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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Top 5 Ski Resorts in Maine

Maine may be a top destination for those who love the ocean, naturalists and seekers of rare treasures created by local artisans, but the true Maine experience awaits in winter in the mountains at ski areas and destination ski resorts. While many may think of New England skiing in the Green Mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire’s White Mountains, the biggest two ski areas in New England are Maine's Sugarloaf and Sunday River. The same spine of mountains carved by the glaciers wind majestically through Maine offering some of the finest terrain and the least crowded skiing and snowboarding on the East Coast.

Here's a list of the top five ski resorts in Maine:




Sugarloaf, located on Sugarloaf Mountain in Carrabassett Valley, western Maine is the largest ski resort east of the Mississippi in terms of number of skiable acreage (1,230 acres) and snowmaking percentage (95%); its continuous vertical drop of 2,820 feet (860 m) is the second longest in New England.

At 4,237 feet Sugarloaf Mountain is second in elevation to Maine's highest peak, Mount Katahdin. The summit of Sugarloaf offers the only lift-serviced above-treeline skiing in the Northeast. The Appalachian Trail crosses within 0.6 miles (0.97 km) of Sugarloaf's peak and the summit offers 360 degree views of Maine's western mountains and New Hampshire's White Mountains.

Sugarloaf is home to six on mountain restaurants, including: 45 North (Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel), Shipyard Brewhaus (Sugarloaf Inn), The Rack (Access Road), Gepetto's (Village West), The Bag & Kettle (Village East), and the Widowmaker Lounge (Base Lodge), which also includes a bar and nightclub.

The Sports and Fitness Center is located on Mountain Side Road, and includes an indoor pool, hot tubs (indoors and out), a weight room, racquetball courts, and a full spa. There is also a hairstylst located upstairs in the center. Sugarloaf has nine shops located between Village Center, Village West, Village South, and the Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel. They offer everything from skis and snowboards, to apparel and jewellery, along with photography supplies and gifts. There are also many shops and outlets located in the nearby towns of Stratton and Kingfield.

The Anti Gravity Center is a 20,000 square foot facility located at the base of the mountain. The complex includes a rock climbing wall, skate park, work out area, and set of olympic trampolines. It is home to Maine's largest indoor skate bowl.

A zipline tour was introduced in 2011 and runs in the summer and winter seasons. It is built in the old path of the historic Sugarloaf gondola, which was taken down in 1997.

Sugarloaf offers many on-mountain summer activities such as golf, hiking, mountain biking, ziplines, and court sports such as tennis and basketball.

The Sugarloaf Explorer is a free public transportation system that services the resort. It features eight bus routes linking residential neighborhoods, condominiums, inns, and hotels in Carrabassett Valley with the Sugarloaf Base Lodge, the Outdoor Center, and local shops and restaurants.[34]

There are no regular service coach buses, commercial airline flights, or rail service to the mountain. The closest bus service is Augusta (80 miles), which is served by Greyhound Lines and Concord Coach Lines. The closet commercial airline service is also Augusta, which is only served by Cape Air. However, Portland International Jetport (PWM) in Portland (134 miles) is served by eight different airlines, including low-cost carriers such as JetBlue. For the best deals on flights to Portland, CheapOair.com is a popular site to check for flights to Portland. Amtrak also serves Portland, with five round-trip trains daily on the Amtrak Downeaster. If you're looking to spend the night(s) in Portland, Maine check out hotels.com or booking.com for some great rates on hotels in Portland.

Ski Resort Website: www.sugarloaf.com/

Sunday River


Sunday River is a ski resort located in Newry, Maine, in the United States. It is one of Maine's largest and most visited ski resorts. Its vertical drop of 2,340 feet (710 m) is the second largest in Maine (after Sugarloaf) and the sixth largest in New England. The resort features 135 trails across eight interconnected mountain peaks, and is serviced by a network of 15 lifts.

Ski Resort Website:  www.sundayriver.com/

Skiing in Maine is as diverse as the state is immense. Maine has big mountains like Sugarloaf with well over 2,000’ vertical of snowfields, steeps and glades for the extreme skier to local ski hills for the newest skier in the family at very affordable lift ticket prices - like Shawnee Peak.

Shawnee Peak 


Shawnee Peak is a ski resort located in Bridgton, Maine, in Cumberland County Shawnee Peak on the northern end of Pleasant Mountain. Shawnee Peak features two base areas and 245 skiable acres. The ski area first opened on January 23, 1938 and is the oldest major ski area in Maine. Shawnee Peak has 19 trails for all abilities lit for night skiing.

Ski Resort Website:  www.shawneepeak.com/

Lost Valley


Lost Valley is a ski area in the northeastern United States, in Auburn, Maine. Its east-facing slopes feature 15 trails across one hill, and is served by two chairlifts.

Lost Valley's variety of 15 trails and a terrain park offers a full and interesting ski day for skiers of all abilities. Most of Lost Valley's trails are rated easiest and intermediate, while offering a challenge to expert skiers on a few difficult trails. Family regrouping is simple as all trails come together a short distance from each other.

Lost Valley also offers 15 km (9.3 mi) of Nordic skiing trails and a ski lodge offering food and skiing equipment for sale or rent.

In the summer months, Lost Valley changes from a ski resort into a mountain biking and paintball facility.

Ski Resort Website: lostvalleyski.com/

 Ski Mount Abram

 Ski Mount Abram is a small family ski area in Greenwood, Maine, located a few miles outside of Bethel, Maine, and the Sunday River Resort. It consist of 10 easy, 21 Intermediate, and 13 expert trails. Along with five lifts which service 1,150 feet (350 m) of vertical drop.

Mt. Abram can be broken up into two parts, the main mountain and Westside. Westside is the beginner area which has one Double Chairlift and a Ski tow, most lessons are taught in this area. The main part of the mountain, serviced primarily by The Way Back Machine, another double chair, consist of many Black Diamonds and Blue Square trails.

The trails at Mt. Abram are all named after Rocky & Bullwinkle; names include Dudley Do Right, Boris Badenov, and Natasha's Niche.

Ski Resort Website: mtabram.com/

Maine continues to be the host of many national ski competitions, even World Cup ski events, with top racers and freestyle contenders to thrill spectators, while on slope festivals like Parrot Head and Reggafest at Sugarloaf, and winter carnivals are held throughout the winter for all to join in the fun. Best of all skiing in Maine is roomy, friendly and fun in a setting that is unique the world over.
Finding enough winter recreation is no problem, on and off the slopes you will find snowboarding half-pipes and terrain parks to moonlit cross-country touring and night skiing in the clear star-filled mountain air. And new waves of activities abound at Maine ski resorts, which are not just for skiing anymore, as many have dedicated snow tubing parks, toboggan runs and ice skating for extended family fun. You can even snowshoe to a bonfire in the wilderness for a mug of hot cocoa.
 A ski vacation in Maine just may be the perfect cure for cabin fever.

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Related Article: Ski Vacations: What To Pack

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