Exploring the Abandoned Ski Resort at Denton Hill State Park

Ski lift at the abandoned Denton Hill State Park ski resort.

The abandoned ski resort at Denton Hill State Park in Potter County is a case study in dystopian beauty.

Beautiful fall foliage surrounding the abandoned ski lifts at Denton Hill State Park.
Beautiful fall foliage surrounding the abandoned ski lifts at Denton Hill State Park.

The ski slopes and facilities at Denton Hill State Park were built between 1958 and 1969, and operated by the state until 1979.

Fall foliage surrounding the abandoned ski lodge at Denton Hill State Park.
Fall foliage surrounding the abandoned ski lodge at Denton Hill State Park.

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.

Ski Denton was the last company to operate the abandoned ski resort at Denton Hill State Park.
Ski Denton was the last company to operate the abandoned ski resort at Denton Hill State Park.

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.

A lock on the door of the abandoned ski lodge at Denton Hill State Park.
A lock on the door of the abandoned ski lodge at Denton Hill State Park.

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.

The abandoned ski resort at Denton Hill State Park in Potter County.
The abandoned ski resort at Denton Hill State Park in Potter County.

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.

A map to the abandoned ski resort at Denton Hill State Park in Potter County, PA.
A map to the abandoned ski resort at Denton Hill State Park in Potter County.

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.

Denton Hill State Park entrance along Route 6 in Potter County.
Denton Hill State Park entrance along Route 6 in Potter County.

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.

The abandoned ski resort at Denton Hill State Park in October of 2021.
The abandoned ski resort at Denton Hill State Park in October of 2021.

That said, they make for an interesting and challenging hike, culminating with some spectacular views from the top.

Fall foliage in the valley around Denton Hill State Park in Potter County.
Fall foliage in the valley around Denton Hill State Park in Potter County.

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 abandoned ski lodge at Denton Hill State Park in Potter County.
The abandoned ski lodge at Denton Hill State Park in Potter County.

The ski lift equipment on the slopes has not fared well after years of abandonment.

Lift chair at the abandoned Denton Hill State Park ski resort.
Lift chair at the abandoned Denton Hill State Park ski resort.

If the slopes ever were to be reopened to downhill skiing, the lift equipment would certainly have to be replaced at this point.

Abandoned ski lift at Denton Hill State Park in Potter County, Pennsylvania.
Abandoned ski lift at Denton Hill State Park in Potter County.

A new generation of employees might not even recognize this corded phone!

Ski lift controls at the abandoned Denton Hill State Park ski resort.
Ski lift controls at the abandoned Denton Hill State Park ski resort.

The weathered, rustic buildings at the abandoned ski resort remind me of abandoned mining towns I’ve seen when driving out west.

Fall foliage surrounding one of the lifts at the abandoned ski resort at Denton Hill State Park.
Fall foliage surrounding one of the lifts at the abandoned ski resort at Denton Hill State Park.

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!)

Top of the abandoned ski lift at Denton Hill State Park.
Top of the abandoned ski lift at Denton Hill State Park.

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.

The overgrown ski lifts at Denton Hill State Park.
The overgrown ski lifts at Denton Hill State Park.

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.

Looking through the windows of the abandoned ski lodge at Denton Hill State Park.
Looking through the windows of the abandoned ski lodge at Denton Hill State Park.

A beautiful example of 60s-style architecture, the interior of the lodge appears to be relatively intact.

Fireplace inside the abandoned ski lodge at Denton Hill State Park.
Fireplace inside the abandoned ski lodge at Denton Hill State Park.

Such a beautiful building, with so much character, in an gorgeous state park location – now sitting locked, empty, and abandoned.

The abandoned Denton Hill ski lodge in October, 2021.
The abandoned Denton Hill ski lodge in October, 2021.

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.

Reflections of fall foliage on a pond at the abandoned Ski resort at Denton Hill State Park.
Reflections of fall foliage on a pond at the abandoned Ski resort at Denton Hill State Park.

As recently as the summer of 2021, they tried to bid out the rights to run the proposed resort, but had no takers.

"Unload Here" sign on one of the ski lifts at the abandoned ski resort at Denton Hill State Park.
“Unload Here” sign on one of the ski lifts at the abandoned ski resort at Denton Hill State Park.

Will the abandoned ski resort at Denton Hill State Park ever reopen, or will it remain a rusty tribute to days gone by?

Emergency shutdown switch on one of the ski lifts at Denton HIll State Park.
Emergency shutdown switch on one of the ski lifts at Denton Hill State Park.

That part of the story remains to be written.

Lift chairs last used in 2014 at the abandoned ski resort in Potter County.
Lift chairs last used in 2014 at Denton Hill State Park in Potter County.

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.

Lift chairs dangle in the air at the abandoned Denton Hill Ski Resort in Potter County.
Lift chairs dangle in the air at the former Ski Denton Resort in Potter County.

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.

A panoramic view of Lyman Run lake and dam at Lyman Run State Park in Potter County, Pennsylvania.
Lyman Run State Park in Potter County, PA.

Boone Run Vista in Potter County is a roadside scenic overlook just minutes from Cherry Springs State Park.

Boone Run Vista along Junction Road in Potter County PA.
Boone Run Vista along Junction Road in Potter County.

If you’re an abandoned places junkie, then be sure to check out 25 Abandoned Places in PA You Can Legally Explore.

Rays Hill Tunnel along the Abandoned PA Turnpike.
Rays Hill Tunnel along the Abandoned PA Turnpike.

If you’re chasing those autumn leaves, be sure to check out 18 PA State Parks Perfect for Fall Foliage Lovers.

View of Kinzua Bridge skywalk from footbridge over Kinzua Creek.
View of the skywalk at Kinzua Bridge State Park in McKean County.

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Rusty Glessner is an award-winning photographer, lifelong Pennsylvanian, and creator of the PA Bucket List travel blog.

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