The Mt. Abram ski area in western Maine is planning its largest expansion since the late 1970s.

The ski mountain in Greenwood, near Bethel, plans to add six trails and expand its Dudley Terrain Park, said Dave Scanlan, the mountain’s general manager. The last time the ski area pursued such a significant terrain expansion was during the 1978-79 season, when it added a black diamond trail, Rocky’s Run.

Mt. Abram has a vertical drop of 1,150 feet and 51 trails. It was founded in 1960.

Scanlan announced the expansion plan in a newsletter he sent out last week. The “main catalyst,” he wrote, is the establishment of a dedicated ski racing venue “that will alleviate weekend traffic congestion caused by race training around the main mountain.”

“Creation of this new dedicated race trail will allow Mt. Abram to offer more rented hill training space to accommodate the demand from High School and Middle School racing teams while still allowing us to grow the Mt. Abram Race Training Program without compromising the quality of skiing for our loyal season pass holders and day ticket skiers,” he wrote.

The Greenwood Planning Board is scheduled to consider the expansion plan at its meeting Monday evening, Scanlan said. Assuming the board approves the project, which will cost about $150,000, it will be the final step in the mountain’s permitting process.

In addition to this year’s terrain expansion, Scanlan said, the ski area will build a covered pavilion to provide a large outdoor seating area at its Westside Lodge.

“This is part of a multi-year effort to grow the mountain,” Scanlan said.

Last year, the ski area spent more than $1 million to expand its snowmaking systems and deploy 803 solar-electric panels that offset 70 percent of the ski area’s electricity use.

“Last summer’s snow-making expansion ensured that we can put snow on the mountain quickly and efficiently and this summer’s focus has been on improving the way skiers move around and utilize the mountain,” Scanlan wrote.

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