As the chilly weather arrives, skiers across the world break out their winter weather gear and start planning ski trips. If you're looking for the best snow, you can't go wrong with Maine, which has three large resorts and numerous small and midsized slopes across the state. With COVID restrictions still in place at some venues, skiing remains a great outdoor pastime you can enjoy this winter.
Benefits of Skiing Across Maine
The concept of skiing across Maine isn't the same as cross-country skiing, obviously. But if you want to try out the snow at various resorts, Maine is your place, with 18 ski areas, including top resorts like Sugarloaf and Sunday River.
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New England's chilly weather and frequent snowfalls make it ideal for snow skiing. As a result, you'll find plenty of popular and lesser-known ski trails, as well as some backcountry options, if you're feeling adventurous. To make the most of your efforts to explore Maine's ski season, it can help to narrow down the various resorts and types of slopes available.
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Types of Skiing Available
Maine can be a bit of an afterthought for New Englanders looking for a place to ski. It's at the very tip of the region, after all, and there aren't as many population centers, which means there also aren't as many ski areas.
Also budget for the cost of lift tickets and equipment rentals, as well as other activities you want to do, like sledding, snow tubing or ice skating.
But the ski areas that do exist are on their game. You'll get both alpine and Nordic skiing, as well as areas offering snowmobile rentals and snowshoeing. If you or someone in your party is new to skiing and needs ski school, you can also find plenty of skiing and snowboarding lessons offerings throughout the state.
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Where to Stay While Skiing
Typically, when you think of a skiing trip, ski resorts immediately come to mind. Maine does have a few of those, but it's also important to consider the many ski areas that aren't connected to a resort, including state parks, mountain terrain parks and recreation areas.
But skiing across Maine will take more than a day, so you'll need somewhere to stay. Here are some accommodation options at or near ski areas to get you started.
- Sunday River: Start your adventure at an area with some of the best ski trails in the state, with an impressive 135 trails across eight mountain peaks. Stay at the Grand Summit Hotel, a family-friendly hotel on the mountain, or the Holidae House Bed and Breakfast in Bethel.
- Sugarloaf: Sugarloaf offers more than 150 trails and a 4,237-foot summit to give you the best vertical drop. You can stay at the world-class Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel or one of the many homes and condos located on the mountain.
- Portland: If you need a night in a city during your ski adventure, you can stay at one of the many accommodations in Portland and take the hour-long drive to Timberline Lodge or drive 90 minutes to get to Mt. Hood. Both offer plenty of winter sports.
- Bangor: The charming town of Bangor is only 12 minutes from New Hermon Mountain. Spend your days skiing and your nights at one of the many bed and breakfasts in the city.
Planning Your Trip
A multi-area ski trip requires some careful planning. You'll need to decide whether you want to take a week or two off and do it all at once, or space it out and tackle western Maine one weekend and eastern Maine another.
It's also important to factor in cost. You'll need to pay for accommodations and dining, which can get pricey. Also budget for the cost of lift tickets and equipment rentals, as well as other activities you want to do, like sledding, snow tubing or ice skating. It can cost thousands of dollars, but you can save money by taking advantage of bundles that include your tickets and lodging.
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As you're planning your trip, keep in mind many indoor areas, including restaurants, lodges and ski centers, may be under COVID restrictions. Also check particular ski mountains since some can open later in the year than others and snow conditions can vary from one region of the state to the next.
- Ski Maine Association: Alpine Areas
- Visit Maine: Maine Ski Resorts
- Ski Maine Association: Nordic Areas
- Maine Bureau of Parks and Land: Maine Snowmobile Trails
- Maine Bureau of Parks and Land: Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing Trails and Tips
- Ski Maine Association: Learn to Ski Programs
- Sunday River
- Planetware: 4 Top-Rated Ski Resorts in Maine
- Maine Magazine: The Insiders Guide to Skiing Sugarloaf
- Maine Office of Tourism: Maine Ski Resorts
- VisitMaine.net: Maine Ski Areas