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 have been 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 3.4 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, will be groomed for the 2016-17 season.
DEC Forest and Town Roads
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 nearly every weekend in the Fall of 2015 connecting trails, building bridges, cutting stumps, clearing downed trees, draining wet spots, laying “corduroy” and posting signs. We successfully groomed the system in our first season, one of the most challenging El Nino seasons ever, and finished with money in the bank.
We incorporated in April 2016 (501(c)3 pending) and have bylaws drafted. We sustain ourselves primarily through contributions from skiers; please support us.
Our new-used 2003 Yamaha Viking 540III grooming sled served us well in the first season and is holding its own in the current season. Two new implements, a new roller and grooming/tracksetter, will be added this season.
In the mean time, we need contributions to fund operations and build trails as we enter our second season. Please join us in our effort to sustain the first groomed X-C trail system in Chautauqua County.
Make your checks payable to “Boutwell Hill Ski Club” and mail c/o 3043 Girts Rd, Jamestown NY 14701.