The Quarry Road site, just minutes from the heart of Waterville, has attracted outdoor enthusiasts at least three times during the past 80 years. Beginning in the 1930’s with a tow rope, the area became a hub of activity for local ski enthusiasts. The hill was closed during World War II, then re-opened by veterans and the Colby Outing Club in the late 1940’s. It was a popular spot again in the late 60’s/early 70’s when operated by Colby College as a lighted ski area with limited snowmaking. The area closed again and was abandoned for a number of years but never forgotten by those who created lifelong memories at the site.
In 2007, a small group of volunteers gathered to revive outdoor recreation once again at Quarry Road. Thanks to their efforts and the commitment of the City of Waterville, a year-round recreation area soon opened near the site of the old Colby ski slope along Messalonskee Stream.
Owned by the City of Waterville and enthusiastically supported by the community, the Quarry Road Recreation Area is now a year round hub of activity and a catalyst for the local economy and enjoying the outdoors once again. To date, 200 acres of land have been purchased and 10 km of world class trails have been designed and constructed. One of the world’s leading Nordic trail designers and two-time Olympian, John Morton, created a trail network of exceptional natural beauty and variety including a world class cross country competition loop.
Today, a new generation seeks to bring the benefits of outdoor recreation closer to home again, especially for winter activities. This recreational facility is poised to become a first-class, four-season venue that is easily accessed by area residents and visitors from beyond Central Maine. The groundwork has been laid, both in history and in volunteer action of recent years, to reignite the longstanding love of outdoor recreation and winter sports in the Greater Waterville area. This time, the area will be open throughout the year for people from all walks of life to explore and enjoy for generations to come.
Learn more about the current project and history of Quarry Road: listen to January, 2011 WABK interview with Friends of Quarry Road's then-President, Dr. John Koons.