Located on the Chautauqua Ridge in the Boutwell Hill State Forest, the Boutwell Hill Ski Club began developing a groomed cross-country ski trail system in snow belt country on the Chautauqua Ridge in the Fall of 2015.
The location of the trail system is ideal: average annual snowfall for this area exceeds most other areas of NYS due to its relatively high altitude and proximity to lake-effect snow events downwind from Lake Erie. BHSF has the earliest snowfalls and snow lasts longer than any location in Chautauqua County.
Through a stewardship agreement with the DEC, we are authorized to responsibly develop and groom dedicated non-motorized, multi-use skiing trails in the northern portion of the BHSF. For the first season (2015-16) we connected existing logging roads and trails with some new trails into a 4-mile system of groomed skate and classic x-c trails. A new trail, the “Homestead Loop,” made possible by a grant from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, was brought on line for the 2016-17 season bringing groomed trail lineage to 5 miles.
In addition to the trails developed by BHSC, there are about 6 miles of town and forest roads that are closed to vehicles in the winter and are available for skiing. These roads are contiguous to our trails and are groomed by the Cherry Creek Sno Goers for snowmobile and multi-purpose winter recreation.
The Boutwell Hill Ski Club was organized in the Fall of 2015. We spent the Fall of 2015 connecting trails, building bridges, cutting stumps, clearing downed trees, draining wet spots, laying “corduroy” and posting signs.
We incorporated as a non-profit corporation in April 2016 and received our 501(c)(3) designation on December 1, 2018.
We groom with a 2003 Yamaha Viking 540III work sled, a roller, groomer/tracksetter and a single tracksetter. We are recruiting other operators and sled owners for the 2017-18 season to improve grooming results and response time.
We need contributions to fund operations and trail work as we enter our fourth season. Please join us in our effort to sustain the first groomed X-C trail system in Chautauqua County.