East Coast skiing often brings to mind big resorts such as Killington and Sugarloaf, but for those who crave lesser-known hideaways, there is plenty to explore. When it’s time to hit the slopes while avoiding crowds, head to some of the East Coast’s best-kept secrets.
If you’re looking for a lazy Sunday, this isn’t the place because you’ll want to spend all day at Sunday River trying to traverse as many of the eight peaks as you can. The resort has 870 acres of skiing, with 16 percent of its trails dedicated to expert skiers, yet there are plenty of runs for beginners and intermediate skiers. One interesting note is that their 2,000 snow guns can produce 7,800 gallons of snow every minute.
Located about three hours away from Boston and New York City is Jiminy Peak. A big plus is that this eco-friendly resort generates its own energy via wind turbines. Groups can stay on-site, enjoy the 45 runs, and shop and dine in the self-contained village on the mountainside. Half of Jiminy Peak’s trails are for beginners, but they have all levels, with 20 percent of their paths best left to more experienced skiers.
North Creek, New York
With 439 acres of skiing (338 have snow machines), Gore Mountain’s longest run is a whopping 4.5 miles. The 121 trails consist of traditional ski runs, glades, freestyle areas, and cross-country and snowshoe trails. It’s one of the most accommodating ski resorts for beginners on the East Coast as they offer a wide variety of times for lessons, including early morning private training.
Pennsylvania claims Blue Knob All Seasons Resort as a best-kept secret, and it’s no wonder why. With 34 trails that service all experience levels, this resort has the highest skiing mountain in the state. One exciting aspect is that they have a NASTAR course, which consists of a giant, open-gated slalom. The course is where skiers of all levels can compete against other skiers for the best time, and try to shave seconds off of their score during multiple runs.
With an average of 228 inches of snowfall and a history dating back to 1948, Mad River Glen has skiing in the Green Mountain Range figured out. The best part of this ski resort is that all of their 46 trails end at a single base area so that groups can head down different pathways and reconnect at the bottom. Mad River Glen also has the last surviving single chair lift in the United States.
Heading a bit south doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a lack of powder. Wintergreen Resort has 27 trails over 129 acres, all of which are serviced by snowmaking. In addition to skiing – day or night – against the backdrop of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, visitors can go tubing, ice skating, or visit a terrain park to work on their freestyle skills.
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