A ski resort with terrain for all levels and closeby lodging, lots of apres ski activities and a good ski school make for great vacations on snow.
New England comes alive for skiers and snowboarders just about Thanksgiving and keeps those smiles going some years well in to April. Despite the fact the mountains are craggy, the weather cold, sun shining only on a few lucky days, powder that is elusive at best, the landscape coated with snow is one of the most beautiful you will ever see. Just ask Currier and Ives. And all that put together makes "real skiers and riders" out of a vast Big City populace.
The ski resorts in the six New England states vary in size and popularity and all have their fierce loyalists. Most of the largest and more famous resorts will be found in the Northern New England states of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. But Massachusetts and Connecticut, and even Rhode Island, have ski resorts well worth your visits, the latter very close to the big markets of Hartford, Springfield, Providence and Boston.
Snowmaking has been the name of the game in New England for decades and has made the day, weekend or vacation trip a no-brainer - no more worrying about snow. Massive investments into technology and equipment have been made at virtually every resort to guarantee your experience. Natural snowfall in the region is no slouch either, with stuff falling from above in the 60-100 feet range. Those aren't Rocky Mountain numbers, but they're respectable. When a Nor'Easter rolls in, it can be "oh, so good."
Ask anyone who lives here what to expect with the weather and you'll get this answer: "If you don't like it, wait five minutes."
You'll find some of the best terrain parks in the country. After all, snowboarding was really brought to life by Jake Burton Carpenter on the slopes of Stratton Mt., Vermont. The resorts in the Northern Berkshires offer night skiing and they are a short hop from the cities.
Skiing and riding in the Constitution State may not be plentiful or even particularly challenging, but if you live anywhere in the state, there’s sliding virtually in your backyard at four ski areas: Mohawk Mountain in Cornwall; Mt. Southington in Southington; Powder Ridge in Middlefield; and Ski Sundown (New Hartford).
Southern New England is home to 12 ski areas, including several, such as Jiminy Peak and Wachusett Mt. and several others well worth an extra few days. Resorts in the state include: Jiminy Peak (Hancock); Nashoba Valley (Westford); Otis Ridge (Otis); Bousquet Mountain (Pittsfield); Ski Blandford (Blandford); Mt. Tom (Holyoke); Butternut (Great Barrington); Blue Hills (Canton); Ski Bradford (Haverhill); Ski Ward (Shrewsbury), and Wachusett Mountain (Princeton).
Yawgoo Valley ski resort in Exeter is small, local in every way and is the only surviving ski area in the state today. But, if you live in Rhode Island, it’s handy to keep your ski legs in shape or to learn to ski or ride. Skiing and riding is over only 30 acres with a small vertical drop of 245 feet.
You’ve no doubt heard the word “quintessential” as a description for the classic charm and beauty of Vermont. Go ahead and use it once you’v learned to spell it, because it is true. Vermont ski resorts include: Killington (Killington/Rutland); Jay Peak (Jay); Smugglers’ Notch (Jeffersonville); Stowe Mountain Resort (Stowe); Stratton Mountain (Stratton); Sugarbush (Warren); Pico (Killington/Rutland); Mount Snow (W. Dover); Okemo Mt. Resort (Ludlow); Saskadena Six (Woodstock); Bolton Valley (Richmond); Bromley Mountain (Peru); Burke Mountain (Burke); Mad River Glen (Warrren); Magic Mt. (Londonderry); Middlebury Snow Bowl (Middlebury); and Cochran’s Ski Area (Richmond).
Skiing and riding in the Granite State is easily accessible out of the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island metro markets as well as from neighboring Vermont and Maine. Head to one of these ski resorts. Like Vermont or Maine, any area is ideal for a weekend or a week: Attitash (Bartlett); Loon Mountain resort (Lincoln) - a great ski resort with apres ski and family friendly terrains; Cranmore Mountain resort (No. Conway); Wildcat (Gorham); Cannon Mountain (Franconia); Bretton Woods (Carroll); Sunapee (Newbury); King Pine (Madison); Black Mt. (Jackson); Whaleback (Enfield); Pats Peak (Henniker); Crotched Mt. (Bennington), and Ragged Mt. (Danbury).
OK, it can be cold. Now that we’ve put that one to rest, the Pine Tree State has some truly exciting skiing and snowboarding areas that will keep you and your family busy for far more than a weekend pop-in. Yes, it can be a bit of an extra trek, but when you make that effort, you will be rewarded. Some of New England’s largest ski areas beckon you here. Plan to ski and ride at these top resorts Sunday River (Newry); Saddleback Mt. (Rangeley); Shawnee Peak (Bridgton); Mt. Abram (Greenwood); Camden Snow Bowl (Camden); Sugarloaf Mountain Resort (Carrabasset Valley); Big Squaw Mt. (Greenville Junction); Lost Valley (Auburn); Mt. Jefferson (Lee); and New Hermon Mt. (Hermon).
There are 76 ski resorts in the six New England states which include Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine. 56 of New England ski resorts are covered at OnTheSnow.com. Check out, which ski resorts are open right now.
The answer is, of course, subjective but we will give the nod to Vermont with its classic Stowe on top and venerable Bromley to the south and so much good skiing in between. Then it’s a toss-up between New Hampshire and Maine.
Killington is the biggest ski resort in New England and, for that matter, the Northeastern United States. The total slope length is 117.5 km. (73 miles).
New England is the capital of the East Coast skiing and snowboarding world of North America. The region prides itself on its rugged terrain, cold weather and a down-to-earth attitude. The big plus factor is the mountains are accessible from a wide swatch of the big city populations.
A New England winter may be bitterly cold, but at least the gray snowy days sometimes alternate with brilliant, crisp, sunny days when the air is cold, but the sun's warmth brings people out of their homes. Freezing temperatures (dipping below 32°F) arrive in northern New England in November, and in the south in early to mid-December. January and February are just plain cold and snowy. March can be unpredictable but you know spring is creeping in. See what projected open dates and projected closing dates are for the season.
Skiing and riding in New England is, in a word, excellent, but in its own right. No, the mountains and the resorts are not as “mega” as those in the Rockies and the weather can change faster than one can say “what’s the weather like?” But the resorts are well-run, and with so much technology applied to snowmaking, good skiing is virtually guaranteed, and so beautiful you may not want to leave. The influx of deep-pocketed new owners of many resorts will make significant improvements each new season.