ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. — For the first time in approximately 20 years, downhill skiing is back at Chestnut Ridge Park.

The Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry made the announcement on Tuesday, saying the installation of the new tow rope is now complete. However, the tow rope won't open until there is a sufficient amount of snow.

The tow rope will be open to the public, but Troy Schinzel, commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Forestry, says only skiers and snowboarders are allowed to use it. Sledders and tobogganers will still have to walk up the hill.

“The installation of this tow rope adds to the wide array of winter fun that is available at Chestnut Ridge Park and gives visitors another way to enjoy the hill," said Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. "We now offer free downhill skiing and snowboarding when weather permits at two county parks, Chestnut Ridge and Emery, so a visit to either park is a great way to enjoy the beauty of nature and some good skiing at the same time. I made a promise to return downhill skiing to Chestnut Ridge in my 2019 State of the County address and I’m pleased to say that it is now a reality. Now we just need Mother Nature to cooperate and we can celebrate the winter season here in Erie County.”

Once there is enough snow the tow rope will be open Wednesday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. It will also be open on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Before you head out to the park, be sure to check the park's website to see if the tow rope is operating.

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