Best Places to Ski in the Northeast

The view from the top of Killington Mountain in Vermont. Photo Courtesy of Nathan Wolfe, January 4, 2020

The view from the top of Killington Mountain in Vermont. Photo Courtesy of Nathan Wolfe, January 4, 2020

Nathan Wolfe and Luca Marinelli

     Skiing and snowboarding are great ways to go outside and get exercise in the winter. With many world class ski resorts located in the Northeast, accessing these mountains are easy. 

     From Pennsylvania to Maine, there are a variety of ski resorts to visit.  As you travel further north, these mountains tend to get bigger and snowier. This is why the best resorts are in Northern Vermont. 

     Killington Mountain is known as the “Beast of the East” and is located a few hours away from Milford, in Vermont. This mountain is many skiers’ favorite because it is the largest ski area in the Northeast with some of the steepest terrain. This mountain is more for an experienced skier or snowboarder.

     For a beginner, a good idea is to stay in Connecticut for the first time. These mountains are much smaller than the ones found up north, and are perfect for learning. Mount Southington or Powder Ridge, both located only forty minutes away, are great options. Senior, Ben Geier said, “I recently went to Mount Southington for the first time and it was a great place to learn. The slopes were not steep and there were no lift lines.” These mountains may not be the biggest or have the fastest ski lifts, but they are perfect for a quick weekend ski trip.

     Some other great options nearby are Ski Butternut or Jiminy Peak. Both of these are located less than two hours away, in Massachusetts. Ski Butternut is the next step up from these Connecticut mountains, with more and steeper terrain, it’s a great option for all levels of skiers. Jiminy Peak has some expert terrain with express lifts, making it one of the best mountains close to Connecticut.

     The next step up from these mountains would be Mount Snow or Okemo. Both of these are located in Southern Vermont, which offers the Vermont snow while still being located close enough for a day trip. Both of these are many skiers’ favorite resorts because they offer all different types of terrain. They both have good beginner slopes as well as some double black diamonds that would challenge the best of skiers. Connor Elson, a senior, said, “Mount Snow is my favorite mountain because it’s a huge mountain with terrain for everyone. It’s not too steep.” This would be the best mountain for any level of skier or snowboarder.

     The best part of these mountains, though, are the terrain parks, which are where the jumps and rails are located. Mount Snow has one of the largest terrain parks in the entire country, competing with giant resorts like Aspen or Park City out west.  Elson said, “It is the best terrain park in the whole country, with jumps going down the whole mountain.” Mount Snow even hosted the X-Games back in 2002. Many professional skiers and snowboarders, like Zeb Powell who just won a gold medal at the X-Games last year, use this as their home mountain to train.

     Teacher, and leader of the ski club Mr. Todd Williams is a very active skier.  He enjoys taking part on ski trips saying, his favorite part about skiing is, “Gliding down a steep slope at a pretty fast pace with no one anywhere near me in the outdoors while the snow is coming down.” 

     He then adds, “I also enjoy the social gatherings afterward in some iconic New England towns.” Not only skiing itself makes his trip, but just being together with other people and sharing great memories in great towns.

     As there are many mountains in the Northeast to choose from, Mr. Williams says his all time favorite place to ski is Sunday River in Bethel, Maine. He is an experienced skier he states, saying, “I am an above average skier.  Technically a Tier II. I am mainly there because I won’t take the risks I once did on the mountains.” Then adds, “I am no Mr. Kelly as I’ve gotten older.”  

     Skiing is very difficult and can require some risk taking depending on what course you take, but it is definitely worth it.