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Anything close to Boston?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Are there any small, cheap, decent mountains near Boston I can drive to on the weekends?  I'll be day tripping, so I'd like to keep it below 90 minutes each way.

Thanks
post #2 of 18
Within 90 minutes?

Sunapee, Gunstock, Pat's Peak, Wachusette, maybe Waterville Valley.
post #3 of 18
 You might want to consider driving a little farther.  I day-trip it 4 hours each way from Boston to Jay when there's not time for me to spend the night there, especially mid-week for powder days.  You have to wake up a bit earlier in the morning, but it's SO worth it!!

Not saying you have to go as far as I do, but even upping your drive time from 1.5 to 2 or 2.5 hours will open up a lot more "big" mountains!
post #4 of 18
Wachusett is a zoo on the weekends, nice to ski during the week only.  Just not enough terrain to handle the crowds.  Easy mountain.  Don't get me wrong, I ski there, but only on weekday mornings.

Sunapee is the closest decent mountain, also will be crowded, but it has more terrain.  Same for Wateville Valley and Loon.   Weekends are just a busy time for any mountain, but particularly ones close to the city.

My home mountain, Berkshire East, is a hidden jewel, great mountain, and even on the weekends not crowded, but it's more then 90 minutes from Boston.  Probably a bit over 2 hours, straight out Rte.2.
post #5 of 18
Destination mountain, un crowded weekends mid-season, 1.5-2 hours to Boston.  Pick two. You won't find all three, unless you are lucky enough to get a 2-3' dump on Friday night and are willing to drive in it when the tourists aren't.

Wachusett = zoo weekends and holidays from the day after xmas until about the first week of March. There are times when it's great for an easy workout if you know when the crowds aren't there--  weekdays until about 2:00 or 3:00, any day prior to Dec 25 if there's been good snow-making weather,  night skiing on holidays like MLK, Pres Day, night skiing after around 7:00-7:30 almost any day.  Try it some Sunday night just to get out for fresh air an exercise.  Get there around 3:30-3:40, boot up and get get to the ticket booth a 3:55.

Berkshire East at two hours is definitely worth it if you will be satisfied with a mid-sized mountain.  It's a delightful old-style area.

In addition to the others mentioned, Ragged is supposed to be a nice mid-sized mountain.

Waterville, Loon etc. are pretty easy for >1500' mountains but they're not much over two hours.  They may be crowded on weekends.
post #6 of 18
 If I was daytripping from Boston I think I'd do Cannon.
post #7 of 18
Drive fast, go to Cannon.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by e39m5 View Post

Are there any small, cheap, decent mountains near Boston I can drive to on the weekends?  I'll be day tripping, so I'd like to keep it below 90 minutes each way.

Thanks


Small, cheap, decent?  In my book Berkshire East is only one of the above, but the right one: cheap ($52 weekends, $30 midweek).  1180 feet drop; little to no runout; some trees; 200 acres (?) but very low skier/acre and good variety of trails so it feels bigger; simple low-glitz feel to lodges, lifts, staff and fellow skiers. 

90 minutes?  I guess not, but well worth the extra drive time (30 min?  I guess it depends where you're coming from).

Try em all out, tell us what you think as the season goes on.
post #9 of 18
Crotched Mountain in Francestown, NH is probably worth considering. Not as busy at Pats, a little more fun to me, but a bit more out of the way. I seem to remember it being a bit cheaper than Pats. If you don't mind driving on secondary roads for a ways, I'd give it a shot. Google maps pegs it as just over 1.5 hours from downtown Boston, FWIW, although I probably wouldn't go the way it recommends.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
I grew up with Mountain Creek in New Jersey, so I'm not too opposed to crowds.  It does sound like I'm going to take a bigger financial hit this year...no more $300 season pass :/

Thanks for the help everyone, I'm going to look into it more later tonight.

Thanks,
e39m5
post #11 of 18
pats peak season pass is only $389
post #12 of 18
Crotched is $299 for a season pass through the club.


http://www.crotchedmountain.com/club347.html
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by e39m5 View Post

Are there any small, cheap, decent mountains near Boston I can drive to on the weekends?  I'll be day tripping, so I'd like to keep it below 90 minutes each way.

Thanks
 

Our first year living in Boston, we went to Ragged Mt. several times to get back into skiing. One of us had never skied before and needed lessons. Worked out great. Not crowded and pretty cheap, but maybe a bit more than 90 minutes each way.  Still an easy day trip from Boston.
post #14 of 18
I'm not sure what the situation is now, but a friend of mine bought a bunch of Ragged passes through SkiNH a few years ago. Despite a good snow year, the place was going through tough times and was only keeping a few runs open...they seemed to be trying to ride some fine line between not shutting down and not spending any money on grooming, staff, and utilities. My friend bitched like mad to SkiNH until they agreed to let him exchange the passes for some from another resort.
Hopefully, things are a lot better now, but you might want to talk to somebody who's been there recently to be sure. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kim View Post
Our first year living in Boston, we went to Ragged Mt. several times to get back into skiing. One of us had never skied before and needed lessons. Worked out great. Not crowded and pretty cheap, but maybe a bit more than 90 minutes each way.  Still an easy day trip from Boston.
 
post #15 of 18
For my money I'd go to Ragged or Crotched. I've been to Ragged once a year for the last two years and it's been pretty good. I understand they were shaky before but it seemed OK last year. Nice lodge. Crotched is a place we go a couple times each year because it's close and the tickets are cheap. It's our spur-of-the-moment destination. I prefer skiing there over Pat's. Plus my son gets sick of going to Pat's because that's where the school ski club goes. We also go to Cannon fairly regularly but it's a longer drive for you. If the conditions are good it may be worth it. Watch the weather forecast and see where it's snowing, then decide. Sunapee is OK but the kids don't love it and we always end up spending too much money for a day on the slopes. Just my $0.02. Take it for what it's worth.
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Just realized a lot of these mountains have college rates.  I can get into Sunapee, Okemo, and Stratton for $315, or Bretton Woods, Cannon, Cranmore and Waterville Valley for $289.  The difference in costs is negligible, but which do you think has a better mountain set?  I plan to make trips atleast once a week.

Thanks again,
e39m5
post #17 of 18

Bretton Woods, Cannon, Cranmore and Waterville Valley for $289.  Hands down. Better varity. Cannon for expert skiing, Bretton woods for groomers, Waterville being the closest, Cranmore more of a family mountain. The other 3 Sunapee, Okemo, and Stratton are all groomed cruisers with nothing different about them.

post #18 of 18
Wachusett is the closest to you, and theinfo you've alrerady gotten isright - crowded on weekends, and after 3PM w/ all their school groups. I teach there.. 40 mins. fr/ downtown Boston.
If you're willing to drive a bit more, I'd check out Sunapee in NH; NH is a straight shot north on I 93, so it's not a bad ride. I'd totally avoid the 'end of 93' areas - Loon, Waterville, Cannon - WAyyy too crowded, your worst nightmare on weekends and some weekdays when it snows..
Too bad you can't consider VT - nice skiing, more laid back..Sugarbush, Okemo, Burke, (Too far for ya) but you'll still have fun!
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