What is the Oldest Ski Resort in America?

Bob McNeil Jr

May 11, 2023


Skiing has been a popular winter sport in America for decades, attracting millions of visitors each year. But have you ever wondered where it all began? Which ski resort holds the title of being the oldest in America? In this article, we explore the answer to this question and take a trip down memory lane to discover the history of skiing in America.

The Founding of the Dartmouth Skiway

The oldest ski resort in America is located in New Hampshire, called the “Dartmouth Skiway.” The Dartmouth Skiway was founded in 1934 by the Dartmouth Outing Club, one of the country’s oldest and largest collegiate outing clubs. The club was formed in 1909, and its members were passionate about outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and skiing.

The Rise of Skiing in America

In the early 1930s, skiing became increasingly popular in Europe and America, and many people started taking up the sport. The founders of the Dartmouth Skiway saw an opportunity to create a ski resort that would cater to the growing demand for skiing in America. They chose a location near Hanover, New Hampshire, close to the Dartmouth College campus.

The Growth of the Dartmouth Skiway

The Dartmouth Skiway started with just a few trails and a small lodge, but it quickly grew in popularity. The resort was unique in that it was run entirely by volunteers who were members of the Dartmouth Outing Club. These volunteers helped to maintain the trails, operate the lifts, and run the ski school.

Over the years, the Dartmouth Skiway continued to expand. More trails were added, and the lodge was renovated and expanded. Despite its growth, the resort retained its traditional feel and remained a favourite destination for skiers who appreciated its rustic charm.

The Dartmouth Skiway’s Impact on American Skiing

In addition to being the oldest ski resort in America, the Dartmouth Skiway has also played an important role in the development of skiing in America. The resort was instrumental in the development of the ski industry, and it helped to popularize the sport among Americans.

In the early days of skiing in America, the sport was largely unknown outside a few small New England communities. But as more people began skiing, the sport started to gain national attention.

The ski resort also played an important role in the development of ski racing in America. In 1936, the Dartmouth Outing Club organized the first collegiate ski race in America. The race was held at the Dartmouth Skiway, attracting teams from colleges and universities across the country.

The Future of the Dartmouth Skiway

Despite its historical significance, the Dartmouth Skiway remains a small, family-friendly ski resort. It’s a great place for families and beginners to learn how to ski, and it offers a variety of slopes that cater to skiers of all levels.

If you’re planning a trip to New England and want to experience some of the history of skiing in America, the Dartmouth Skiway is a great place to start. It’s not just the oldest ski resort in America; it’s also a living piece of American ski history.


In conclusion, the Dartmouth Skiway holds the title of being the oldest ski resort in America. From its early beginnings as a small ski resort run entirely by volunteers to its current status as a family-friendly ski resort, the Dartmouth Skiway has remained true to its roots and continues to be a popular destination for skiers of all ages. It’s not just a place to ski; it’s also a place to experience the rich history of skiing in America.