Rockingham Rec. ski tow anticipates opening around Christmas

ski tow
Rockingham Ski Tow in 2008. Photo provided by Rockingham Recreation.

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – The Rockingham Recreation Department had a successful summer and is busy with their winter adult coed volleyball and youth basketball programs. The Bellows Falls Recreation Department has a long history of serving the community with the first tennis courts being built in 1911.

In 1938, fundraisers held by children and adults alike raised funds and rallied for residents to vote for a town pool. One year, Bill Kratky and the Rotary Club held boxing matches raising over $3,000 and the kids collected Pennies for the Pool instead of Halloween candy, resulting in $17 more added to the fund. For 20 years, the pool was voted down, one year by only one vote. Press from Times staff Max Miller and John Nisbet and more fundraising efforts by Thelma Bronk finally resulted in the building of the Town Pool at its present location in 1958.

The ski tow has been available to town residents for a nominal fee for almost 70 years. The ski tow has been in its current location since 1954, after the local Ski Bowl ski area closed and the village purchased the rope tow, engine, warming hut, and the control room buildings. The Bellows Falls ski club suggested the tow’s present location where the 1920s Bellows Falls Outing Club used to ski. In 1961, new lights were added for night skiing and 1970 boasted its best season with over 50 open days between December and April.

Last year, a tree fell on the lights, a wheel bearing needed to be replaced, and the rope restrung. Director of Parks and Recreation Ryan Stoodley is optimistic it will be ready for opening day.

Though easily accessible and affordable, its opening is wholly dependent on snowfall. Stoodley plans to open around Christmas but needs to wait for snow that lasts. Go to Rockingham Recreation Facebook page for more information on Opening Day, which is always a free event. Once the season begins, check out the Free Friday Skate or Sled and hot chocolate nights.

This season, operational hours will be Tuesday and Thursday 4-9 p.m. and Saturday 12-4 p.m. For more information or to volunteer, contact Stoodley at 802-463-9732 or

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