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Skiing and living in Maine

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I'm planning on relocating to Maine, somewhere around Brunswick. My criteria for choosing a place to live include proximity to skiing and kayaking (smaller lakes, ponds, occasional sheltered ocean). I'm an advanced intermediate skier, prefer easy blue trails and smaller, quiet mountains.

It appears that the closest ski area in this area is Shawnee Peak (Lost Valley looks tiny). In my home state I'm used to traveling just 30 to 45 minutes to ski areas. My question is: Is it the case in Maine that skiers travel relatively far to get to ski areas, because they're far from the population centers?

I need to know this so I can adjust my expectations as to how often I ski.

post #2 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by GetUpnGo View Post

 

 My question is: Is it the case in Maine that skiers travel relatively far to get to ski areas, because they're far from the population centers?

 

 

nice blog....

 

FYI your question is really unanswerable and not really sure what you were trying to say.

 

its would help to know how far shawnee peak is from you.

 

 

 

 

post #3 of 17

Shawnee Peak isn't bad for what you are looking for and is about an hour away. Mt Abrams isn't much further and offers about the same. Sunday River is a huge ski resort and only about 90 minutes away. If you're not willing to drive 60 to 90 minutes to ski I would have question how much skiing really means to you.

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 

Well, skiing means so much to me that I currently live within 30 to 45 minutes of about 7 ski areas. Skiing is a spontaneous thing with such a short driving distance---you get up, it's a great day, and you decide on the spur of the moment to spend the morning skiing. You're home by lunchtime. If you're on the road for 3 hours, that's a full day and you can't do it several times a week, as I can now. Same with kayaking---I live within 30 minutes of lots of lakes. I want skiing and kayaking to be part of my spontaneous daily life, not something I travel long distances to only on the weekend. Make sense?

 

Abrams is twice as far from the coast as Shawnee.

post #5 of 17

Lost Valley is indeed tiny.  It might be a good place to ski some gates at night.  I did a lot of college races there.

 

They played country music and there was nowhere to escape it.

post #6 of 17

Hey there, Brunswick is a pretty cool town, know the area quite well. Skiing-wise, my recommendation would be to suck it up and drive to Sugarloaf or Saddleback. You live in Maine, distances become relative.

post #7 of 17

Interesting post.

 

First, Brunswick is is one fantastic town to live in. The quality of life living in that area is off the charts. That area of the coast of Maine is simply put, out of this world. Bowdoin College is there so you have great college hockey games as well baseball and basketball. Catch a Colby-Bowdoin hockey game sometime and you'll know what I am talking about. Coastal boating is at your doorstep and world class in every way. Ask Walter Cronkite. Bird watching is also off the charts there. And, Portland is probably a half hour to the south. On and on. Brunswick is the bomb.

 

Back to skiing.....Not the best location for a day skier. Lost Valley will NOT hold up to your expectations as a great place to ski. OTOH, Sugarloaf is THE place to ski but, I am guessing it would be 2 hours and a few minutes away. Sunday River I don't like but, most are content with it and I am guessing those mountains would be around an hour and a half away. Shawnee Peak is a blast to ski and I am guessing it would be an hour+ as would be Mt. Abraham.

 

I would suggest the Lewiston--Auburn area to live. Half hour from Brunswick but somewhat closer to SR and Sugarloaf. Also, look at Augusta as a home base. That would put you about an hour and a half from Sugarloaf. Really, Sugarloaf is where you will want to ski. 

 

Brunswick is the bomb but, not as a home base for a day skier. 

 

Good luck in your ventures! 

post #8 of 17

Furthermore.....Sea kayaking would be off the charts around Brunswick. Maine has literally thousands of bodies of water with great fishing and the marshes can go on forever. For the most part you will have countless bodies of water in your vicinity.....right out your back door.

post #9 of 17

I disagree on Lewiston. The Q of L would be MUCH better in Brunswick. And it's not SO far to Sugarloaf from B-town, it's less than three hours I think. I've spent a lot of time in both Brunswick and Lewiston (don't ask) and there's just no comparison.

 

Also, I'm not a big fan of Sunday River. How can I put it? The East Coast version of the Canyons (not that I've ever skied there). Just don't like the place. I've never skied the Loaf, either, but from all accounts, it's one of the best mountains in the East. So yes, that's my conclusion on skiing in the area, based on having skied ONE of the three mountains I mention here. Ah, the Internet...

 

 

post #10 of 17

1st, Brunswick is a great place to live

2nd, Sumday Bigger, uh i mean Sunday River sucks. Sugarloaf is the place to go if you want great skiing and a good time with saddleback a close second. You can go to saddleback after a 2 foot powder day and have first tracks all day even though it is semi big because no one is there.

 

Shawnee Peak has some decent skiing but im guessing it will get pretty boring after a while. I live in Albion which is about hour and half away from the loaf and 2 hours from saddleback but still go up at least twice a week

post #11 of 17

Classic post by Newfy re: Lost Valley. We raced in college together, and I'm still howling thinking about the bad C+W music blaring. As I recall the best thing about it was that you could inspect the entire 28 second SL from inside the lodge, looking up the hill. Often with a burger and beer. Not much of an area....Maine's version of a tiny midwestern area with about 150 vertical feet.

 

But Brunswick, and the mid-coast area are just the best. Wonderful place to be situated in Maine. It has it all. If you life in Maine, as I have, you drive.....a lot. Just a fact of life. Brunswick to Sugarloaf is 2 hours maximum. Less with a heavy foot. It's an hour and a half from Augusta. Never been a big SR fan, despite logging an awful lot of time there, and one full season. I just prefer the big mountain feel of Sugarloaf. I'd say that SR is at least 90 minutes, and i would say a touch more.  Another small place that would be about an hour or so up the coast is the Camden Snow Bowl. On a sunny day, with fresh snow, the view of snow-capped Penobscot Bay is incredible. It's a fun day. Kind of Mt. Abram size. Camden is a neat spot.

 

Driving to Shawnee is not as easy as it looks on the map. There can be a lot of traffic. I would say these days, an honest hour from the Portland area.

 

In the summer, if you like the ocean, you're in the right place. Right at the Eastern end of Casco Bay. It's beautiful. Sailing, kayaking, boating, fishing for striped bass. Fresh lobster. And Maine is full of fresh water ponds and lakes. You can be on the water very quickly. You'll need to drive to ski, though.

 

If you have any Nordie interest {Newfy is howling hearing me mention Nordie....}, the Pineland Center is less than a half hour from Brunswick. Bowdoin still has a NCAA D1 nordic team {no alpine}. I have no idea where they train.

 

Bowdoin also offers a TON of pluses. Don't underestimate that, at all. 

 

Great lifestyle. But not always cheap. Be aware of that. Maine's income taxes {and taxes in general} are brutal, and with the end of the railroad location, most everything is expensive. Housing can be reasonable depending on where and how you live, and the are a lot of good restaurants in that general area.  Most people who live there could not imagine living elsewhere.

 

Good luck.

post #12 of 17

I'm a fan of both Sunday River and Sugarloaf.   I'd take the negative SR comments here with a grain of salt.  It's a huge ski area with a better lift system than the Loaf.  They're owned by the same company so you can get one season pass to both

 

I live in New Hampshire and it takes me 2 hours, 20 minutes to get to SR and over 3 to the Loaf so I consider Brunswick to be a decent place to be.  I'd LOVE to be 2 hrs from Sugarloaf.

 

The comment regarding traffic to Shawnee Peak is accurate.  If I lived in Brunswick I wouldn't bother with it. 

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much to all who have replied so far. Your comments are really useful. Your love of Maine is obvious.

 

I can't actually afford to live right in Brunswick. I'm planning on going inland to be within 20 minutes of Brunswick and 30 minutes of Portland, ideally. Camden is wonderful, yes, and Rockland also, but too far up the coast for me.

 

You've clarified that yes, Maine is a big state and you have to drive pretty far to get to ski areas. That would mean skiing a full day once a week rather than half days 2 or 3 days a week. I guess I could adapt to that. The tradeoff, for me, is the fantastic kayaking, hiking, biking, scenery, people . . .

 

I've never met a Mainer who wanted to move, in spite of the higher cost of living. Mainers rave about their state, the same as y'all.

 

THANKS, ALL!!!

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ed_d View Post

 

I'm a fan of both Sunday River and Sugarloaf.   I'd take the negative SR comments here with a grain of salt.  It's a huge ski area with a better lift system than the Loaf.  They're owned by the same company so you can get one season pass to both

 

I live in New Hampshire and it takes me 2 hours, 20 minutes to get to SR and over 3 to the Loaf so I consider Brunswick to be a decent place to be.  I'd LOVE to be 2 hrs from Sugarloaf.

 

The comment regarding traffic to Shawnee Peak is accurate.  If I lived in Brunswick I wouldn't bother with it. 

 

SR has less acres then SL even though it has "8 peaks." Who needs the chondolla? 

post #15 of 17

Maine is my favorite place in the world, all my life I have spent as much of my free time as possible both winter and summer there.  If you live in Brunswick you are about an hour away from Sebago Lake, which is huge by east coast standards.  I think it is the largest in Maine.  As far as for your skiing taste I would go with Mt Abram if you like something smaller and quiet and prefer blue runs.  I just skied there this past weekend.  To give you an idea of how small Mt Abram is, there are three lifts only one of them is a chair lift and it is a double. There about 15+ blue runs and they are all pretty easy.  It was the first weekend of school vaca this weekend and it was not busy at all.  If that is too small for you stay on RTE 26 for about 20 mins and go to Sunday River.

 

Shawnee peak gets a thumbs down.  Havent been there in quite some time but from what I remember grooming was non existant and a lot of flatlanders (people from southern New England) make the trip there on weekends.

 

You will not be disappointed with a move to ME.

post #16 of 17

Maine is a great place. I went to college there (Colby) and my wife and I are talking about retiring there (not for awhile....). We've taken a number of vacations in ME, and got married at Swan's Island. Lots to do, nice people, good lifestyle - but you probably know all that.

ME is a big state, by east coast standards, so get used to driving 60-90 minutes to do whatever you're in the mood for. When I was a kid (in the 60's), we drove 5 hours to get to Sugarloaf from outside Boston. My parents met another couple that lived in ME (Fort Kent), and it took them longer to get to the 'Loaf than it took us. That's big.

Wherever you end up, welcome.

 

post #17 of 17

Might be cheaper to live in the Bath area. There are some nice towns there.

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