New Hampshire Skiing/Boarding
New Hampshire’s resorts are close to one another and easy to get to. Two hours from Boston’s Logan International Airport are major resorts such as Loon, Waterville Valley and Cannon Mountain, where snow is guaranteed (thanks to the latest equipment) and lines are short, especially midweek. Enjoy the variety: cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, or snowshoeing. Want a tip? Shopping in New Hampshire is tax free, so you can find competitively-priced ski gear in stores in Lincoln and North Conway.
The following New Hampshire ski resorts work with international tour operators and regularly host overseas school groups.
Attitash Mountain Resort
Located in the beautiful White Mountain National Forest, the resort has two peaks, Attitash and Bear Peak, with 23 miles of trails and glades on 300 acres. Thad’s Choice is a boarder’s playground, with more than 1,700 feet of ramps, table tops, huge air hits and jibs. Note: lift tickets are valid for use at both Attitash Mountain Resort and Wildcat Mountain.
Lodging: The Attitash Grand Summit Hotel offers slopeside lodging.
Activities: New is the four-season thrill ride, the Nor’Easter Mountain Coaster. Head up the mountain on twin stainless steel rails, then zoom down over half a mile through dips, banked turns and straight-aways – at rider-controlled speeds of up to 25 mph.
Trails: 73 trails across two peaks; 12 lifts. The Bear Notch Pass trail serves as the gateway that links the two peaks together.
This family-owned property is high above the quaint village of Jackson with gorgeous views of Mount Washington and the surrounding Presidential Range. Sunny southern exposure, protection from wind and an "old school" atmosphere makes it a favorite for families. The mountain prides itself on affordability, high-quality ski programs and a safe environment for children (including on-site daycare). While Black Mountain is the perfect choice for beginners of all ages, there is plenty of challenging terrain for the advanced skiers and riders, as well. Black is known for its narrow, wooded trails and glades – a refreshing reminder of how the sport was intended to be. At the end of the day, the restaurant at the mountain's base, "The Shovel Handle Pub," has loads of history and excellent food.
Trails and Glades: 45 trails; 4 lifts; 143 acres of skiable terrain.
This resort boasts front row views of the stunning Mount Washington, the highest peak in the northeastern U.S., ranking #2 in scenery among Eastern U.S. resorts by the readers of Ski magazine. Bretton Woods has snowmaking on 92% of its trails including 50 new tower guns, and features 464 acres for skiing and riding accessed by ten lifts. Because it is part of the Omni Mount Washington Resort, you can also ski free at Bretton Woods when you book a "Stay Here, Ski Free" package at the renowned Mount Washington Hotel, the newly renovated Omni Bretton Arms Inn or the convenient Lodge.
Bretton Woods offers night skiing, four terrain parks and numerous ski school programs, and a nursery for children 1-5. New in the 2012-13 ski season, the Mount Stickney Glades expansion includes a new 2,000-foot Doppelmayr T-Bar and a 600-square-foot log cabin. These new elements bring back a quintessential New England ski experience, and make this “sidecountry” terrain more accessible to Bretton Woods’ skiers and riders.
Other activities: a year-round zipline canopy tour, full-service spa, sleigh rides, tubing, ice skating, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on 60 miles of groomed trails, plus the Slopeside Climbing Wall located on the Slopeside level of the Bretton Woods Base Lodge, and Guided Winter Adventures including skiing, snowshoeing, ice climbing and back country excursions.
Trails: 102 trails and glades (25% novice, 29% intermediate, 30% most difficult, 16% experts only), and four terrain parks.
Awards: SKI magazine 2013 Reader's Poll of Eastern Resorts – Top 5 in the East for Snow, Grooming, Family Programs, Lodging and Scenery and #1 in the East for Weather.
Set in Franconia Notch State Park, Cannon Mountain has the state’s longest vertical drop (2,180 feet). Get around on 10 lifts, including the spectacular 70-passenger Aerial Tramway that takes less than 10 minutes to reach New Hampshire’s highest ski area summit: 4,080 feet. Cannon also has a highly-rated children’s center. The 4,080-foot summit, which faces north-northeast, nets snow when other mountains may get little or none – it’s called the “Cannon Effect.” This mountain is an easy drive from Boston, accessed directly off Interstate-93.
Learning Terrain: Tuckerbrook encompasses 4 lifts and 13 trails designed and built just for families learning and for those who want a relaxed skiing or riding experience apart from the "big mountain."
Special Activities: Cannon Mountain has partnered with the Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country (ASPNC) to make adaptive on-snow ski/ride opportunities & instruction available to people of all abilities and ages.
Trails: 73 trails (21% novice, 47% intermediate, 32% advanced) and the Mittersill Backcountry Area (86 acres), accessed via the new double chairlift.
Cranmore Mountain Resort
Cranmore has a new state-of-the art Arlberg Children’s Learning Center and a new quad chairlift. As for the stats: vertical drop 1,200 feet; three terrain parks; and 100% snowmaking. The action continues into the evening: skiing and boarding, tubing, riding the Mountain Coaster and the Soaring Eagle zipline. Cranmore is conveniently located at the north end of North Conway, the gateway town to the White Mountains, full of shops, shopping outlets, restaurants and more, so there's always plenty to eat and do nearby. With 15,000 beds available in the Mount Washington Valley, guests can stay in slopeside condos at Cranmore Mountain Resort, bed & breakfasts, cottages, country inns, hostels, hotels, motels and numerous luxurious resorts in and around the area. There are even hotels offering indoor water parks including the Hampton Inn and the Red Jacket Resort, both located minutes from Cranmore.
Activities: Mountain Coaster, 10-lane snow tubing park, a Giant Swing, and the Indoor Adventure Zone with a trampoline and more. Telemark skiing and lessons.
Trails: 57 trails and glades; 10 lifts; three terrain parks.
Gunstock Mountain Resort
Gunstock Mountain is the second highest peak in the Belknap Range of central New Hampshire and offers spectacular views of Lake Winnipesaukee, the largest lake in New Hampshire. This resort is only 90 minutes from Boston. Gunstock has a nationally recognized and award-winning learn-to-ski or -ride program – Mountain Magic. For cross-country skiing, Gunstock offers 50km of trails groomed for both nordic and skate skiing. High quality rentals are available.
Boarding: Whether you prefer Freestyle to Freeride, Gunstock has the terrain for your riding style. The Blundersmoke Park offers more than 12 acres of park goodness, and is the largest night park in New Hampshire. Phelps Progression Park has 1 box, 2 jumps and a quarterpipe with a double barrel coping. Richochet Park has 4 jumps, 3 rails and 1 box. Learn more.
Special: Night skiing operations typically run from mid-December to mid-March.
Trails: 55 trails on 220 acres; 8 lifts.
King Pine Ski Resort
King Pine Ski Resort has become well known for its family-friendly atmosphere, affordability and consistent snow conditions. King Pine offers exciting terrain for all abilities and has been a tradition for families throughout New England since 1962!. Free events are on offer every weekend throughout the season. King Pine is part of Purity Spring Resort which offers family-friendly lodging and home-style meals.
Activities: snow tubing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, skating, horse-drawn sleigh rides, plus an indoor pool and fitness center. Night skiing is available on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and holiday periods until 9:00 pm. For cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, there are 28km of scenic trails that wind through the forests around Purity Lake, traverse through the grounds of Purity Spring Resort and twist through tall pines in the adjacent Hoyt/Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary.
Trails: 17 downhill trails (44% novice, 31% intermediate for skiers and riders), 6 lifts.
Loon Mountain Resort
Loon’s three peaks and 2,100 feet of vertical are easy to get to – just off Route I-93. It's easy to see why readers of SKI magazine have rated it #1 for access in the Eastern U.S. There’s plenty of choice from steep bumps, long cruisers, gentle beginner runs and tree skiing to the Superpipe and a Burton Progression Park. The terrain variety means a challenge for all abilities, making Loon a great choice for families or parties with skiers & riders of different ability levels. Loon also boasts a selection of award-winning terrain parks.
Recent additions; two parks built specifically for families: The Burton Riglet Park and Lil’ Stash. The Burton Riglet Park is designed for all the knee-high snowboarders and aspiring snowboarders out there. Located next to the Kissin’ Cousin Double, the Paul Bunyan-themed park will feature rolls, berms, mini pipe, and a ground-level box perfect for three-year-old boarders. Parents and instructors will be able to walk children through the park and help them learn basic skills. For more advanced riders and skiers, the Burton Lil’ Stash features rails, rollers, logs, and carvings of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. It’s a quiet place to develop park and freeriding skills, and the easy gladed terrain lets aerially-challenged parents have fun too. At the end of the day, the local Lincoln-Woodstock area features plenty of great options for après ski dining, accommodations, activities and amenities.
Activities: Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, indoor climbing, plus lift-served and walk-up snow tubing. Or, ride the zipline high above the Pemigewasset River.
Trails: 61 trails (20% novice, 60% intermediate, 20% advanced) covering 28 miles; 12 lifts.
Waterville Valley Resort
Waterville Valley Resort is known for its genuine New Hampshire experience with a picture-perfect village and Mount Tecumseh – 2,020 feet of vertical – to explore. With its own fast quad chair, the wide, gentle two-mile-long Valley Run is rated the best ‘learn to ski’ slope in New England. Boarders have a terrain park and superpipe; cross-country buffs can explore the 65 miles of trails. Enjoy après ski with a stroll through the shops in Town Square and finish it off with fireworks over Corcoran Pond. Extend your stay with "Wicked Long Weekends" that offer early check-in and free afternoon skiing on Friday and an extra late checkout on Sunday.
Activities Nearby: Ice Rink, Sleigh Rides.
Trails: 52 Trails (20% novice; 60% intermediate; 20% advanced); 12 lifts; 5 glades.
Located within the White Mountain National Forest, Wildcast Mountain offers close-up views of Mount Washington to the west and distant views of the Atlantic Ocean to the east. But there’s more than pretty views: regulars return for the bumps and wide open steeps of The Lynx (a local favourite) and the 2¾-mile Polecat. The Wildcat Express quad is New England’s most powerful high-speed summit quad lift, whisking skiers to the more than 4,000-foot summit in just over six minutes. The stats? A vertical drop of 2,112 feet, 50 trails and an annual natural snowfall of more than 200 inches. Note: lift tickets are valid for use at both Attitash Mountain Resort and Wildcat Mountain. The Wildcat Mountain Ski School offers ski and snowboard programs to match skills, techniques and tactics on the mountain’s varied terrain; the Lion’s Den Children’s Center ski programs are a great way to introduce a lifelong sport to your family. For beginner skiers/riders, there is the new surface lift and beginner terrain at the base area plus the gentle learning terrain on the Snowcat Slope.
Activities: The ZipRider (zipline) is a must: a half-mile zoom over ski trails and tree tops at 45 mph.
Trails: 49 alpine trails (25% novice; 45% intermediate; 30% advanced); 1 terrain park; 5 lifts.
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