Where the Frank did North American Go?
By Kirby Daly
If you are like me, you grew up taking some fall line filled turns down the infamous race trail, North American. Shooting directly uphill from Mid-Mountain Lodge, North American spanned 15 acres and had a mixture of vertical terrain with rolling knolls, steep fall lines and an epic valley view. But where in the world did North American go?
It didn’t go anywhere actually, it just got a new name: Frank’s Fall Line, you may have heard of it. Despite the many tales, the truth is that Frank’s a real person. But this only brings up more questions, like who is Frank? Well I did a little research and here is what I can tell you.
Frank Snyder, originally from upstate new york, traveled to Vermont regularly to ski Stowe Mountain in the 1950’s. In his travels he noted a hill that had great potential to become a ski site in southern Vermont. In 1959 he teamed up with investors to realize the dream that is today Stratton Mountain Resort. By Christmas of 1961, Stratton Mountain was up and running with its 3 story base lodge, 3 lifts and 10 trails, including our beloved North American. Through Frank’s vision, Stratton became one of the first family-oriented ski resorts in the industry. Along with being a founder and patron of the hill, he also acted as president and, subsequently, chairman. When Frank passed away in 2006, the Stratton community thought it right to rename North American for the 2007-2008 season as Franks Fall Line. And that’s that. See the original 1961 Trail Map.