When you grow up skiing in New England, you learn early on how much passion you have for the sport. You learn how to deal with the elements and varying conditions that change on a daily basis. You learn that while powder days exist, you might have to earn them with a couple hours drive, staying at a local B & B, or waking up at sunrise to grab a coveted first chair. You also learn that many other New Englanders share the same passion for being outdoors and on the mountain during the winter months.
For all of you who are Born From Ice we’ve broken down our shortlist of winter spots to visit with your family, friends, or on a solo powder adventure.
Photo Credit: Wachusett Mountain
Massachusetts holds the largest population in New England, creating a consistent demand for skiers and riders hoping to visit a mountain without driving too far. The Berkshires in Western Mass, host a variety of resorts, but our top pick goes to Wachusett Mountain aka "WaWa".
Located just north of Worcester, Wachusett is only 55 miles from Boston, making it perfect for a quick day trip or getting some night turns in after work (which we highly recommend) during their night skiing hours. With three high- speed lifts and just over 1,000 vertical feet of skiing, WaWa allows riders a full day of skiing in a few short hours.
Wachusett boasts snowmaking capabilities across the entire mountain. Hosting ski/snowboard schools, race teams, and events throughout the winter, Wachusett is well worth the day trip for the skier or rider looking to learn how to link turns or the expert looking for nighttime stress relief!
Photo Credit: Grind TV
The Green Mountain State holds the biggest mountains in New England. Most Vermont resorts have a traditional feel that take you back to the roots of the industry. Vermont is also home to snowboarding companies, Burton and Rome SDS – both of whom remain loyal to their home state. With a vast skiing history, Vermont has several great options, but if we have to choose one location, it has to be Jay Peak.
If you know, you know. Jay has some of the most challenging terrain in New England. Hugging the Canadian Border, Jay attracts equal parts Canadians and New Englanders – you might even be able to brush up on your French! With an average snowfall of 377,” Jay boasts some of the most natural snowfall in New England! A true East Coast powder day lies in Jay’s trees. With plenty of glades, face chutes, and leg-burning groomers, Jay Peak attracts the best skiers and riders looking to take their skills to the next level.
Last but not least, Jay Peak also has a massive slope side indoor water park for plenty of off mountain fun!
Photo Credit: Bretton Woods
New Hampshire’s ski resorts are a quick ride north from Boston and Bostonians flock year-round to picturesque New England towns like North Conway, Lincoln, or Lake Winnipesaukee. Roughly two hours from Boston, the White Mountains were designed for the adventurous family. Outdoor enthusiasts take to Mount Washington for three season hiking, camping, or water activities on the many lakes nearby. Across the valley lies Bretton Woods, a fun-sized resort, where skiers of all abilities can enjoy pristine trails.
Boasting 465 acres of skiing, Bretton Woods does a phenomenal job of grooming and keeping their trails maintained for skiers and riders. So much so, that Ski Magazine rated it #1 for Snow Quality on the East Coast. Bretton Woods is designed for novice skiers and allows kids to build confidence on a bigger mountain and advance their skills. With plenty of amenities, Bretton Woods and the iconic Mount Washington Resort nearby will make you feel cozy and comfortable after a long day on the slopes.
Photo Credit: Sunday River
Tucked away in the northeast most part of the USA, Maine’s cold winters often feel unending, so pack your warm clothes. With a handful of ski resorts to choose from, Sunday River stands out for a few reasons - accessibility, variety of terrain, and big mountain feel. Within a couple hours of Portland and Boston, it provides snow enthusiasts a manageable trip to Bethel, Maine.
Sunday River is home of eight, that’s right, eight peaks! Each peak offers slightly different terrain covering slow and steady greens, rolling blue groomers, and black diamond steeps. The eight peaks span three miles and cover over 850 acres of skiable terrain making it tough to tackle in a weekend, although five high-speed quads do their job in getting you up the mountain and even on the busiest of holidays, you rarely experience long lift lines. Sunday River also offers night skiing on select peaks for the true all-hours skier. Their mountain motto is, “Your Happy Place” and we think that says it all.
Photo Credit: Snow Online
Rhode Island, the smallest state in the country, also may have the smallest ski resort in the US. Yawgoo Valley is the only lift serviced ski area in the state. With 86 skiable acres, 2 double lifts, a rope tow, and a tubing park, Yawgoo offers Rhode Islanders a place to enjoy the snow without traveling too far. If you are a Rhode Island native, there is a good chance you learned to ski or ride here.
Photo Credit: Westchester Magazine
There are a few small ski resorts that call Connecticut its home. All of its resorts are quaint, accessible, and fun for the family. Mohawk Mountain offers all of this plus much more! In the northwest corner of the state, it makes it a manageable commute from cities such as New Haven and Hartford, CT or Springfield, Mass. Mohawk; which are all within an hour and a half. It’s an easy day trip for any family looking to spend a day on the mountain. With Mohawks’s 20 trails across 107 acres, there is enough to keep you occupied for the day. Fun Fact: Mohwak Mountain opened its resort in 1947 making it one of the oldest resorts in New England!
So, there you have it, our top picks for having a fun day, weekend, or holiday on the slopes with family and friends.
If you haven’t already, be sure to peep our "What to Pack: a Day on the Slopes" guide.