April 25, 2018
In partnership with Granite Backcountry Alliance, USVLT worked hard to purchase the Ware Preserve on East Branch Road in Intervale, NH, once owned by local resident and passionate conservationist, Dick Ware. The acquisition of the land not only permanently protects 48 acres of forestland contiguous with the White Mountain National Forest and the historic Maple Villa Glade, but creates opportunities for outdoor recreation, especially in the winter.
Skiing History of Bartlett Mountain
The landscape around the property has a rich history of skiing that began in the mid-1930’s when the Civilian Conservation Corps first cut a ski trail from East Branch Road behind the New England Inn to the summit of Bartlett Mountain (elev. 3,004’). Initially, skiers hiked up and skied down – re-establishment of this historic use is exactly the collective vision of USVLT, Granite Backcountry, and the White Mountain National Forest.
Quickly following the establishment of the Maple Villa Trail, Fred Pabst, Jr., the inventor of the J-Bar, built the Intervale Ski Area in 1936 and installed one of his new J-Bars. Pabst then sold Intervale in 1947 to New Hampshire local Dick Stimpson, and the Intervale Ski Area remained in operation through 1976, complete with a rudimentary base lodge and a 2400-foot Poma lift. The lift served about 400 feet of “vertical” across 15 acres of developed ski runs. Remnants of some of the old lifts can still be found on the Maple Villa Trail, and the regenerating forest makes it clear where the ski runs were.
Another period of local ski history followed the closing of the Intervale Ski Area, when Eastern Mountain Sports established their Cross-country Ski Touring Center at the former ski area base lodge. This same Ski Touring Center later transitioned to the Mount Washington Valley Ski & Snowshoe Foundation Touring Center, which at its height maintained over 21 kilometers of cross country ski trails. While the MWV Ski & Snowshoe Foundation Touring Center remains in operation, some trails near the East Branch have been closed because of concerns from private landowners.
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