In the early days of downhill skiing in Capreol, runs were cleared at the end of Dennie Street by Mr. Grom and his family. The hill that was used was rough and rock-laden and was only briefly utilized in the 1950's. Soon, a new trail was opened on the hills across the river. These hills had a gravel base, making them much easier to develop and maintain.
A suitable site was scouted by George Krystia and Ivan Lalonde and around 1960, a downhill ski club was organized to oversee the creation of the runs. The original runs were made with the help of the CNR and the first ski lift was built out of parts from an old GMC three-quarter ton truck donated by the National Steel Company.
When the ski hills were finally ready in the early part of 1960, the runs were extremely popular. At one point, Jack Watt and Nels Marquis managed to acquire a Wintario grant that allowed them to build a chalet, a tow shack, and other needed structures while also enabling them to upgrade some of the runs.
Today, the Capreol Ski Hill continues to be a popular destination for avid skiers throughout the City of Greater Sudbury.
Cross-country skiing was taking place in Capreol long before any official ski club was created. In 1977, the first ever cross-country ski club was formed in Capreol and many local residents became members. Throughout the club's early years, there was difficulty maintaining the ski club, but in 1984, the club was revived and since then has continued to expand and grow.
The cross-country trails were developed to accommodate the skills of experienced and inexperienced skiers. Being set among the hills, skiers can marvel at the gorgeous view of the Vermilion River while enjoying the well-kept trails.
Within the Capreol Cross-Country Ski Club, a separate group called the "Seniors on Skis" was established as part of the New Horizon Program. The program helped to establish new facilities for the club including indoor washrooms and kitchen facilities in the chalet.
The ski trails are monitored by trained ski patrollers and are utilized by all Greater Sudbury residents, including school field trips. When winter has ended, the trails are not left abandoned. They are used for biking, walking, and birdwatching. All along the trails are plaques which explain the importance of historical areas and various elements of nature.
Cross-country skiing is a relaxing pastime enjoyed by many Greater Sudburians. The Capreol Cross-Country Ski Club is still in operation, providing an excellent way for Capreol residents to stay fit and active all winter.
Material compiled from Capreol: The First 75 years, 1918-1993.