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Mountain with best / most novice / intermediate trails in New Hampshire?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

My brother and I are going to visit our father who lives in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire next weekend, and we are getting in 2 days of skiing. We are both quite new to skiing, but have picked it up fast I believe. Regardless, we'd like to stay away from narrow and black trails. We'd prefer to do our thing and feel safe and comfortable going fast on wider trails with moderate pitch or less. We are definitely going to Bretton Woods, and then the second mountain is up in the air. We are considering Wildcat, but from the look of youtube videos, their novice / intermediate trails seem really narrow. So now we are considering Loon Mountain, or possibly even Gunstock, which is a smaller mountain but makes up for it with the tremendous views of Lake Winnipesaukee. Cranmore and King Pine are probably along the lines of what we're looking for, but we also want a kind of big mountain experience too. Any other suggestions or ideas would be tremendously appreciated.

post #2 of 14

From where you are at, I'd suggest Gunstock because it's closest.  The trails are blues from the summit but they have a pretty mellow pitch.  Some of the trails have a bit of a runout but they aren't all wide boulevards.  Views from the top are really nice.


Wildcat actually has a green trail from the top (Polecat) that is IMO the best green in NH...but if you are new to skiing there may not be enough variety there.


Loon has some nice greens as well (including one from the summit) but it will be crowded on the weekend.

post #3 of 14

I'm a huge fan of Wildcat, not that I get there all that often living in the mid-Atlantic.  If the weather is halfway decent the scenery around Wildcat will blow you away and there are two exceptionally long and fun green circle runs:  Polecat and Wild Kitten, each served by a different lift.  Neither are what I would call narrow.  Also, Wildcat is slightly cheaper and less crowded than many other bigger name New England mtns. I have skied 90% of the major ski areas in the Eastern US over the last 45 years.  Wildcat is near the very top of the list.icon14.gif

More on NH skiing:  http://www.epicski.com/a/theres-something-about-skiing-new-hampshire


Caveat:  I haven't checked recent local ski conditions in NH, so that might have a bearing on your near term choices.

post #4 of 14

King Pine is super cheap mid week and a lot of fun.....nice play to try your first blacks too, as the trails are short and wide (except for Pitch Pine which is very, very, very steep!!!!)


Gunstock, Cranmore are great choices too......Loon is fun midweek too as is Waterville.


Good luck!

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks hammer, I'm familiar with the Polecat trail at Wildcat, but it seems quite narrow in places, judging from youtube videos. Yes, Gunstock is the closest but I'm not sure yet that it's the best considering what we are looking for. But it may be. Narrow doesn't bother me too much as long as a trail doesn't narrow after coming down something with a really steep pitch.

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone. Keep it coming!

post #7 of 14

Gunstock was the mountain I grew up on when I went to my grandmother's house up in Wolfeboro. Sunapee used to be great as well until they over advertised themselves and every single person from MA runs up there and turns it into 30 minute lift lines. 


post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

30 minute lift lines? I've never experienced that but, like I said, I'm relatively new to this. Is that an exaggeration? We'll be skiing Saturday and Sunday for sure, so which places should I avoid? Does going further north get away from the crowds and spread them out a bit?

post #9 of 14

Is Sunday River near there? I loved those mountains and would totally fly out east for a trip there! (We had a big dump last time I was there--not sure if that's typical)

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

Think Sunday River would be like an hour farther than everything else, but would probably be exactly what I'm looking for if I were willing to drive the extra distance. 

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Actually Sunday River is 2 hours from my Dad, and Wildcat is like an hour and a half - may have to talk to my brother about this.


Sunday River pros: TONS of trails for the beginner intermediate on a huge east coast mountain.


Wildcat pros: best scenery in the northeast.



Edited by twochordcool - 1/22/12 at 12:11pm
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

Accidental duplicate post.

post #13 of 14

If you're definitely doing a day at Bretton Woods, you might consider Burke as your other mountain. You should find plenty of the types of trails you're looking for, especially off the Sherburne Express quad. Burke is a terrific mountain, and is generally much less crowded than most of the other areas which have been mentioned.

It's only about an hour from Bretton Woods. There's a decent Comfort Inn with a nice indoor pool just off the highway in St. Johnsbury. That would be a convenient location if you decide to do that.


post #14 of 14

I have lived in the Lakes Region my whole life and I have to say, Gunstock is a great intermediate mountain.  As the previous posts suggest, the views looking over Winnipesaukee are unreal.  It can get a bit crowded on weekends, but they do a great job keeping the trails groomed and catering to people who love cruiser runs.  I can't wait until the next ski season so I can try my luck on some of their harder trails over near the tiger chair.


If you haven't taken a look at Gunstock yet, it is worth the visit.  I always recommend it to friends and family visiting from MA.  If you are looking for a hotel, nearby Steele Hill Resort is a great choice for Gunstock Lodging.

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