We set out to find the Twin Chimneys which is the old Beartown Ski Resort Lodge in Lee. Trail is 1.7 miles in and back, parking/trail starts at Just after the intersection of Pine and Willow Street heading on Beartown Mountain Road toward the entrance of Beartown State Forest. The first gate on your right is the trail which is a wide grassy path.
Beartown State Forest was once home to one of the largest ski areas in Southern New England.
The origins of downhill skiing in Beartown State Forest date back to a 1935 Civilian Conservation Corps development By the time the 1938-39 season, the ski area featured multiple trails and slopes, as well as night skiing.
Lift served skiing at Beartown likely commenced for the 1940-41 season, when a 1,500 foot rope tow was installed. In addition, a new lodge was constructed at the foot of the tow. At that point, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts had invested $65,000 in the ski area.
World War II soon gripped the nation, resulting in sporadic operations at Beartown. The trails were noted as being recleared for the 1946-47 season. A second tow was possibly added during the late 1940s.
Lift service was expanded upward for the 1951-52 season, making Beartown one of the largest ski areas in Southern New England with 3 tows spanning 820 vertical feet.
Meanwhile, other regional ski areas such as Jiminy Peak, Bousquet, and Catamount were growing and installing modern lifts. As the 1960s started, chairlifts and snowguns began popping up all over the state, giving skiers a more upscale experience. Left behind, Beartown may have closed after the 1963-64 season.
This adventure is in Christy Butler’s book Berkshire Destinations