Posts Tagged ‘abandoned beauty’

Black Diamond – The Abandoned Hogback Mountain Ski Area

Posted: December 21, 2016 by kingleser in #postaday, Abandoned, Abandoned Attractions, Abandoned Business, Abandoned Cabin, abandoned home, Abandoned House, abandoned new england, Abandoned Resort, Abandoned Ski Area, Abandoned USA, Abandoned Vermont, Abandoned Wonders, Bird Watching, Birds, Broken, Cabin, Closed, commercial, darkness, Death, Destruction, empty, Exploration, exploring the abandoned, Forgotten, forgotten beauty, forgotten home, Ghosts, Graveyard, Haunting, Hiking, History, Hogback Mountain, House, Information, left behind, lost, Marlborough, Movies, Mystery, nature, new england, nightmares, overgrown, photography, Public Parks, research, Ruins, Safety First, Searching, State Parks, Stories, Uncategorized, Urban Decay, Urban Exploration, Urban Exploring, Urbex, Vermont, writing
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Black Diamond

The Abandoned Hogback Mountain Ski Area

Written by: Wilk

Photographs by: Lassie

I have lived in New England my entire life. I was born here, and I will probably die here too. But I’ve never been a skier. I tried snowboarding when I was a kid. But after splitting my face open a few too many times I eventually outgrew it. Up here in New England, skiing is one of our biggest draws and most memorable past times. Most of you reading this probably know a skier, or even are one yourself. My next door neighbors were all skiers when I was growing up. They even had their own personal lodge up in the mountains. Ski Club was also the largest club at my high school. And the big place where it’s most common? Vermont. This was my first time back here in many years. It was a place I used to visit annually back in the Scouts. Believe it or not this was our first investigation up in the Green Mountain State. And it did not disappoint.

Bordering New York State and the Canadian border, Vermont is one of the most picturesque places in all of New England. It has rolling hills, quiet forests, and an old school mountain culture. Tourism is a big thing here, and the jewel in that crown is skiing. It has been a large part of Vermont’s heritage throughout the years. Many ski areas, such as Mount Snow and Smuggler’s Notch, have become local juggernauts in the business. But many have not been as successful. In southern Vermont is the heavily trafficked Hogback Mountain Conservation Area. But little do most tourists seem to know is that this was once the Hogback Mountain ski area. Opening in the years following World War II, the ski area found moderate success but was eventually forced to fold in the 1980’s due to declining attendance. The land was then sold off to the local community and rechristened.

Right along the busy Route 9 in Marlboro, Vermont, is the Hogback Mountain Tourist Area. You really can’t miss it. You round a corner, and boom. People are everywhere. Cars from all over the world are pulled over at the makeshift parking lot to get a glimpse of the gorgeous mountain view and pick up some campy souvenirs at the gift shop. Their cheese is actually pretty good though. But sitting just off to the side of this tourist attraction are the ghosts of what once was. A short walk to the right from the tourist area is what remains of the ski slope. A small wooden shed still stands, and bears the name of “Hogback Mountain Ski Area.” A large number of old tools and skis have been left behind inside. Though they are now coated with dust, it appears they were simply throw to the floor and forgotten about. Luckily, we found very little signs of vandalism.

The star attraction of the ski area though has got to be the remains of the old chair lift. A large turbine still stands glistened in the sunlight, though she is now rusted to all Hell. The two large wheels which once brought skiers to the top of the slope are now nothing more than tattered ruins. We tried to follow the old slope up the mountain, but the vegetation was too thick. There may be more up there, but we could not find a way up. Walking back to the left of the ski area are what we believe to be the remains of the lodge. A large white building, she now sits precariously close the edge of the mountain. She looks so structurally unsound, its remarkable she’s still standing at all. A few pieces of old furniture still wait inside for someone to return to them. Peeking in through the window was almost like taking a peek back in time.

For our first investigation in the great state of Vermont, this was certainly an interesting visit. I personally found it fascinating to see so many people flocking to the tourist area, and yet experiencing total solitude mere yards away at the ruins of the ski area. It has become a ghost to the rest of the community, haunting the mountain with the memories of its former glory. It is indeed curious why these old relics where not demolished when the land was sold off. While other ski areas flourish and thrive, this one was forced to close up shop. It is good that the land has found another use, and that so many people from so many places can now enjoy it. But it is still sad to see a place like this in a state such as that. For life, as we all know, is a lot like a ski slope. Some are able to navigate it all the way to the bottom and enjoy the ride. Most of us, however, just end up falling on our asses.

The Thrill of the Hunt

Thoughts on Urban Exploring

By: Sean L.

We all do this for different reasons. For some of us, it is just a hobby. To others, it is an adrenaline fix. But to some, it can even be a career. Me personally? I love the thrill of the hunt. Too many people in this community expect everything to be handed to them. They see a post on a website and simply ask questions. Where is this place? How do you get in? Then these people just sit there and wait for an answer, only getting upset when none comes. These questions go unanswered because research is part of the experience. A true explorer does not want to be fed answers, they seek them out. They hunt for answers, both online and onsite of abandoned places. It is called urban EXPLORATION. Not urban TOURISM. Aside from the few places that we have just stumbled upon, we research all of the places that we explore very in depth. As made clear in our articles, we love history. We cannot truly appreciate an abandoned place without knowing what it was once like before the dark times.

It is one of our 5 rules to know your route. Safety and smarts are the best tools that you can ever bring with you while urban exploring. Before an investigation, we find out everything we can about a place. It is imperative to get as much information as you can and be as prepared as humanly possible before exploring an abandoned place. Especially if it is illegal to be there. Once you have all of your information, the next phase of the hunt is to find the place you are going to explore. Sometimes it’s really easy. Sometimes it’s really difficult. But just like the research, this is part of the experience. Some locations we have visited you just drive up to. But some others, like Fort Mansfield in Rhode Island or Cedar Hill Rail Yard in Connecticut, require a lot of real exploring.

But once you find these places, the real experience begins. A lot of us like to take pictures. Some of us enjoy making videos. I personally like to write these articles. There is just something really great about researching a place, finding it, then successfully documenting it. It is the thrill of the hunt that makes these places fun for us. It is all a part of the experience of being an urban explorer. Not to destroy or deface these forgotten beauties. But to enjoy something that few people will ever see, and even fewer are even aware of. Now it’s your turn. Why do you do what you do? What’s your favorite part of urban exploring? Don’t be shy.