Mount Heidelberg Ski Area

My memories of the Mount Heidelberg Ski Area are pretty fuzzy. This page is more of an epilogue to my larger Hahn Mountain project. As mentioned elsewhere, both my parents were ski instructors at Hahn and we spent a lot of time at Hahn as I was growing up. Hahn shut down just before I was old enough to become an instructor myself. Subsequently we moved over to Heidelberg where we were all instructors. I believe we were the only instructors from Hahn. Some of the other Hahn people moved on to Little Gap. The time frame would have included the last few years of Heidelberg and the first few years of Blue Marsh.

Unlike Hahn, I have no pictures or other tangible memorabilia from Heidelberg. I looked around the Internet and found a newer Blue Marsh trail map which I reproduced here for reference...


Slope 1 was called the Expert and didn't receive much attention. It was often unused except in the case of a good natural snowfall. As I recall, the slope was a bit of a pain because skiers were expected to go all the way down and troop around the bottom of the T-bar. The lower half of the ski area was pretty flat and boring. Slope 2 was called the Main and was... well... the main slope. The top half of the Main was usually the most challenging and the most fun. Again, the bottom half was boring. Instead of skiing all the way to the bottom we would often swoop in on the fly and grab an unoccupied T-bar back to the top.

I believe trail 3/4 was called the "S" because of its shape. Likewise trail 5 was called the "C" (even though it's backwards). And that's it. Every other slope and trail depicted on the map was a post-Heidelberg addition.

The new base lodge was also a post-Heidelberg addition. The old Heidelberg lodge and parking lot were mid-hill and located just below where the S and C trails exited to the Main. There was nothing at the bottom except T-bar loading, maintenance and Ski Patrol. The old lodge had a sunken central fireplace in the middle of the main room. The ski rental operation was in an old semi-trailer that was backed up against and joined with the main building. The Ski School was in a small room back behind the snack area.

The T-bar (lift A) is the only lift depicted on the map that existed back in the Heidelberg days. I believe there was a mid-hill unloading area so novice skiers didn't have to go all the way up. Not shown are the old rope tow and beginner area which were between the Main and the old lodge.

Heidelberg used small snow guns. I remember that some of the Hahn Mt. Hedco machines showed up. But they were used infrequently and didn't last long.

Heidelberg was so small that much of the fun was derived from the informal club-like atmosphere. This didn't survive the Blue Marsh transition and I believe Blue Marsh was less fun even though it was bigger. I remember the addition of the new triple chairlift (lift D). Afterward the T-bar was used less frequently. This actually made the ski area less interesting because large swaths of flat terrain had to be crossed to get all the way back to the chairlift loading area. Obviously one could not swoop in on an empty chair!

I must have switched from instructing to a season pass because I don't remember much at all about the new operation. And I must have quit skiing before some of the final expansions because I don't remember much about the specialized snowboarding terrain. And I remember nothing about the specialized tubing areas. Blue Marsh eventually closed up and the facilities were leveled.

I have a vague recollection of finding some kid on YouTube that acquired the old T-bar and built his own backyard ski area.

I can't say I'm much interested in the Blue Marsh era. But if you'd like to share some stories or pictures from the Heidelberg era, please contact me.

Below is an old aerial photo that looks like it predates Blue Marsh Ski Area. I filled in some of the things I think I remember.


Below is an even older aerial photo that predates Blue Marsh Lake. Note the old alignment of N. Heidelberg Road and the absence of the semi-trailer. The lodge looks smaller.


In looking around the Internet I didn't find much of anything about Heidelberg, but there were a few Blue Marsh references...

"Blue Marsh Ski Resort" on Wikipedia

"Blue Marsh Ski Area" at

"Blue Marsh" at

"Lost Ski Areas: Blue Marsh Ski Area/Heidelberg Ski Club 1968-2005 : Bernville, PA" on YouTube