Ski Ward Ski Area, once known as Ward Hill Ski Area and formerly Union Hill, has been in operation since 1939 and is one of the oldest continuously operating ski/snowboard areas in the country. Many may think that Ward Hill is associated with Artemas Ward, a Shrewsbury local and the 1st commander of the Continental Army, but the property has actually been owned by another line of William Ward’s descendants since the early 1900’s and been owned by Bruce and Lucy Ward since the 70’s.
In 1990, John and Effy LaCroix bought the business, renamed the area to Ski Ward and began a commitment to upgrading the facility to modern standards. These upgrades included a snow tubing facility, new triple chairlift, extensive lighting and snowmaking upgrades as well as two Piston bully groomers. The reinvestment continues today with improvements and upgrades every season.
Most recently, Ski Ward has become a year-round destination with summer tubing, a summer ski and snowboard park and the Slopeside Bar & Grill offering lunch, dinner and ice cream with outdoor seating. All of this has made Ski Ward the perfect place for all ages to enjoy.
Ski Ward is Where it all begins
1938: Pete Tyler and Louise Paine formed a partnership and began planning the opening of Ward Hill Ski Area.
1941: A snack shack was set up on the very right hand side of the hill.
December 1942: Ski Ward became one of the few ski operations near cities allowed to have night skiing, as it was located just outside of the dim-out restriction area. Operators Pete Tyler and Louis Paine made improvements to the ski slope in advance of the 1942-43 season.
1947-1951: Louis Payne continued to operate the area but with partner, Ralph White.
1952-1973: Robert Rochette took over the operation of the area.
1965-66 Season: Robert Rochette partnered with Ed Fedeli, formed Ward Hill Ski Area Corp and installed a new Mueller T-Bar, a lodge, a maintenance garage and from 1967-1974, a ski shop.
1968-1969 Season: A second t-bar was installed.
1983-1984 Season: A used Mueller double chairlift was installed.
1990: The LaCroix family bought the business from Fedeli, formed Ski Ward, Inc and renamed the area to Ski Ward.
2003: The Mueller double chairlift towers were reused with a new Partek triple chairlift installation.
Summer 2010: One lane of summer tubing, made out of Neveplast was installed, the second in Massachusetts.
July 2011: A 250′ StarKid Carpet lift was installed in replacement of a handle tow to service the beginners area and summer operations.
Summer 2011: A summer terrain park was installed, one of the only ones in New England.
November 2011: Ski Ward received approval for a beer and wine license and became home of the Slopeside Bar & Grill.
Summer 2013: A second lane of tubing was added, both lanes were expanded along with the summer terrain park and a sand volleyball court was installed.
Fall 2013: A BigAirBag was purchased for year-round operations; the only one in New England open year-round to the public and lift-serviced.
Summer 2014: Ski Ward became home to the Shrewsbury Farmer’s Market and Elevated Training’s Obstacle Race Training.