Veterans Memorial Ski Area Franklin, New Hampshire
Vet's Trail (2013)
Veterans Memorial Ski Area Details
First Year of Operation:
Lifts in Operation:
1 T-Bar, surface lift
Lifts Removed/Non Operational:
Located west of Franklin off Flag Hole Road, Veterans Memorial Ski Area has provided local residents an affordable place to ski for over half a century.
Early Years of the Franklin Outing Club
The Franklin Outing Club has a long history of winter sports activity, even preceeding the start of lift served skiing. Early winter activities included dog sledding throughout New England, as well as hike-up skiing in nearby Andover.
Starting in 1939-40, the Franklin Outing Club operated the Sunny Slopes Ski Area in nearby East Andover. The small rope tow area featured novice and intermediate terrain into the 1950s.
Great Gains Ski Area Opens
In 1960, Franklin's City Council and Parks and Recreation Commission worked together to spur the development of a new ski area in the town's Great Gains Forest. Circa December 1960, a rope tow was installed and trails cut. The Franklin Outing Club was reformed the following month to help run the Great Gains Ski Area.
The T-Bar (2013)
Great Gains Becomes Veterans Memorial Ski Area
During March of 1962, Great Gains Ski Area hosted the first Winter Carnival, as well as its official opening. The City of Franklin approved $4,000 in Veteran's Memorial Funds the following month for development of a base lodge. Great Gains Ski Area became Veterans Memorial Recreation Area starting in 1962-63.
For the 1967-68 season, the recently removed Mt. Sunapee 1953 Summit T-bar was sold to the City of Franklin and the Franklin Outing Club. Lift manufacturer Hopkins (which had recently purchased lift manufacturer Roebling) oversaw the installation of the T-Bar.
The area has generally remained open since the installation of the T-Bar. In the subsequent decades, Veterans Memorial Ski Area has added additional trails and improved its grooming. The ski area relies upon natural snow and generally operates on weekends and vacation periods.