Trollhaugen recreation area expands, adds new lifts and trails

A favorite recreation area for outdoor enthusiasts is getting even bigger.

The Trollhaugen Outdoor Recreation Area in western Wisconsin has announced the completion of phase one of upgrades that will result in new trails and chairlifts to get to them.

"Last season sparked an interest in snow sports and outdoor winter recreation like we’ve never seen in our history, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing. Quite frankly, we are just as much grateful as we are blown away by everyone’s enthusiasm to get on snow," said Jim Rochford, Trollhaugen’s third generation owner in an announcement.

A three-phase construction project began in the summer of 2021 to remove a two-person single speed chairlift from 1969, and replace it with a new variable speed four-person chairlift where the former "chair 1" was located. The first phase also began clearing up to three new trails on the east side of its Summit Area, as well as began installation of new snowmaking infrastructure to the expanded area.

"Our mission has always been to continuously reinvest in the skier experience while remaining true to the mom-and-pop Midwest ski area vibe that makes Trollhaugen feel like home to so many," Rochford said in the announcement.

The second phase has an estimated completion date of summer 2022. It will include finishing the new trails of the Summit Area and installing new snowmaking infrastructure, plus the installation of lighting to the newly expanded area.

The final phase of construction will be completed by the summer of 2023 and will install a new variable speed three-person chairlift at the Summit Area to offer service to the new trails.

Trollhaugen has operated in Dresser, Wisconsin for 72 years, offering both winter and summer activities. 

"After months of planning, preparation, and hard work, there’s no greater joy then finally seeing happy skiers and snowboarders being shuttled up the hill to enjoy the slopes on this new chairlift," said Marsha Hovey, marketing director for Trollhaugen. "It’s kind of a hard thing to put into words, but a ski area is almost like a movie theater in that we can only fit so many people before it’s packed and alters the experience. More terrain and more lifts means an even better day on the slopes."