Best Ski Resorts in New England

When people talk about Skiing around the world, and even in the US, New England is not a particularly well-renowned region. That might be due in part to the elevations being relatively low, and the slopes are notoriously icy. Another factor is that the resort towns surrounding even the most high-profile ski resorts in the area pale in comparison to the development of the ski resorts and towns in the western states. But rest assured, skiing is very popular in the area, and if you are okay with not being knee-deep in powder and the occasional skid, most skiers would thoroughly enjoy the experience of skiing in New England. Here is the list of the Best Ski Resorts in New England.

Sunday River Ski Resort, Newry, Maine

One of the biggest ski resorts in New England is also one of its best. A 175-mile drive from Boston, this assortment of nine mountains has ski trails for skiers of all levels, although it provides the most options for skiers of an intermediate level. But don’t be fooled, this Ski Resort also boasts some expert-level trails, particularly the Trail “White Heat”. Often considered one of the steepest trails in New England (at least at the commercial Ski Resorts), this trail is covered half in smooth (sometimes icy) slope, while the other half is covered in moguls (mini hills of snow/ice), a classic New England ski trail that skillfully combines fear and excitement.

The area surrounding Sunday River is relatively remote, so be prepared to be doing everything mountainside. But don’t fret, people all over New England make Sunday River their winter weekend home. 

Sugarloaf Ski Resort, Carrabassett Valley, Maine 

The second-largest Ski Resort east of the Mississippi is well established as one of New England’s finest. This mountain is home to many trails, most of which favor the moderately experienced skier, although there are plenty of expert-level trails and glades (trails that snake through the evergreen trees that cover nearly all of New England’s Mountains). In fact, Sugarloaf can boast the only lift-serviced skiing above the tree line in the Northeast.

The area surrounding the Ski Resort is quite remote, but the large Ski Resort (at least for New England’s standards) can be a little bit like a world all on its own. Sugarloaf is also the home mountain of the Colby College Ski Team, a Division I NCAA competitor. While on the subject of schools, Sugarloaf Ski Resort is also home to Carrabassett Valley Academy, a private ski and snowboard academy that have produced famous alumni like Seth Wescott and Bode Miller.

Sugarbush Ski Resort, Warren, Vt

Home to the University of Vermont Ski Team, one of the best ski teams in the Eastern United States, who boasts several NCAA championships, Sugarbush is a prestigious Ski Resort in its own right, and well recognized as one of New England’s Best. 45 miles south of Burlington, the third largest ski resort in New England has plenty of steep, narrow, windy ski runs and effortlessly blends elements of East Coast and West Coast skiing. It also has a wide array of glade trails, for all those readers who are looking to add some snap decision-making and more constant peril to skiing.

In short, if you have some skiing under your belt, and you want to experience some exciting east coast skiing, Sugarbush is your place. It is located a bit remotely, but a well-planned day could also involve a trip to Burlington, VT, a well-cultured city (and the home base of one Bernie Sanders) about an hour car ride away.

Killington Ski Resort, Killington, Vt

The largest Ski Resort in the Eastern United States could be seriously considered one of its best as well. Spread across six mountains, Killington has plenty of trails packed with moguls sided with glades, meaning that the Ski Resort certainly does not sacrifice quality for quantity. In fact, nearly 40% of its trails were rated black diamond, common ski indicators of expert-only trails.

This mountain has hosted a race on the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup, which features ski racers from all over the world, since 2016. US skier Mikaela Shiffrin, a two-time Olympic Gold medalist, has swept the Slalom races all four years. Killington is also well respected for having a good apres-ski nightlife. It is close to Dartmouth College, which is not only an Ivy League university but also has one of the best Ski teams in the Country. 

Loon Mountain, Lincoln, New Hampshire

Just a two-hour drive from Boston in the heart of the White Mountain National Forest, Loon Mountain Ski Resort offers big-time skiing without being too far north for civilization. The diverse grouping of ski trails, moguls, and glades is partnered with a well-stocked terrain park, home to New Hampshire’s only Superpipe. Lincoln, NH is a little more developed than many of the other surrounding areas on this list, and while it may not have all the cultural trappings of Burlington, Vt, there are plenty of places to go to feel less, you know, isolated.

In Summary

This list is only the beginning of the Best Ski Resorts in New England that are generously sprinkled across Northern New England. The purposely under-maintained Mad River Glen in Waitsfield, Vt is famous (or infamous, depending on who you ask) for its slogan “ski it if you can”, and is adored by fans of telemark skiing.

Bretton Woods Ski Resort, in the shadows of Mount Washington, New England’s tallest peak, and the Mount Washington Hotel, where the famous Bretton Woods conference took place, also has some world-class skiing. 

The State of Vermont also boasts more stellar ski resorts, such as Okemo, Stowe, and Jay Peak, all of which have great skiing and a good atmosphere. The quaint New Hampshire town of Conway is a cool mountain getaway year-round, and in many ways seems to gain charm in the winter despite the harsh mountain winters (but hey, harsh winters mean more snow!). And you can’t forget about some more rustic and rugged mountains, such as Wildcat Mountain.