Just two hours north of Boston, New Hampshire’s Loon Mountain claims to be New England’s most accessible mountain.
This small, family-friendly resort boasts a new $3 million snowmaking operation on the impeccably groomed runs that feature a 2,100-ft. vertical drop, eight tree-skiing areas, a superpipe and halfpipe, and 61 trails across three peaks.
Loon Mountain has 370 skiable acres accessed by 11 lifts to 69 trails and glades. The six terrain parks are for all abilities, including two kids’ parks – The Burton Riglet Park and Lil’ Stash. Loon is also home to the only superpipe in New Hampshire, with 18-foot walls at 425 ft. in length. While there isn’t any night skiing on Loon, there is both day and night lift-served snow tubing on the Little Sister Trail. There is also cross-country skiing or snowshoeing along more than ten miles of trails that parallel the Pemigewasset River and into the the White Mountain National Forest. There is also ice skating and a winter zip line.
Loon has a Ski & Snowboard School with both private and group lessons for kids, teens and adults, and also offers innovative camps and clinics for winter athletes looking to improve their skills. There is a ski and snowboard rental shop in the West Basin, next to Governor Adams Lodge. There are other ski and snowboard rental options in the area, en route to the bases, such as Rodgers Ski & Sport and Village Ski & Sport. Loon Mountain is an Ikon Pass destination. There is a licensed childcare facility on the base. Loon Mountain has both slopeside lodging and on-mountain dining at the resort.
The resort generally opens in mid-November and closes mid-April. Because Loon is a popular destination for city skiers and boarders, many note that avoiding weekends and holidays is best. Loon gets an average of 172 inches of snowfall annually and snowmaking covers 99 percent of the terrain here.
Loon Mountain has plenty of options for most budgets, from standard motels to fully-equipped condos. The Village of Loon Mountain is a 92 unit resort, just across the road from Loon Mountain, featuring gas fireplaces, full kitchen and balconies as well as townhouses for larger groups ( www.villageofloon.com ). With accommodation based in a renovated train depot, the Woodstock Inn, Station & Brewery has 39 guest rooms through five buildings, many with whirlpool tubs and gas fireplaces, about six miles away from Loon Mountain ( www.woodstockinnnh.com ). An affordable option is the Riverbank Motel & Cabins, less than three miles from Loon Mountain and it has an on-site restaurant as well as standard motel rooms and cabins on the river ( www.riverbankmotel.com ).
From quick bites on the mountain in between runs, to a multi-course meal in town, Loon Mountain and its surrounding area has a number of culinary choices for travelers. Once the site of an old logging camp, Camp III Lodge has majestic views from its log cabin-esque dining area, serving up venison stew, bison burgers and pulled pork along with a selection of craft brews in its rustic environs at the base of North Peak ( www.loonmtn.com ). Instagram-famous for its bloody Mary bar, Babe’s Blue Ox Lounge has a fully stocked bar and wintry appetizers like tater Poutine and North Peak Nachoes and a famous apres-ski vibe in the upper level of the Governor Adams Lodge. On Mountain Drive in Lincoln, La Vista Italian Cuisine offers up wood-fired pizzas, as well as buttermilk ricotta chicken parm and eggplant lasagne in its casually elegant space in the Riverwalk Grand Hotel ( www.lavistaitalian.com ).
By air, the closest airport is Manchester Airport, about one and a half hours away, or Boston’s Logan International Airport – the closest large airport hub. From here there are private shuttles and car rentals.
By car, Loon Mountain is a two-hour drive from Boston, and a three hour drive from Montreal as well. Loon Mountain is about five and a half hours from New York City. Loon is located three miles from Interstate 93 at Exit 32 at the western end of the Kancamagus Highway.
Once at Loon Mountain there is a free shuttle bus to transport guests to and from the three base areas. Some lodging do offer complimentary shuttles as well. Lincoln does have a taxi operator.
With the peaks of the White Mountains in the distance North Conway, New Hampshire, is certainly picturesque. But it’s the...