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Hanley’s Happy Hill Ski Area
Eagles Mere, Pennsylvania

Ezra Burgess provides the following information about a Lost Ski Area in Sullivan County, Pennsylvania:

    “I wanted to make you aware of another lost ski area in Sullivan County that you don’t have listed. Hanley’s Happy Hill Ski Area was operated in the ’60s and 70s as an alpine ski area by Mr. Hanley right in Eagles Mere. After he closed the alpine center in the late ’70s, he opened a cross-country ski area just outside of Eagles Mere using the same name. That center operated until sometime in the early 90s when it also closed. I don’t know the exact years they were open, but I am sure you could find more information from the Eagles Mere Historical Society. I do know that the original alpine lodge still exists and was turned into a bed and breakfast. The entrance to it is on the left off Laporte Ave. on the southwestern edge of the town.”

She followed up with:

    “After checking with Google Maps for the old resort town of Eagles Mere, Pa., I found a road with the name “Hanley’s Happy Hill Rd.” and remembered that Mr. Hanley turned the old alpine ski slope area into a housing development and sold the lots for summer homes.”

Kevin Whipple writes that the area of Hanley’s Happy Hill is now known as Keystone Mountain Park, located in Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania. Kevin writes:

    “Keystone Mountain Park / Hanley’s Happy Hill, in Shrewsbury, PA in Sullivan county was a rope tow operation that I don’t know a whole lot about. I know there was a rope tow at one point, and its facilities were not very grown in at all upon my visit in summer 2008. The site is now a park called Keystone Mountain Park. There are several very nice cabins to rent here. There are a couple of ponds and trails in the park and I don’t know what other amenities. I’ve been told there were plans to build a double chair lift that went as far as clearing a liftline, and maybe even some tower footers, but I didn’t see any evidence of this when I stopped there briefly. Aerial images suggest this chairlift might have gone to the higher knoll above the cabins and what would have been the base lodge. I don’t know.

    The rope tow ran along skier’s left of a vast meadow, then up through a steep section of trees to a broad meadow on top of the hill. There is a picnic area at the top of the tow, and several trails seemed to have cut through the woods to the main lower mountain meadow.

    I didn’t see any evidence of snowmaking, but there may have been. I didn’t see night lights, but there was one light in a tree along the upper tow line, so maybe there was. There’s a couple of buildings around the base that may have served as a base lodge.”

A 3-d view of the area from Google Earth. Image provided by Kevin Whipple.

An aerial image of the area from Google Earth. Image provided by Kevin Whipple.

Topographic map of the area, showing the probable area of the chairlift expansion, and the vertical drop for the tow and the possible chair. Image provided by Kevin Whipple.

Looking down the towline from where it cuts into the woods from the meadow. Notice the light attached to the tree pointed up the liftline. I didn’t see any other lights that would indicate night skiing. Photo provided by Kevin Whipple.

Looking up the towline from the base. This concrete slab, which now serves as a bench stand, is identical to one at the top of the tow. I don’t know what kind of lift this was, where the drive was, or anything about it really. Photo provided by Kevin Whipple.

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alan cupp
7 years ago
hanleys had two rope tows ,no snow making,one trail was lighted ,i think they were open tues an /or thurs nights till 8pm .it was a great place to hang out and ski,rip hanley was a great guy . i thought there last season was 83/84. does anyone remember anything abuot broad horizons ski area ,south of eagles mere just off of route 42.
Jan Hamme
6 years ago
In the late ’60s and early 70’s groups could rent out the lodge at Hanley’s Happy Hill. The swim club we belonged to in the summers rented the lodge for two consecutive New Years Eves. I learned to ski in Eaglesmere.
The lodge held bunks and we usually divided up between men and women. Frankly, I don’t remember where the guys stayed—hmmm.
The downstairs of the lodge was the equipment room and the upstairs held the fire and eating areas.
There was a more gradual small slope with moguls to the left, a short straight slope in the middle and that’s all I remember. The tow rope was on the other side of the slope. I remember my brother, who rushed out to ski straddling the tow rope and everyone watching him from the lodge window (he would have been about 10 or 11).
At nights we would rent snowmobiles and go for long rides, but I have no idea where we went. :)
Hanley’s Happy Hill was happy and I have fond memories.
J Higgins
5 years ago
Rip and Wife Carolyn were fine people. I ran several X-C ski trips for the Columbia Ski Club to Hanley’s Happy Hill between 1985 and 1991 and Rip was great to work with. We used the big lodge building he had. Also XC skiied there a few times with just a few of us, he had a small apt where he and Carolyn lived and let us stay there for free. The last year or 2 I was there, he had started building a big new XC ski lodge log building on Rt 42 just east of town, and ran the rental and trail passes out of there. He had built just the ground floor in true Rip fashion with plans to build above. Never got back to see how it progressed, but it sounds like it is gone and maybe Rip and Carolyn are no longer with us either?
2 years ago

I first met the girl I married on the slopes of Hanley’s Happy Hill in Eagles  Mere, PA, in January 1964. We were both freshmen at Bucknell University, but we hadn’t met until that day. Hanley’s Happy Hill had both a rope tow and a J-bar in 1964.

We later skied at Whiteface in Lake Placid. After we married we moved to Washington State where we skied in the Cascades.

Now living on the central coast of California, we seldom see ski, but all of our kids do.

Shout it from a mountaintop.
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