While many people associate New England skiing with Vermont, trust us
when we say that the best skiing and snowboarding happens
at the Maine ski resorts. It’s
true that Vermont receives more publicity. However, this
often means that they can be over crowded. If you want
shorter lift lines, and friendly, courteous staff, you
really should consider the Maine ski resorts.
While travel to Maine ski resorts may take a bit longer from some locations, consider this: Would you prefer to spend an extra hour listening to your radio or CD player, or an extra hour waiting on a cold lift line? Furthermore, many of the ski resorts in Maine or located in towns that have still retained their non-commercial charm. Are you convinced that a Maine Ski vacation would be well worth your while? Read on!
Before you visit any of the ski resorts in Maine, you might want to explore a bit of Maine’s skiing history. A stop at the Ski Museum of Maine in Kingfield might be an interesting side trip on your Maine ski vacation. The museum is a statewide organization whose primary focus is on collecting and displaying artifacts connected with the history of the sport of skiing in Maine. The thirteen photos that are displayed in the exhibit show the technical developments during that occurred in the 1950s and 1960s in ski gear, ski lifts, and slope grooming. During this period, metal, fiberglass, and plastic began to replace hickory and leather in the construction of skis and boots. Safety release bindings were becoming more popular. Rope tows were replaced by T-bars and chairlifts as a means of getting up the mountain. Snow cats were used to groom the snow surface.
Today, the ski resorts in Maine have come a long way. While most of the resorts are small, family areas, two major ski resorts in Maine, Sunday River and Sugarloaf, have some of the best skiing in New England. Sugarloaf/USA, or “The Loaf” as regulars call it, is not just a ski area. It’s a way of life. There is something uniquely special about the place. The staff is almost unanimously polite and cheerful. So are the skiers and riders. The scenery is beautiful, and the grooming is fantastic. If you stay at one of the properties on the mountain, you are entitled to a free daily lesson. Be sure to take advantage of it! The Sugarloaf instructors are the absolute best in New England. In fact, some of them have been at the resort for over 25 years!
Sugarloaf’s first trails were cut in 1951 by a group of Maine locals known as the Bigelow Boys. The first Sugarloafers were responsible for setting forth the sense of community that prevails today. A famous sign on Doc and Joni Blanchard’s A-frame features the early Sugarloafers' semi-secret acronym SIAWOL, which stands for Sugarloaf is a way of life. There are a wide variety of advanced trails, as well as a number of parks and pipes.
The summit of Sugarloaf Mountain features the only lift-serviced above tree line skiing in New England. Fifteen chairlifts service 54 miles of trails. There is terrain for all levels of skiers and riders. Beginners will enjoy the easy green terrain of Boardwalk. For intermediates, Tote Road is a fantastic long cruiser.
If you have a bit more time on your Maine ski vacation, Sunday River is about an hour’s drive from Sugarloaf. This excellent Maine ski resort is home to 128 trails that are spread across eight interconnected mountain peaks. The mountain is serviced by a network of 18 lifts, which include four high-speed quads. Sunday River is noted for its excellent snowmaking and grooming. Because of this superb snowmaking capacity, the mountain has some of the best Maine ski conditions.