From Berne, NY - a Helderberg Hilltown
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Map of area showing open slopes, trails, and lifts.[1] (South is at the top). The red roofed Ski Lodge is in the lower center below the lowest lift. The parking lot is the open field below the ski slope. Cole Hill Rd. runs up the hill to the south along the right side of the slopes. The blue area to the right of the Rd. is the Road Maintenance Area. At the top of Cole Hill Rd. is the intersection with Willsey Rd. which goes to the west. Filkins Hill is to the left of the photo.

A ski area with a rope tow located on Cole Hill Rd. This early ski resort was a popular place with Capital District skiers. Its high elevation and northeastern exposure, held snow very well. It often operated into April. A 300 foot vertical drop was served by a drag J-bar and two rope tows.


East Berne, NY 1/4 mile south of Rte.43, on Cole Hill Road.


Skiland was a small ski area that opened by William T. Rausch in East Berne on land rented from Christina Miller. Years later he bought the land. [2]. It first opened for the 1948 - 1949 season with 2 beginner/practice tows, as well as a 1300' rope tow on a 150' drop. In 1950 or 1951, the owners installed a "Versalift", which presumably was a homemade version of a J-bar, since later guidebooks mention a J-bar. This was rare in that it had an overhead cable lift in the early 1950's. There were 4 main slopes at the area, though there was also a 300' vertical trail that was likely not lift served. There were 2 wide, 1000' long slopes, as well as 2 smaller beginner areas. Like most ski areas during the 1950's, this one was only open during weekends and holidays. Also, lift tickets remained below $1.75 for the duration of the area. While it is not known when it closed, the area was in operation until at least 1959.[3]


  • Ralph Miller, Berne historian, a former skier? at Ski Land, one of the kitchen workers and ex co-owner of Cole Hill Farms- the big farm at the corner of Rte 443 and Cole Hill Road:

The area was open until, at least, 1964-65. My wife took my daughters there to ski when they were very small, like 2 & 3. The younger one was born 10/62. Jan also helped serve in the kitchen and we were married in 1960.

Ski land was owned by Bill Rauch and, I think, his brother in law. The snack bar was operated by the members of Foxenkill Grange #1579 and my mother was a regular, making many a pie and serving a lot of hamburgers which I remember coming from Gruelichs market, frozen, and in big boxes.

My father sold the land to Bill Rauch, probably in 1962 or so. They were forced out of business by State regulations which they could not afford. I skied in heavy old coats, snow pants, heavy shoes, and skis with edges so round you could hardly stand up on them. Probably was wished elsewhere by many who didn't think such rag-muffins should be allowed out in the presence of paying customers. [4]