As you make plans for the rest of the ski season, let me suggest you consider a visit to three of Maine’s smaller, lesser-known areas that are more than worth the trip.


This quirky throwback to ski days of yore operates on natural snow on winter weekends and school vacation weeks through the generosity of the local communities and volunteers from the Baker Mountain Ski Tow Club. Season pass holders also volunteer their time to make sure this archetypical community slope can keep operating.

There are even enough lights strategically placed along the side of this 460 vertical foot mountain to allow night skiing when conditions permit.

Visitors will find two beginner and three intermediate trails, to which one gains access on a clunky but dependable T-bar that was installed in 1969 to replace the original rope tows.

Although the area is adored by local devotees, visitors from away are made to feel welcome in the 1940s-style base lodge where generations of locals and others warmed themselves in front of the fire between runs.

And lift tickets that are still under $10 make this one of the best deals going.

You’ll find the area in the town of Moscow, just north of Bingham on Route 201.


Byron Delano, with his family, owns and operates this delightful throwback to the days of natural snow skiing and hospitable, personal friendliness. He was part of a group of Lincoln-area stalwarts who visited Sugarloaf in 1963 and were inspired to throw up a rope tow on a small hill in Lee, about two miles from the site of the present ski area.

That got them to thinking maybe there would be a future for a ski area in town, so they looked around and there was Mount Jefferson beckoning. They got a local woodsman to cut some trails in exchange for the timber, hen installed a T-bar for the winter of 1964.

Delano bought out his friends in 1980 and has kept the place going, with periodic improvements.

The 432-foot mountain boasts two 2,000-foot T-bars, in addition to a handle tow for beginners. Three novice, six intermediate, and three expert trails offer ample variety for both skiers and boarders. Rentals and homemade snacks are available in the base lodge, and tickets are very reasonably priced. Adult day tickets are just $20, and a half-day ticket is $15. Youngsters age 6 to 12 pay $15 for a full day and $10 for half a day. Kids under 6 ski free.

Be aware that the area only operates Saturdays and Sundays, on holidays and during school vacation weeks.

Take Route 6 in Lee and it’s only about an hour northeast of Bangor via I-95, and just 12 miles east of Lincoln.


Over 50 years ago, Bernard Jackson was doing some logging on a hillside behind his house and realized if he opened his tote roads a little more, he and his son could do some skiing on the small mountain just out his back door.

A few years of clearing and grooming led to the opening of a ski area after a rope tow was installed. The popularity of the area led to the installation of a T-bar. Next came snowmaking, then lights for night skiing.

Now owned and operated by Bill Whitcomb and his family, who pump more man-made snow per acre than some major ski areas, Hermon skis much bigger than its 350 vertical feet. Some 20 trails offer a variety of terrain within 10 minutes of downtown Bangor. A T-bar and a double chair provide plenty of uphill capacity and a handle tow serves the tubing hill.

The comfy base lodge has all the requisite amenities, and the snack bar has a wide variety of traditional slope-side offerings.

The area is open 3 to 9 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends. Adult tickets are $27, and half-day and evening tickets are $22.

John Christie is a former ski racer and ski area manager and owner, a ski historian and member of the Maine Ski Hall of Fame. He and his son, Josh, write ski columns on alternating weeks. John can be reached at:

[email protected]