Quentin and Kyle Frombach, who currently hold the Life Scout rank with the Boy Scouts of America, spent more than 2 years removing brush, grading the trail, and relocating the path to create a loop, which made it more accessible for novice hikers. They also crafted and installed benches along the trail as resting points.
“It was a lot of work, but definitely a worthwhile project because now people can more easily enjoy the trail again,” said Quentin, who will graduate from Bradford Area High School this June.
The Zippo Ski Slope Trail is 3,578 feet long and accessible from the Callahan Park parking lot.
An informational trailhead marker has been installed that was designed by Quentin with help from the Zippo Creative Services and Marketing teams. Kyle and Quentin contacted Zippo about donating the sign and providing historical reference information as part of their project.
Quentin explained that now that the renovation of the Zippo Ski Slope Trail is complete, he will go before an Eagle Scout Review Board, who will determine if he has met all requirements and, if the board unanimously approves, recommend he be given the rank of Eagle Scout.
Zippo founder George G. Blaisdell supported the creation of the Zippo Ski Slope in 1945. Blaisdell agreed to provide financial support for the slope so long as the cost to use it remained affordable.
For as little as 10 cents a day, local skiing enthusiasts and novices alike could spend a day on the slopes without having to leave town.
The slope provided a unique opportunity for area children to ski at an affordable price – most could easily walk to the slope. Even Mr. Blaisdell himself was known to hit the slope from time to time.
The Zippo Ski Slope was maintained by Bradford Ski Club volunteers and measured 1,000 feet in distance. There was no ski lift, only an electric rope tow, and yet it still attracted skiers from Pittsburgh, Buffalo and even Lake Placid, New York.
A ski jump was later added, as well as a cross country skiing path through the forest.
The Zippo Ski Slope closed in the 1970s, when new insurance regulations made its upkeep unfeasible.
Picture, Life Scout Quentin Frombach holds the new trailhead sign donated by Zippo for the Zippo Ski Slope Trail, which Quentin and his brother Kyle renovated as part of their Eagle Scout service project requirement.
Photo provided by Zippo