resort at Denton Hill is located right along Route 6 in Potter County, midway between Coudersport and Galeton.
If navigating by GPS, use coordinates 41.778022, -77.827941 to find the park entrance, directly across the street from the entrance to the PA Lumber Museum.
Exploring the Slopes at the Abandoned Ski Resort
The slopes at the abandoned Denton Hill ski resort are not maintained, and are beginning to revert back to nature.
That said, they make for an interesting and challenging hike, culminating with some spectacular views from the top.
On the fall day I hiked up the steepest slope, I followed some deer trails up the overgrown slopes and although a bit winded, found the views to be worth the effort.
The ski lift equipment on the slopes has not fared well after years of abandonment.
If the slopes ever were to be reopened to downhill skiing, the lift equipment would certainly have to be replaced at this point.
A new generation of employees might not even recognize this corded phone!
The weathered, rustic buildings at the abandoned ski resort remind me of abandoned mining towns I’ve seen when driving out west.
The small buildings towards the top of the slopes have fared poorly since they were abandoned, and the building on the left in the photo below was home to a thriving swarm of wasps (consider yourself warned!)
Seeing how fantastic the fall foliage looked at Denton Hill State Park during my visit, it seems like such a missed opportunity to have this once-beautiful (and taxpayer-owned) ski resort rusting and rotting away, instead of welcoming visitors in all seasons.
Exploring the Lodge at the Abandoned Ski Resort
As mentioned previously, the lodge is locked at the abandoned Denton Hill State Park ski resort, so the only exploring you can do is peeking through the windows.
A beautiful example of 60s-style architecture, the interior of the lodge appears to be relatively intact.
Such a beautiful building, with so much character, in an gorgeous state park location – now sitting locked, empty, and abandoned.
The Future of the Abandoned Ski Resort at Denton Hill State Park
The state has expressed interest in partnering with private industry in an attempt to reopen the Denton Hill ski resort as a 4-season attraction.
As recently as the summer of 2021, they tried to bid out the rights to run the proposed resort, but had no takers.
Will the abandoned ski resort at Denton Hill State Park ever reopen, or will it remain a rusty tribute to days gone by?
That part of the story remains to be written.
In the near term, you can enjoy a fabulous display of color at one of the most unique fall foliage destinations in Pennsylvania when you visit the abandoned ski resort at Denton Hill State Park.
The Pennsylvania Lumber Museum in Potter County uses historic artifacts and interactive exhibits to help visitors understand the history of the lumbering industry in the Keystone State, from the arrival of the first Europeans to the present day.
Lyman Run State Park is located just a few miles from Denton Hill State Park, and is home to the famous “sawtooth dam” forming Lyman Run Lake.
Boone Run Vista in Potter County is a roadside scenic overlook just minutes from Cherry Springs State Park.
If you’re an abandoned places junkie, then be sure to check out 31 Abandoned Places in PA You Can Legally Explore.
If you’re chasing those autumn leaves, be sure to check out 20 PA State Parks Perfect for Fall Foliage Lovers.
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