Visit the New England Ski Museum

Situated at Franconia Notch State Park, the New England Ski Museum has an interesting collection of items relating to the history and development of snow skiing, which are on display for the education and enjoyment of the thousands of visitors who pass through its doors each year….

The museum has been operating as a non-profit organization since December 1982, presenting both permanent and temporary exhibitions. Detailing a timeline of skiing from prehistoric times through to the 1990s, the permanent exhibition at the museum is entitled From the First Tracks to the Fall Line: Eight Thousand Years of Skiing.

The permanent display also includes fascinating facts about the history of skiing in New England, listing historic events at Cannon Mountain, and chronicling the career of World Cup alpine skier Bode Miller, who was born in Easton, New Hampshire. Visitors to the museum can view film clips on any of several video screens, selecting from topics that include ski instruction, skiing and snowboarding styles and other items of interest. There are also film clips highlighting the unpredictability of snow and the danger and power of avalanches, with a view to promoting caution and safety when enjoying the great outdoors.

At the entrance of the New England Ski Museum, visitors will see replicas of prehistoric skis which are still used by tribes in Central Asia today. Also on display are K2Fours, popularized by Bode Miller in the mid-1990s, as well as the champion’s five Olympic medals. As the sport grew in the New England area in the 1930s, a number of small businesses developed to cater for visiting skiers. It was also in that decade that the National Ski Patrol (NSP) was formed in order to render first aid services to skiers in need. The NSP became the foundation of the US Army’s 10th Mountain Division in World War II. Veterans of this military division were the driving force behind many of the ski resorts that were established following the Second World War, particularly in the 1950s and 1960s. Economic hardships in the 1970s and 1980s led to many of the small ski areas closing down in what is now referred to as the ‘lost ski area’ era.

The New England Ski Museum is open 7 days a week (except for Thanksgiving and Christmas) between 10am and 5pm, starting on Memorial Day and closing at the end of Cannon Mountain’s ski season.