You have to see it to believe it.
That’s how the unlikely alliance between a snowmobile club and backcountry earn-your-turners came together in Brownfield, Maine, where — together — they are breathing new life into a lost ski area and creating shared human-powered and motorized winter recreational opportunities that are accessible for families.
The partnership between the Burnt Meadow Sno Club and Granite Backcountry Alliance coalesced this past summer at the site of the former Burnt Meadow Mountain Zodiac Skiway in Brownfield, located near the Maine-New Hampshire border. The small ski area — one lift, four trails and 700 feet of vertical — operated between 1971 and 1982 before several bad snow years and nearby competition forced its closure.
Revitalizing the ski area as an economic catalyst for the community has been the vision of Dick Norcross, chairman of the Brownfield Board of Selectmen and 50-year member (including 20 years as president) of Burnt Meadow Sno Club. The club has a five-year lease from the property owners to utilize and manage the ski area as it sees fit. They currently maintain the old ski lodge and more than 40 miles of snowmobile trails, as well as multi-use trails for non-motorized winter activities. (You can find complete information about the project at burntmeadow.org.)