Ski the East
New England and the overall Northeast region have deep roots in skiing that hearken back to the days of mom-and-pop ski hills. With tow ropes and maple syrup, the Northeast has (and always will) embody the spirit of skiing and ski culture.
Today, the area is full of both independently-owned ski mountains that have all the charm and character of skiing’s golden years and larger developments owned and operated by the likes of Vail with high-speed lifts, heated seats, and other luxe amenities.
Sure, the weather doesn’t always cooperate (it rains, consider yourself warned) and the conditions can at times be, er, firm, there are stunning mountains with world-class terrain and a soulfulness you can’t find anywhere else. So, if you’re venturing east and looking for a place to slide down some snow, here are the five can’t-miss ski resorts in the Northeast.
Camden Snow Bowl - Camden, Maine
In spite of its humble size (it’s longest run is a mile-long and the vertical drop is 1,150 feet), Camden Snow Bowl is loved for its welcoming vibe, iconic A-Frame base lodge, and being the only ski hill with ocean views on the east coast. It’s worth taking a trip to this tiny but mighty mountain to ski its groomed trails and soak up the small-town feel.
Sugarloaf Mountain - Carrabassett Valley, Maine
Western Maine’s crown jewel is known for having the only lift-serviced above treeline skiing in the east. In recent years, Sugarloaf has also added 650 acres of sidecountry trails to a section of the resort called Brackett Basin, with natural features accessible both by chairlift and as a cat skiing experience that intermediate and advanced skiers will love. Overall, it’s a family-friendly mountain that’s a great time for skiers and riders of all abilities.
Cannon Mountain - Franconia Notch State Park, New Hampshire
Located in one of the state’s most scenic areas, White Mountain National Forest, Cannon Mountain caters to advanced and intermediate skiers with its 2,180 vertical foot drop. Lovers of old-school ski culture and history will appreciate that the mountain is home to the New England Ski Museum, and its close proximity to downtown Littleton, home of Lahout’s, America’s Oldest Ski Shop, right on the border of New Hampshire’s North Country.
Stowe Mountain Ski Resort, Stowe, Vermont
With rugged off-piste terrain on the backside (Mount Mansfield) and top-of-the-line, luxury ski resort on the other, Stowe offers visitors a one-of-kind experience. Plus, it’s worth noting that the mountainous state of Vermont gets the most snowfall in the Northeast, and Stowe is no exception, with 314 inches of average snowfall per year that keeps its 485 skiable acres covered all season-long. And don’t skip out on the idyllic downtown where you can enjoy some exceptional food, beer, and quintessential Vermont ski town culture.
Whiteface Mountain, Wilmington, New York
All the way north, in the High Peaks of the Adirondacks, just 13 miles from Lake Placid, New York (home of the 1980 Winter Olympics), is the cold, windy, and legendary Whiteface Mountain. Affectionately known as, “Iceface”, yours truly has experienced this mountain on a day when temps dipped down to forty below. However, when the conditions are far more reasonable, skiers and riders can ski some fun steeps that stretch out over three peaks. Keep your eye out for Montreal’s skyscrapers on a clear day. Yes, Canada is really that close.
Words by Katherine Englishman
Kat is freelance writer with a focus on outdoor travel, design, and sustainability, She is an avid skier, hiker, surfer and passionate yoga teacher who will take any excuse to have an adventure and call it work. She lives in beautiful coastal Maine with her husband and three-legged dog. We are glad to have her as part of the Wagner family.