NewEnglandSkiHistory.com
NewEnglandSkiHistory.com: Connecticut Maine Massachusetts New Hampshire Rhode Island Vermont
Shawnee Peak
Bridgton, Maine
The east side area (2008)
The east side area (2008)
Shawnee Peak Details
Status:Open
First Year of Operation:1938
Vertical Drop:1,300 feet
Lifts in Operation:1 quad, 3 triples, surface lifts
Lifts Removed/Non Operational:1 triple, 3 doubles, surface lifts
Located on the northern end of Pleasant Mountain, Shawnee Peak is the oldest major ski area in Maine.

Early Skiing on Pleasant Mountain
Shawnee Peak's skiing history dates back to 1935, when multiple groups started developing a winter recreation area on the northern slopes of Pleasant Mountain. The Bridgton Lions Club, Bridgton Chamber of Commerce, Bridgton Academy, Portland Ski Club, and Bridgton Civilian Conservation Corps joined together to construct the Wayshego Trail. Laid out by Max Wheildon, Bud Dow, and Clarence Kneeland, the 1.5 mile trail was only the start of what was to come.

In 1937, Bridgton selectmen obtained a Works Progress Administration grant for further development of the ski area. A team of 40 started work, eventually growing to 125. On January 23, 1938, a 1,100 foot rope tow opened, serving lower mountain slopes. The Wayshego Trail was also widened and smoothed for that winter. Other attractions included a ski jump, and cross country skiing. By the time the 1938-39 season rolled around, some $20,000 had been invested in the project.

Likely following the WPA improvements, the Mt. Pleasant Ski Club took charge of improvements. For the 1940-41 season a 300 foot rope tow was added for beginners. Also around this time, the town of Bridgton purchased the land on which the ski area was located. The land was then leased to the Bridgton Chamber of Commerce. Soon thereafter, a group including Russ Haggett formed Pleasant Mountain Corporation and purchased the ski area.

Old Blue
Old Blue
Following World War II, Russ Haggett became general manager of the ski area. Meanwhile, the Wayshego Trail was renamed Jack Spratt in honor of Pleasant Mountain's second manager.

Many Firsts at Pleasant Mountain
The mid 1950s brought significant changes to Pleasant Mountain. Maine's first T-Bar was installed at Pleasant for 1953-54. At about 2,000 in length, the lift served the lower slopes of the ski area.

Around this time, Ray Erickson joined Russ Haggett as owner of the ski area. For 1955-56, Maine's second chairlift was installed at Pleasant Mountain. Later known as "Old Blue," the 4,300 foot double chairlift climbed to the top of the north peak of the mountain.

Good times continued at the mountain. Snowfall was so abundant in 1957-58 that the area was able to operate for 118 days.

For the 1960-61 season, a short Doppelmayr T-Bar was installed, serving a newly cleared five acre novice slope in the vicinity of the present day Rabbit Run. The base lodge was also expanded.

For the 1961-62 season, a "3000-foot slope cut 300 feet wide" was added. Named the East Slope, the new terrain was augmented by a new T-Bar in 1962-63. Improvements were made to the base lodge in 1963, 1964, and 1965.

The Pine double chairlift was installed for the 1969-70 season, providing modern lift access to the lower slopes on the main mountain. Due to related congestion, the novice T-Bar was relocated for the 1970-71 season. The new area was located across the street from the ski area and featured a vertical drop of about 60 feet.

The East Area Debuts
The Pleasant Mountain East Area opened for the 1972-73 season. Serviced by a double chairlift, the new complex featured intermediate and expert terrain, as well as a new base area.

After running Pleasant Mountain for three decades, General Manager Russ Haggett retired prior to the 1975-76 season.

Freestyle skiing became increasingly popular at Pleasant Mountain during the 1970s. In 1978-79, four of the ten United States qualifiers at the North American championships came from Pleasant Mountain.

Pleasant Mountain in the 1960s
Pleasant Mountain in the 1960s
While Pleasant Mountain had been at the top of the state's ski industry for its first few decades, it found itself lagging behind the pack as the 1980s started. Lacking snowmaking, the ski area operated only a few dozen days in 1980-81.

Two hedges against bad winters were made in 1982, when an alpine slide opened for summer operations and lower mountain snowmaking for winter.

A Labor Day weekend 1983 fire at Pleasant Mountain's base lodge threatened to set the ski area back, however hard work resulted in the ski area opening that December. Top to bottom snowmaking debuted that winter.

Following the 1983-84 season, "Old Blue" was removed and replaced with a new Riblet triple chairlift.

$600,000 was invested in the snowmaking system for 1985-85 season. Amongst the improvements was a new pipeline from Moose Pond, providing significant water to the operation. Snowmaking was expanded to the East Side for 1987-88.

Pleasant Mountain Becomes Shawnee Peak
Following the 1987-88 season, the owners of Pleasant Mountain found themselves in financial trouble. That off season, they sold the ski area to Shawnee Mountain Corp. for $1.4 million. Pleasant Mountain was subsequently renamed to "Shawnee Peak," the name of the owners' Pennsylvania ski area.

For its debut season as Shawnee Peak, major changes were made to the ski area. A new Borvig double chairlift was installed near the original location of the novice T-Bar. Snowmaking was further expanded, while base area facilities were improved. Finally, night skiing was added on the lower mountain.

Pleasant Mountain in the 1970s
Pleasant Mountain in the 1970s
Night skiing was expanded to the summit for the 1989-90 season, giving Shawnee Peak the most lit terrain in New England. The 121 day season ended up setting records for length of season and number of skier visits.

Chet Homer Buys Shawnee Peak
Circa 1992, the parent company decided to divest its skiing holdings, resulting in banks taking control of Shawnee Peak. After a couple of season on the bubble, Shawnee Peak was purchased by Tom's of Maine executive Chet Homer in September of 1994. Though Homer considered restoring the ski area's original name, he opted to keep the Shawnee Peak identity due to the brand that had been established.

After making under the hood improvements, Homer made a splash in 1997 when $1.2 million was invested in Shawnee Peak. In addition to a new beginner lift, two chairlifts were upgraded. The East Area's double chairlift was converted into a triple while the Pine Double was replaced with a new CTEC Quad chairlift.

For the 2010-11 season, the aging summit Riblet triple was replaced with a rebuilt CTEC triple, purchased from Loon, NH. The new lift was complemented with a conveyor loading system, allowing it to run faster than its predecessor.


NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News
  • Shawnee Peak to Install New Triple Chairlift - May 25, 2014
  • Camden Snow Bowl Redevelopment Begins - March 18, 2014

  • Expansion History
    Expansion History
    Project NameSeasonStatus
    Upper Mountain1955-56Open
    East Side1972-73Open
    West SideProposed

    Image Gallery
    1954-55 Eastern Ski Map1955-56 Eastern Ski Map1956-57 Eastern Ski Map1957-58 Eastern Ski Map
    1960-61 Eastern Ski Map1961-62 Eastern Ski Map1962-63 Eastern Ski Map1964-65 Eastern Ski Map
    View All Images in Shawnee Peak Image Gallery


    Lifts
    Click on lift name for information and photos
    Standing Lifts
    Installed
    The Pine Quad in 2007Pine Quad
    Garaventa-CTEC-Stadeli
    Chairlift - Quad - Fixed
    1997-98
    Construction of the bottom terminal (2014)Rabbit Run Triple
    Partek
    Chairlift - Triple - Fixed
    2014-15
    Installation of the Summit Express Triple in 2010Summit Express Triple
    CTEC
    Chairlift - Triple - Fixed
    2010-11
    The Sunnyside Triple bottom terminal in 2007Sunnyside Triple
    Hall-CTEC
    Chairlift - Triple - Fixed
    1997-98

    Past Lifts
    Seasons
    East Slope T-Bar
    Constam
    T-Bar
    1962-63
    -
    Main T-Bar
    Constam
    T-Bar
    1953-54
    -
    Novice T-Bar
    Doppelmayr
    T-Bar
    1960-61
    -
    1960-70
    The Old Blue Double circa the early 1960sOld Blue Double

    Chairlift - Double - Fixed
    1955-56
    -
    1983-84
    The Pine Double circa the 1970sPine Double
    Stadeli
    Chairlift - Double - Fixed
    1969-70
    -
    1996-97
    The Rabbit Run Double in 2007Rabbit Run Double
    Borvig
    Chairlift - Double - Fixed
    1988-89
    -
    2013-14
    Rabbit Run T-Bar
    Doppelmayr
    T-Bar
    1970-71
    -
    The Summit Triple bottom terminal in 2007Summit Triple
    Riblet
    Chairlift - Triple - Fixed
    1984-85
    -
    2009-10
    Sunnyside Double
    Hall
    Chairlift - Double - Fixed
    1972-73
    -
    1996-97

    Maps
    1962-63 Pleasant Mountain Trail Map1963-64 Pleasant Mountain Trail Map1964-65 Pleasant Mountain Trail Map1967-68 Pleasant Mountain Trail Map1969-70 Pleasant Mountain trail mapPleasant Mountain trail map circa 1970s or early 1980s1972-73 Pleasant Mountain Trail Map1982-83 Pleasant Mountain Trail Map
    View All Shawnee Peak Trail Maps

    Year by Year History
    Adult Weekend Full Day Lift Ticket; Adult Full Price Unlimited Season Pass
    2010s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
    Pass Payback
    Opening Day
    Closing Day
    Skier Visits
    2014-15$63.002014-15 Ticket Price Graph$705.002014-15 Season Pass Price Graph11.2 daysDecember 6April 52014-15 Skier Visit Graph
    2013-14$62.002013-14 Ticket Price Graph$699.002013-14 Season Pass Price Graph11.3 daysDecember 7April 52013-14 Skier Visit Graph
    2012-13$59.002012-13 Ticket Price Graph$699.002012-13 Season Pass Price Graph11.8 daysDecember 15March 312012-13 Skier Visit Graph
    2011-12$59.002011-12 Ticket Price Graph$709.002011-12 Season Pass Price Graph12.0 daysDecember 17March 242011-12 Skier Visit Graph
    2010-11$56.002010-11 Ticket Price Graph$709.002010-11 Season Pass Price Graph12.7 daysDecember 112010-11 Skier Visit Graph
    2009-10$53.002009-10 Ticket Price Graph$709.002009-10 Season Pass Price Graph13.4 days2009-10 Skier Visit Graph
    2000s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
    Pass Payback
    Opening Day
    Closing Day
    Skier Visits
    2008-09$52.002008-09 Ticket Price Graph$779.002008-09 Season Pass Price Graph15.0 daysDecember 132008-09 Skier Visit Graph
    2007-08$49.002007-08 Ticket Price Graph$699.002007-08 Season Pass Price Graph14.3 daysDecember 8April 62007-08 Skier Visit Graph
    2006-07$47.002006-07 Ticket Price Graph$699.002006-07 Season Pass Price Graph14.9 daysDecember 16March 252006-07 Skier Visit Graph
    2005-06$45.002005-06 Ticket Price Graph$679.002005-06 Season Pass Price Graph15.1 daysDecember 10March 262005-06 Skier Visit Graph
    2004-05$44.002004-05 Ticket Price Graph$699.002004-05 Season Pass Price Graph15.9 daysMarch 272004-05 Skier Visit Graph
    2003-04$42.002003-04 Ticket Price Graph$709.002003-04 Season Pass Price Graph16.9 daysMarch 282003-04 Skier Visit Graph
    2002-03$42.002002-03 Ticket Price Graph$699.002002-03 Season Pass Price Graph16.6 daysDecember 72002-03 Skier Visit Graph
    2001-02$41.002001-02 Ticket Price Graph$699.002001-02 Season Pass Price Graph17.0 days2001-02 Skier Visit Graph
    2000-01$39.002000-01 Ticket Price Graph$675.002000-01 Season Pass Price Graph17.3 days2000-01 Skier Visit Graph
    1999-00$39.001999-00 Ticket Price Graph$599.001999-00 Season Pass Price Graph15.4 days1999-00 Skier Visit Graph
    1990s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
    Pass Payback
    Opening Day
    Closing Day
    Skier Visits
    1997-98$38.001997-98 Ticket Price Graph1997-98 Season Pass Price Graph1997-98 Skier Visit Graph
    1996-97$35.001996-97 Ticket Price Graph1996-97 Season Pass Price Graph1996-97 Skier Visit Graph
    1992-93$31.001992-93 Ticket Price Graph1992-93 Season Pass Price Graph1992-93 Skier Visit Graph
    1991-92$31.001991-92 Ticket Price Graph1991-92 Season Pass Price Graph1991-92 Skier Visit Graph
    1990-91$30.001990-91 Ticket Price Graph1990-91 Season Pass Price Graph1990-91 Skier Visit Graph
    1989-90$29.001989-90 Ticket Price Graph1989-90 Season Pass Price Graph1989-90 Skier Visit Graph
    1980s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
    Pass Payback
    Opening Day
    Closing Day
    Skier Visits
    1988-89$27.001988-89 Ticket Price Graph1988-89 Season Pass Price Graph1988-89 Skier Visit Graph
    1987-88$23.001987-88 Ticket Price Graph1987-88 Season Pass Price Graph1987-88 Skier Visit Graph
    1985-86$19.001985-86 Ticket Price Graph1985-86 Season Pass Price Graph1985-86 Skier Visit Graph
    1983-84$17.001983-84 Ticket Price Graph1983-84 Season Pass Price Graph1983-84 Skier Visit Graph
    1982-83$15.001982-83 Ticket Price Graph1982-83 Season Pass Price Graph1982-83 Skier Visit Graph
    1970s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
    Pass Payback
    Opening Day
    Closing Day
    Skier Visits
    1978-79$9.501978-79 Ticket Price Graph1978-79 Season Pass Price Graph1978-79 Skier Visit Graph
    1977-78$9.501977-78 Ticket Price Graph1977-78 Season Pass Price Graph1977-78 Skier Visit Graph
    1975-76$8.501975-76 Ticket Price Graph1975-76 Season Pass Price Graph1975-76 Skier Visit Graph
    1971-72$7.001971-72 Ticket Price Graph1971-72 Season Pass Price Graph1971-72 Skier Visit Graph
    1970-71$6.501970-71 Ticket Price Graph1970-71 Season Pass Price Graph1970-71 Skier Visit Graph
    1969-70$6.001969-70 Ticket Price Graph1969-70 Season Pass Price Graph1969-70 Skier Visit Graph
    1960s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
    Pass Payback
    Opening Day
    Closing Day
    Skier Visits
    1968-69$6.001968-69 Ticket Price Graph1968-69 Season Pass Price Graph1968-69 Skier Visit Graph
    1967-68$5.001967-68 Ticket Price Graph1967-68 Season Pass Price Graph1967-68 Skier Visit Graph
    1964-65$5.001964-65 Ticket Price Graph1964-65 Season Pass Price Graph1964-65 Skier Visit Graph
    1963-64$5.001963-64 Ticket Price Graph1963-64 Season Pass Price Graph1963-64 Skier Visit Graph
    1962-63$5.001962-63 Ticket Price Graph1962-63 Season Pass Price Graph1962-63 Skier Visit Graph
    1961-621961-62 Ticket Price Graph1961-62 Season Pass Price GraphNovember 17April 21961-62 Skier Visit Graph
    1950s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
    Pass Payback
    Opening Day
    Closing Day
    Skier Visits
    1958-59$4.001958-59 Ticket Price Graph1958-59 Season Pass Price Graph1958-59 Skier Visit Graph

    Visitor Memories
    "Our family history says my grandfather, Hugh Douglas MacCormack, an employee of Mr. Malcolm cleared the first trail on Shawnee Peak with a horse and plow. It was some sort of business deal between Mr. Malcolm and the owner of Land. Mr. Malcolm used the wood from clearing the trail to build 'Trails End' the first compound on Long Lake in Bridgton. My grandfather built this compound for Mr. Malcolm. My grandfather was born in 1890 in Canada. My dad his eldest was born in 1923 about the time this would have happened. The road leading to 'Trails End' in Bridgton, is named after Mr.Malcolm. "
    susan maccormack - mclaughin, May. 18, 2014
    Add a memory of Shawnee Peak
    First Name:
    Last Name:
    E-Mail Address:
    Comments:



    External Links
  • Shawnee Peak Ski Area - official site
  • Pleasant Mountain - FranklinSites.com Hiking Guide
  • Last updated: June 5, 2015

    Also on NewEnglandSkiHistory.com...
    A monorail served ski area?
    A monorail served ski area?
    From top to bottom - American Skiing Company
    From top to bottom - American Skiing Company
    Taking the New England ski industry by storm - fan guns
    Taking the New England ski industry by storm - fan guns
    From a small area to a mega resort
    From a small area to a mega resort
    The man behind Mount Snow and Mohawk
    The man behind Mount Snow and Mohawk
    A small community run ski area in Lebanon, NH
    A small community run ski area in Lebanon, NH
       CCC Trails    Cancelled Ski Areas    Expansions    Lifts    Management    Maps    News    Then and Now    Timelines    Topics    In The Press    Links    Site Map    What's New    Feedback

    Copyright 2002-2015, All Rights Reserved.
    NewEnglandSkiHistory.com
    NewEnglandSkiHistory.com: Connecticut Maine Massachusetts New Hampshire Rhode Island Vermont