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Skiing in New Hampshire

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
My sister-in-law is looking into a ski / board vacation in March / 05. This would probably involve 6 adults and about 7 kids. The kids age from 11 to 18. They are all boarders. The older ones would be happy hanging out in the terrain park. The younger ones are more timid (though intermediate ability) and will likely stick to groomed.
The adults include a couple of boarders (high intermediate), a couple of old school skiers who are looking to update, and a couple of modern technique skiers who would be happy on harder blue and diamond runs.
What can anyone recommend in New Hampshire? We would be driving from the Toronto, Ontario area.

Thanks for any input,

post #2 of 14
If you're looking to stay on mountain, Loon is probably your best bet. There's terrain for all abilities and the park is pretty well known. There is a ton of lodging in the area and Lincoln is a fun little apres ski town. There's also night tubing at Loon. It can get crowded though.

Bretton Woods is another option for you. There is some slopside lodging, but not much of a supporting town. Attitash and Waterville Valley are other options. Finally, there's Cranmore in the heart of North Conway which has a ton of lodging, dining, apres.

Based on the people mentioned in your group, I assumed more of a resort is what you're looking for. Some of the other area including Cannon and Wildcat are better known as hard core skiers' mountains rather than a "resort".

Take a look at our New Hampshire skiing page for ski area stats, lodging options, ski area Web site links:


Hope this helps!
post #3 of 14

NH Skiing

I can only talk of Cannon Mt.
Great skiing, with more challenging terrain than most small resorts, but also lots of easier skiing. Good accommodations just down the road, good restaurants.
Can be cold and cloudy.
post #4 of 14
If you insist on NH, I would suggest an off mountain condo in Woodstock or Lincoln which are near Loon (OK) and Cannon (Yeah baby), but Bretton Woods, Attitash, Black, Wildcat (Great) and Burke (VT) (good snow)are reasonable day trips (60 minutes). Cannon and Wildcat are tops in NH, high base elevations, big verticle and fun terrain for every skier.

If it was my Cdn $, I would stay in Waterbury, VT and ski at Sugarbush, Stowe, Bolton Valley and lose the boarders to ski at Mad River Glen for the day. NH tends to have smaller mountains, more wind and the wind begets ice. Loon gets less wind but has lots of skiers on trails with too many intersections. March is the snowiest month and NH sometimes gets whacked with a Nor'easter off of the Gulf of Maine and gets epic snow.

Note, the mountains don't have the same conditions even when they are quite close. I hit Wildcat after a 3 foot dump when it rained at Attitash and Bretton Woods. Sure the snow had a high moisture content, but it was sweet. Another time I was at Cannon and it was extremely icey, blue ice and shiney and Bretton Woods (sure it ain't steep) had less wind and melting and the groomers had done a great job.

Good luck!
post #5 of 14
Cannon isn't a very friendly snowboarder mountain. The trails are very old-school New England (i.e. steep, narrow, and curvy). That's why all of us skiers love it!

For snow boarding, I remember Loon offering the best parks for snowboarders and they have good terrain overall. Bretton Woods is a good family resort, but there aren't any parks for the kids. You could stay in the North Conway area so they could ski Attitash, WildCat, and Bretton Woods - all are within 30 minutes. They are many other things to do in the Conway area if the weather isn't cooperating.

Any particular reason you are looking at New Hampshire? Because they're are lots of good places in Vermont and Maine as well.
post #6 of 14
jb, for your sized group and the wide variety of what you're group is looking for, i think the recommendation of loon is spot on. for NH, they will probably cator most to the snowboarders in your group looking for park stuff. however it will be crowded if you go on a weekend, a mid-week vacation is preferable if you haven't decided dates. slope side at loon, cheaper rents in north conway just down the road.

attitash and waterville valley may also meet your needs as well, though they won't have the vertical, amount of terrain, or challenge that loon would offer up. also both very crowded on weekends.

for the other larger mountains in NH, i dunno how much of a park bretton woods has, wildcat has no park, iirc, and cannon has a small park that has been developed more over the last few years. cannon is known as "a skier's mountain" and offers up lots of challenge with trails skiing harder than they might be at some other areas. weather can occasionally get cold and windy leading to scraped up slopes, but march is definitely a good month if you try cannon. i'm not convinced cannon is the mountain you're looking for based on your description though. definitely look into loon, i think that's gonna give your group the most options.
post #7 of 14
The Royalty Inn in Gorham, New Hampshire is a good buy with a pool and hot tub. It is close to Wildcat and Sunday River in Maine. There are several family style restaurants in Gorham and it is not as hectic as North Conway. Sunday River has a good variety of trails and parks for everyone. I think Loon is too crowded.
post #8 of 14
Waterville Valley is my vote. It's a true "resort" town, unlike the other options in NH. The Valley was designed to be a ski community and in the village there is all manner of housing options, a town square, saturday night fireworks, an ice-skating rink and sleigh rides. There is an athletic center that offers every amenity. Everything is serviced by a shuttle bus and it's very safe (read: kids can go off on their own).

With one main base - it's very family friendly. There are two lodges on the hill, also. There hill hosts many ski and snowboard events annually - has a great race course and many terrain park options. The main quad services both blue and black terrain - so everyone can ride the chair up together and meet at the bottom to ride up again.

The ski school is excellent (3 examiners on staff - impression for a smaller hill). I highly recommend getting a lesson with "Duane, Mik, or Dutch" if you can.

For an "adults night out" - head down the road toward Campton and have dinner at the William Tell. It's a bit spendy, but quite good.

If you have more questions, I'm happy to answer - I used to work there.

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for your suggestions. Lots to think about.
post #10 of 14
yeah - I would say for the skier Cannon and wildcat - but they are not even close to being resorts (thankfully) and they really dont have anything I can remember in terms of a terrain park - I would second loon....the only thing with Loon you have to watch out for is crowds - I havent been back there in two-three years because of it, it might have gotten better since then - but weekend crowds are something to keep in mind.....waterville has a good park I beleive also.
post #11 of 14
We stayed at the Royalty before doing Tucks last year. Gorham smells funny

post #12 of 14
If its the "resort" concept you're going for, Loon is the place. Its good sized with all the usual stuff. Waterville Valley is a sister area and close by. You may find Waterville a bit small. Their terrain is steeper but very open, ie wide trails. The North Conway area on the opposite end of the scenic Kancamaugus Highway also provides numerous resort amenities as well as a number of areas to choose from, ie Attitash, Bretton Woods, Cranmore, Wildcat.
post #13 of 14

NH Advice

My advice begins with a question.... Are you sure that driving past Northern Vermont to get to NH is what you really want to do? I've skied most of the NH mountains. If you drive to NH via St Johnsbury, VT you should spend a few days at Jay Peak. With such a big group, you won't need much extra activities for entertainment and fun. Get a board in/out condo at Jay. Other than Cannon Mt., skip the others and drive to Sunday River, Maine for the rest of the trip. Sunday River is as big as Killington with more affordable slopeside condos. Sunday River is a connection of 7 peaks and boarding is very big there.

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi Eric,

I am not organizing this holiday. It could be that they wish to be within a couple of hours of a major city for playing tourist. My interest in this is to find the best skiing within the given criteria. Though I am not particularly interested in the resort aspect or the tourist aspect, there are those in the group who are. One adult coming does not ski/board at all. As people have noticed this is a diverse group (but all family, which is the whole point). So, I posted here because this forum is full of avid skiers who will look after what I am primarly interested in.
You make some good points. Not driving as far to get to excellent skiing I see as a good thing. However...

Thanks for your comments.
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