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Our History

The Franklin Outing Club has been serving the Greater Franklin area for over 80 years. Our history is filled with lots of growth, achievements, and meaningful moments as we have worked to promote outdoor recreation and community involvement.

Spring 1932

Mary Aiken Drake donated a 400 acre tract of land to the City of Franklin in honor of her late husband, Dr. Ervin T. Drake. Named the Great Gains Forest, any cleared lumber was used for providing heating fuel for city dependents.  Maintenance of the forest also provided work for the unemployed during the Great Depression.


The Franklin Outing Club operated the Sunny Slopes Ski Area in nearby East Andover. The small rope tow area featured novice and intermediate terrain.  Sunny Slopes operated into the 1950s.

Jan 1960

The City of Franklin asked the US Army Corps of Engineers to construct a ski area in the  Great Gains Forest. The site was selected on a tract of land adjacent to Flaghole Road in West Franklin.

Oct 1960

Franklin City Council formally turned over the development of the Great Gains Ski Area to the Parks and Recreation Commission.

More history to come soon!

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