1. Bretton Woods
Bretton Woods is the largest ski resort in New Hampshire, directly across from Mount Washington. The 464 acre resort is covered with an annual snowfall of 200 inches. It is also the most luxury resort in New Hampshire with excellent grooming staff and gorgeous views of its prided mountain. Advanced skiers should explore Mount Stickney, with its Number 5 trail through the narrow tree line. Enchanted Bear is a less intense, more leisurely trail that you can reach by taking the Rosebrook Express Quad. Bretton Woods offers many Alpine and Nordic ski programs for its visitors, including a Junior Instructional Ski Program for 14 and 15-year-olds. Take your teen along and they’ll learn about ski training from the professionals.
2. Loon Lake
2 hours away from Boston Logan Airport, Loon Lake is enveloped by the White Mountain National Forest and has three great mountains to test out. A majority of the resort’s trails, 60%, are intermediate but there is also a good mix of 17% advanced trails and 20% beginner. All skill levels will find something suited to their ability. Double black diamond runs like Ripsaw or Mike’s way will give visitors a run for their money. Mike’s way, weaving through the trees in the forest, includes a 10 inch boulder, which expert skiers will fly on and off at the end of their run. For a less challenging trail, try Brookway, which is meant to be a sweet glide for first time skiers.
3. Mount Sunapee
Mount Sunapee is located in Southern New Hampshire, conveniently close to Interstate 1-91 and I-81. It is home to 66 trails, many of them geared toward beginners. With a 2,743 foot Summit, this family operated resort always emphasizes a fun first atmosphere. Mount Sunapee has great terrain parks, including the Six O’ Three, which has a triple seat lift splitting it into two sections – with lots of rails, boxes and jumps to go around. Easier trails include the two-mile, slow going Ridge Run slope. Plus, Mount Sunapee has lots of summer activities like zip lining and aerial sky rides to keep vacationers happy in the sun.
4. Cranmore Mountain Resort
Cranmore Mountain Resort is found in North Conway Village, right in the middle of the White Mountains, and is much more than a ski resort. With 57 different trails and 10 snow tubing lanes, visitors will never be bored. Cranmore has a storied history as the place where Hans Schneider, the father of modern skiing, opened his ski school. For the ski buffs hoping to cruise down a mountain, we recommend one of the trails on the 1,200 foot SkiMobile Quad, like North Slope or SkiMeister. There are also exciting terrain parks for all levels, including the Upper Double Feature Progression Park, which allows beginners and intermediates to try out jumps and jibs that mimic each other, getting progressively more difficult as you move into the lower park area.
5. Cannon Mountain
In Franconia Notch State Park lies Cannon Mountain and its partner, the 98 acre Mittersill Ski Area. Cannon Mountain has the highest vertical ski drop in all of New Hampshire, at 4,180 feet. Its trails are not too difficult, at 47% intermediate. From Cannon Mountain’s record high summit, visitors get gorgeous views of the White Mountains. Visitors should also try out the first aerial tram in North America, or visit the New England Ski Museum, which is on the same grounds as the ski area. Mittersill ski area offers well loved backcountry skiing with on point snow making. The toughest trail at Cannon Mountain is DJ Tramline, which was originally a direct tram route to reach the top of Cannon. It is steep, rocky and cold, but if you’re looking for a challenge, this is the trail. Children and first time skiers will want to start off at Tuckerbrook Learning Area, This area is designed specifically for new skiers and is easily accessed from the main mountain. Robin’s nest, a trail with just the right amount of trees, allows visitors to try out tree skiing fear free.