2018-05-12 / Front Page

Denton Hill State Park meeting May 23

Plans for a major redesign of Denton Hill State Park have been quietly moving forward.

Details will be laid out during a long-awaited public meeting scheduled for 6-8 pm Wednesday, May 23, at the park’s lodge. Pa. Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources representative Christine Novak said the meeting was scheduled to share information on the op­tions DNCR has investigated to transform Denton Hill into a four-season operation.

LaBella Associates was contracted for the mas­ter planning and redesign process. The consultant has been focusing on improve­ments, redesign and new infrastructure for skiing; overnight ac­commodations; year-round recreation development, and community partner­ships.

Initial plans call for the ski lodge to be rehabilitated, as well as a tripling of parking spaces to 1,000 with a shuttle bus loop created. Steps will also be taken to connect Denton Hill to two other state parks, Ly­man Run and Cherry Springs, through hiking and bicycle trails. Among addi­tions being consid­ered are an aerial canopy course, zip lines, mountain bike flow trails, ropes and obstacle courses, festival facilities and more.

At last report, the plan had an esti­mated price tag of about $15.1 million, while available state funding was approx­imately $12 million. DCNR hopes to have a “nearly turnkey” contract with a con­cessionaire.

A stakeholders committee, headed by the Potter County Board of Commis­sioners, is serving as the liaison with DCNR. Among other members are the Chambers of Commerce in Cou­dersport, Galeton and Wellsboro, Visit Potter/Tioga, and the Pennsylvania Route 6 Alliance.

Denton Hill State Park was opened as a ski area in 1958 and operated by the state until 1979. In 1983, DCNR signed a 35-year concession lease agreement with Denton Hill Family and Ski Resort Inc. The concessionaire notified DCNR just before the 2014-15 ski season that it was backing out.

Although there’s no skiing, the park continues to host occasional activities. Among events held last summer were the Northwinds 4-H Camp, the annual Eastern Traditional Archery Rendez­vous, and the annual Potter County Bow­hunter Festival.

“We all look for­ward to the next step in the process which will be to advance into the design phase. Final design will be influenced by specifications laid out in the master plan,” said regional parks manager Ben Stone.

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