Bousquet is one of New England’s most historic ski resorts. It is located in Pittsfield Massachusetts, about an hour from Albany NY and three hours from New York City and Boston MA.

In the early 20th century, the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts were a holiday playground for wealthy vacationers from Boston, Connecticut and eastern New York State. In the 1930s, the Bousquet family opened up their hillside farmland to the Mount Greylock Ski Club.

Initially, skiers had to hike up the hill before every descent; Bousquet Ski Area made history as the second ski resort in the United States to install a tow rope. In 1936 Bousquet pioneered another technology that would transform skiing, partnering with General Electric to light the slopes for night skiing. In the 1950s Bousquet led the way once more, becoming one of the first mountains in the world to install snowmaking equipment. As an early center for New England skiing, Bousquest ski trails were a winter home to many U.S. Olympic skiers as well as to Ted Kennedy and other members of the Kennedy family.

The development of large Vermont resorts – Killington, Mount Snow, Stratton, and others – saw Bousquet eclipsed as a major New England ski destination, but the mountain remains a small, pleasant place to ski Massachusetts, with five lifts serving over 20 named trails, almost all of which are covered by snowmaking. Although the 750-foot vertical drop is small by New England standards, there is more than enough terrain at Bousquet for a day or two of enjoyable skiing or snowboarding.

Advanced skiers and boarders will want to head to the summit of Bousquet Ski Area and tackle the short steep pitches from the top of the three-quarter mile double chair. The view from the top of Grand run of Pittsfield and the surrounding Berkshire Mountains is, well, grand. Wherever you ski Massachusetts, it is tough to find a better sight.

Intermediates should like the wide blue runs Main Street and Russell slope, but pretty much the entire mountain is suitable for the average skier or snowboarder. The new terrain park includes a halfpipe and several large jumps.

The Bousquet ski school has been teaching the sports since the mid-1930s and it shows. This is a great place to get your first lessons. There is a long green run from the top of the half-mile double chair and the three tow lifts each serve great introductory areas.

Bousquet Ski Area will not appeal to people who see skiing and snowboarding as a winter fashion show; the base area is an unpretentious lodge and the regular visitors are mostly locals. Bousquet provides a great alternative to the larger alpine resorts to the north. Most people come to ski Massachusetts’ oldest resort for the day, but overnight visitors should find some good accommodation in nearby Pittsfield, including some great bed and breakfasts.

Bousquest Ski Area has kept its ticket prices low, a little over $30 a day, so Bousquet is a fun and affordable place for a day’s skiing in Massachusetts.

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