December 2016 saw the addition of a new trail to the cross country Ski trails of Chautauqua County which was named the “Homestead Loop”. The 0.9 mile long trail was built as a result of a magnanimous grant from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. The construction of the trail would not have been possible without the volunteering efforts of the Boutwell Hill Ski Club (BHSC) who worked through the summer and autumn to build the requisite bridges for the trail.
According to Andy Dickson, the President of BHSC, they could not have built the Ski trails of Chautauqua County without the support of the Chautauqua County Region Community Foundation. He added that despite BHSC being a relatively new organization, the fact that CRCF showed the faith in them to take up the task and supported them financially instilled a great deal of confidence in the volunteers and brought credibility to the work done by them.
BHSC was founded in the fall of 2015 and functions as a non-profit outfit. Contributions from skiers and the work hours put in by volunteers sustains the organization. Aside from Homestead Loop, the Boutwell Hill State Forest boasts of three other trails maintained by the BHSC, all four of them totalling to over 5 miles. To maintain the ski trails, BHSC has entered into an agreement with the DEC. In fact, aside from the cross-country trails of Peek-n-Peak resort, the ones maintained by BHSC are the only cross-country Ski trails of Chautauqua County.
The Ski trails of Chautauqua County are readied during winter for both skate and classic skiing and are made open for the public for free, without any charge. Complementing the skiing trails are back-country trails and multi-use roads in the State Forest.
In case you are interested in getting involved with the BHSC or want details about the grooming of the trails and other club activities, you can contact them here.