Mt.Olga and Hogback Ski Area

I decided to combine two of my favorite outdoor activities, hiking and exploring abandoned places. There's no better place to do that than Mt.Olga in southern Vermont. This place is rich with modern history. The Hogback Ski Area was open from 1946 to 1986, and the slopes covered the northeast slope of the mountain. It was an extremely popular ski area during its heyday. Today, it's one of the most well maintained remnants of New England skiing history.

The old sign advertising the gift shop.

We arrived at the trailhead early and we enjoyed the sunrise from many of the abandoned ski slopes. I recommend taking Tower Trail as it has the most sights to see, and even some signs about the wildlife. The trail utilizes the old ski trails and slopes. The first thing we came across was some nice views and old supports for the chairlift.

Looking east from an old ski slope.
The support for the double lift.

The cables were still present on the supports, and they didn't even look that old. We came across are first building after a few minutes. If you come here just to climb the mountain, you'll be done in 30 minutes. It's not that difficult at all. I also advise you not to go in these buildings. It's legal, but probably not safe for your lungs because of the mold. The first building was at the top of a lift.

Bella poking around.

The setting couldn't have been better. Early morning skies with the sun through the trees was an amazing sight. Atop the second lift was one of the prettier buildings. The structure had been repurposed as a hut to warm up in when hiking and skiing.

The cabin atop the second lift.

A few more lifts and huts later, we ended up at the summit. This isn't a difficult hike at all, and there is a firetower and antennae on top. I didn't climb the firetower as the stairs didn't seem stable and they were slippery. There is a small, concrete building to the left of the tower. I have no clue to what it was used for.

The firetower atop the mountain.
The unidentifiable structure on the summit.

I wanted to check out the buildings on the side of the road, so we chose to sled down the single lift. We did bring small sleds for this exact reason. Its a comfortable, safe and quick way to get down a mountain. The single lift brings you right down to the roadside structures. One of these includes the most iconic building with the words "Hogback Ski Area" on the side.

I don't know why the doors open.

We went back up the mountain and took Bishop Trail to Rim Run, which is one of the old ski trails during this places operation. Going down Bishop, we ran into a few foundations and nice areas for the sleds. I highly recommend using these. At the bottom, we came across the base of the double ski lift. There was a big barrack like building, which is likely a cafeteria or medical center.

The barrack at the bottom of the slope.

Rim Run continued up to the road where we came across yet another small, dilapidated structure. I would highly recommend visiting the gift shop after exploring the mountain. The viewing deck offers a fantastic 100 mile view looking into New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Another small cabin-like building lies under this place. I have no idea what it could be. It was likely a rentable cabin during its operation.


Bella sitting by a viewing shack.
A shed atop the single lift.
The ski hut from a different angle.
One of many huts.
One of the older foundations.
The base of the double lift.
Behind the barrack-like structure.
The "100 Mile View" looking into New Hampshire.
The mysterious hut below the gift shop.

Overall, it was a great day. I highly recommend this trip. You can legally explore the property, as well as enjoy great views from the gift shop and firetower. Also, if you do this hike you must bring sleds. It's safer and faster. The kiosk at the trailhead has some maps that include the old ski slopes. If you're into abandoned places and hiking, you'll love this mountain for a multitude of reasons.

1 comment:

  1. Great write up bud, I felt like I was actually there with you and Bella!!! Oh wait, I drove!