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Easiest blue trails in New England and New York?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
My brother and I are beginner skiers, but I feel we have advanced and gotten the hang of it. Having said that we still prefer to stick to the groomed green runs - we find them more managable and fun. The problem is we may overlook some really good mountains with lots of blue trails when looking at trail maps for suitable trails and terrain. And we may want to take a "next step". So can any of you recommend great mountains in the northeast that have easy blue runs? Perhaps as easy or easier than say the Polecat trail at Wildcat Mountain (which we did a few weeks ago). The Polecat trail was awesome but it seemed a little advanced for a green run and is probably the equivalent of many other mountain's blue runs.

post #2 of 17
Thread Starter 
Come on man! I know you guys know!
post #3 of 17


post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
True, but Okemo has so many green trails I'll never get my brother to leave them!

Which mountains that have mostly blue trails have easy blue trails? Loon? Gunstock? Gore? Smugglers Notch?
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
post #6 of 17

Try Bretton Woods.


I've also heard Okemo and Stratton are on the flat side, but I haven't been to them.

post #7 of 17

Anything in southern Vermont -- Mount Snow, Okemo, Stratton.  Note that these three are noted for their crowds on the weekends.  If you can swing a weekday, you'll enjoy the experience a whole lot more.  Bromley is the overlooked mountain in southern VT.  It's hard to really get into terrain trouble at any of those.  Stay away from Killington, which is a fun mountain, but you'll be consulting the trail map every 200 yards.


In NH, Bretton Woods is the first thing to come to mind.  Mt. Sunapee is probably a close second.  It's been ages since I've been at either Loon or Waterville.


If you can't swing a weekday, the Berkshires probably have some good alternatives as well.

post #8 of 17

Agree with Kevin about Mt Snow & Bromley, at least regarding the terrain.  I've never skied either on a weekend, so I can't comment on the weekend crowds, but my mid-week experiences were positive.


Sunapee is the closest "big" hill to Boston after Wachusett, and is wicked crowded on weekends. My $.02 is that you come out ahead in the skiing/non-skiing ratio by driving an extra hour north to go somewhere else. Better to spend an extra hour in the car than waste half an hour waiting to get on the lift each run.

post #9 of 17

Mt. Snow has decent blues, they're more "rolling" topography than at Stratton though.  Stratton has more straight line (ie-smooth) blues which should suit your needs.  Pretty wide at Stratton, trees aren't as tight, fairly tame blue there, has a village if you like that vibe.  I've only been mid-week so can't comment on weekends, but mid-week had delightfully short lines.....just up and down, steady.

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys - keep the sugestions coming! Anybody ski Gunstock? How are their blue trails? How about Loon Mountain? These are 2 mountains that I'm especially curious about because I've heard good things but their trail maps indicate they have mostly blue trails. 

post #11 of 17

I'm in the same boat you are and did blue runs all day at Attitash this past weekend.  It was hard packed and tough to engage turns in a few spots, but by and large I felt comfortable and within my skill set.


I have several colleagues that have recommended Crotched Mountain (NH) and Sugarbush (VT), as they have several blue trails that are good for the improving novice.  I haven't had the opportunity to ski either mountain, but I'm going to make time to go there next season. 

post #12 of 17

Sugarbush has quite a variety of blues in the Lincoln area. Stratton has very consistent blues - long, single fall line, wide trails. I personally found Bromley more interesting and also not too challenging - the trails there are more "new england" - narrower, winding, etc. Sunday River, just an hour from Wildcat has great cruising blues.

post #13 of 17

Everything at Okemo is pretty flat, but I'd avoid it because of the crowds. Stratton has some nice cruisers, but they are mostly located near the main base area where the crowds are just awful. Park and stay on the Sunbowl side of the mountain and there will be no crowds, but that is where the steep headwall is.  Really you just need to avoid everything in Vermont from Killington southward because there are WAY too many people from CT / NY / NJ. If you are looking for a less crowded alternative in Vermont, try Pico. It has less trails than most, but does have some nice blue runs and crowds are always smaller than elsewhere -- though not always small.


Bretton Woods has some very easy blues and everything is very well groomed. Crowds are small so long as you avoid the quad in front of the lodge. I actually don't know how they distinguish between blues and greens there as they both seem similar -- perhaps just the width of the trails? You'll probably have a lot of fun here.


The blues at Sunapee are very manageable, but the line at the main lift can get long, especially on Saturdays due to all the day trips from Boston. If that happens, stick to the slower Sunbowl quad on the back side of the mountain and you'll be fine. Things can be really scraped off in the afternoon.


Wachusett has easy blues and I highly recommend it for night skiing. Just don't go anywhere near the place on a weekend during the day. Grooming is great and you can get some fresh corduroy at 4pm every day.


Shawnee Peak is also a great option. I think it's a nice place with no crowds, but the lifts can be a bit slow.


Gunstock should be no problem for you. Lines can build up at the main express quad on Saturdays, but Sundays are never a problem. The reason that I try to avoid Gunstock is that there are a lot of flat areas and not so much sustained pitch. This might be exactly the reason you want to try it though.


If we get some natural snow, give Ragged Mountain a try. I really like that mountain as there are never any crowds, and the main lift is fast. (The Spear Peak triple is SLOW though, but on the off chance that things get scraped off on the summit trails, you'll always find good snow here.) They almost always have good lift tickets deals on Liftopia. The food is also pretty good. The problem with Ragged which is really being amplified this year is that their snow-making system is sub-par.


Loon has some great cruisers but is cursed with the longest lift lines in New Hampshire -- we're talking Vermont style!


Crotched is where I really broke through when learning to ski. People looking for a big, challenging mountain will be underwhelmed. They are open until 3am on Friday and Saturday nights. Their blue and green trails are short but great for someone of your skill level. They also just purchased Ascutney's Express Quad so they will have a bit more vertical and a faster lift next year. Considering that they are on the same season pass as Wildcat and Attitash this is a place to keep in mind when considering next season!

post #14 of 17

Whiteface has some nice blues, my wife loves the Wilmington trail.


Mont Tremblant is a nice mountain for blues, although it can get crowded at times and isn't in NY or New England.


Also, Stowe has plenty of long blues from top to bottom.


Stratton already mentioned is nice but weekends can be crowded. ( I think the grooming is the best in the East followed by Mont Tremblant).


I'm not a big fan of Mount Snow, just feel like trails are always intersecting each other.

post #15 of 17

Stowe is not a great option for easy blues.  On the other hand, If you want the toughest, longest blues, come on up.

post #16 of 17
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post

Stay away from Killington, which is a fun mountain, but you'll be consulting the trail map every 200 yards.

roflmao.gif  Haha, sooo true.

post #17 of 17

Bromley has the easiest terrain.  Also the bottom of Belleayre is super gentle.  Both are ideal for learning.  

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