Ski Hearth Farm - America’s Newest Cross Country Ski Area Set to Open This Season

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Ski Hearth Farm cross country ski area in historic Sugar Hill, NH is set to open for the 2014-15 season. Nestled in the hills of Franconia, NH adjacent to Cannon Mountain Ski Area and the imposing Lafayette Ridge of the White Mountains, the new area makes use of the historic buildings of what was New England ski area design pioneer Sel Hannah’s 640 acre farm.

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“This area is perfect for those wishing to try cross country skiing as well as experienced skiers out for a fun day of skiing. We have a friendly staff, a cozy base facility, brand new rental fleet and expert instruction.

Ski Hearth Farm has the advantage of being northern New Hampshire’s easiest accessed full service cross country ski area. It is located just 2 miles off Interstate 93 only 2 1/3 hours north of Boston, MA. Skiers won’t have much back road driving to access the miles of trails and first-class cross country skiing.

Twenty-three kilometers of trails for all abilities were designed by internationally renowned trail design firm Morton Trails. An additional 5 km of trails are designated specifically for snowshoeing. Starting in the low river valley fields and extending into the adjacent forested hills, the trail system has extraordinary views of the White Mountains. A specially designed teaching area directly accessed from the base area has been developed for people to learn the art of cross country skiing. An emphasis on grooming for skiing will be the hallmark of the facility so that skiers will find the best ski surface possible for both skate and classic ski techniques.

The new area is a vision of Davis Mangold, the owner of Ski Hearth Farm. The farm operates in the summer and fall to produce a wide variety of organic vegetables. Mangold is a 13 year veteran of the U.S. Navy and an enthusiastic cross country skier.

Nearly ¾ million dollars has been invested in the start-up including designing and building the trails, modifications to the base facility, ski rental fleet, grooming operations and equipment.

“This area is perfect for those wishing to try cross country skiing as well as experienced skiers out for a fun day of skiing. We have a friendly staff, a cozy base facility, brand new rental fleet and expert instruction. Skiers will find daily grooming on the trails with a perfect mix of terrain and distance,” said Mangold, “Easy access by car plus a full range lodging options for skiers and snowshoers as well as the historic nature of the farm and Sugar Hill make this a perfect location.”

Sugar Hill, NH is the site of the first organized ski school in the United States. In 1929 Austrian-born Sig Buchmayr set up shop on a hillside not far from Ski Hearth Farm. The school was the catalyst for the ski sport in America.

The farm has historic roots within the ski industry. Selden Hannah was a major influence on the development of the ski industry and founded Sno-Engineering. Sno-Engineering is now a world-wide leader in mountain resort industry. In 1939, the Hannah’s opened the farm for ski guests. Several items on the menu were raised on the farm and provided the guest a “local” meal.

“We want to continue that tradition of offering our skiers taking a break from the trails the opportunity to sample locally sourced foods and the products of our organic farm,” continued Mangold.

Ski Hearth Farm is partnering with local lodging establishments including the Sugar Hill Inn for Ski and Stay packages. The Sugar Hill Inn offers free ski or snowshoe tickets to those staying for two nights. Sugar Hill Inn is located only 1.5 miles from the ski center.

Ski Hearth Farm is scheduled to open for the season on December 26, 2014. More information about the Ski Hearth Farm can be found at the area’s website http://www.skihearthfarm.com or by calling 603-823-5560.

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Colleen Eliason
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