New England Ski Areas near Boston

Plan your New England ski trips and ski holidays

Popular New England ski areas include Attitash Mountain, NH - photo courtesy of Attitash mountain via CreativeCommons license, via Wikimedia Commons
Skiers at New England ski areas enjoy breathtaking views
Photo courtesy of Attitash Mountain Resorts

New England ski areas offer a diverse range of skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and other snow sports. 

Use our guide to find ski packages and the distance of each ski area from Boston, New England's largest city, when planning your ski trips.

New England offers lots of options for ski vacations, mostly within a reasonable drive from Boston. 

You'll find luxury ski resorts with five start hotels for skiing holidays as well as smaller family skiing areas - in fact, you may be surprised by the range of choice.

Whether you're planning a big ski weekend in Vermont or New Hampshire, or just a quick trip to a nearby family-oriented slope, use this guide to explore the best ski areas in the Northeast as well as ski resort vacation packages and deals.

A few New England ski areas and terrain parks open as early as October, while others offer spring skiing as late as early May.  New England weather can be tricky, so even when our weather here in Boston turns too warm for skiing, perfect conditions may exist farther north.

Some of these resorts offer everything:  Alpine skiing, Nordic (cross-country) skiing, snowboarding and freestyling, snow tubing, snowshoeing, ice skating, dog sledding, sleigh rides, sledding - basically every winter sport available in the Eastern U.S.  

At other times, small local family-owned skiing slopes, snow tubing runs, or terrain parks fit the need.

As you're looking through this list, keep in mind that most large resorts offer slope-side lodging with ski package deals - but nearby hotels and condos may offer even cheaper ski packages.  Be sure to compare rates and reviews to find the best ski deals.

If you want to stick close to home, check out Massachusetts ski areas near Boston, where you'll find some local options not included on this page.

For resorts, check out favorite New England ski vacation resorts.

All ski photos are courtesy of the ski resorts.

 

New England Ski Areas Guide 

You'll find over 60 New England ski areas and ski vacation resorts listed here, along with mountain stats and key information about amenities. 

Mileage to each resort from Boston is based on the same starting point:  Boston Common - specifically, the Park Street side.  

You should expect driving time to each ski resort and slope to vary somewhat due to traffic and road conditions; estimates are based on Google maps, rounded out a bit to include a bathroom stop or two.

Some New England ski slopes focus just on downhill Alpine skiing, others include cross-country Nordic skiing and terrain parks for snowboarders and freestylers, while still others offer every outdoor winter sport you can imagine, plus a few indoor sports options.

Unless noted, all of these New England ski areas offer equipment rentals. 

Scroll down to explore each ski area - or just click on these direct links if you already know what location you want to visit:

Quick links to categories for New England ski areas on this page:

Massachusetts ski areas

New Hampshire ski areas

Vermont ski areas

Rhode Island ski area (only 1 ski area, about an hour and a half from Downtown Boston due to traffic - but less than an hour if you're starting out from south of Boston)

Connecticut ski areas  (4 ski areas, 2 1/4 to 3 hours from Boston)

Maine ski areas  

  • Central Maine (11 ski resorts and areas, 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours from Boston)
  • Northern Maine (3 ski areas, 5 to 6 1/2 hours from Boston)

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Massachusetts ski areas

Ski areas closest to Boston

Even though these areas are within an easy drive from Boston, we've listed nearby hotels.  If you're visiting the Boston area and don't need or want to be right in the middle of the city, staying near a ski area can add to your fun. 

This hotels can also be a fun option for a combined vacation/business trip where one person has to work while other lucky family members get to play.

Ski Bradford, Haverhill, Massachusetts

New England ski areas include Ski Bradford, close to BostonTime and distance from Boston:  50 minutes, 35 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding

What you'll find:  248 foot vertical drop, 12 trails, 48 skiable acres, 8 lifts, uphill capacity of 9,600 skiers per hour; 100% snowmaking; terrain park

Trail difficulty:  17% novice, 33% intermediate, 50% advanced 

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults, full-service snackbar

What's special:  Affordable prices, close to Boston, fun terrain park

Where to stay:   Hotels near Ski Bradford

More Information: 1-978-373-0071; Ski Bradford website; photo courtesy of Ski Bradford

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Nashoba Valley Ski Area, Westford, Massachusetts

Nashoba Valley ski area near BostonTime and distance from Boston:  45 minutes, 25 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing

What you'll find:  240 foot vertical drop, 17 trails, 53 skiable acres, 9 lifts, 2 terrain parks, 100% snowmaking

Trail difficulty:  18% novice, 41% intermediate, 41% advanced 

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults, racing, popular school vacation programs, live music in the lodge several nights each week

What's special:  Close to Boston, low key, excellent instructors

Where to stay:  Hotels near Nashoba Valley

More Information: 1-978-692-3033; Nashoba Valley website; photo courtesy of Nashoba Valley Ski Area

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Blue Hills Ski Area, Canton, Massachusetts

Blue Hills Ski Area near BostonDriving time and distance from Boston:  Depends on where in Boston you're coming from, and of course, traffic conditions; from Downtown Boston on Rt 93S to Rt 128W, it's about 12 miles and 15-30 minutes driving time.

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding

What you'll find:  309 foot vertical drop, 12 trails, 60 skiable acres, 4 lifts, 90% snowmaking

Trail difficulty:  13% novice, 25% intermediate, 62% advanced 

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults

What's special:  Closest skiing area in the Boston metro area; affordably priced

Where to stay:  Although mostly Boston locals ski here, affordable hotels in nearby Dedham make a great base for family vacations if you want to spend a couple of days on the slope, pop into the city for a couple of occasions, and perhaps catch up with Boston-area family and friends.

More Information: 1-781-828-5070; Blue Hills website; photo courtesy of Blue Hills Ski Area

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Central Massachusetts ski areas

Just a little farther from Boston . . . and generally a little colder, with more snow.  Both are easy day trips from Boston.

Ski Ward Hill, Shrewsbury, Massachusetts

Photo of Ski Ward Hill, 45 miles from BostonTime and distance from Boston:  50 minutes, 45 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing

What you'll find:  210 foot vertical drop, 9 trails, 5 lifts, 100% snowmaking

Trail difficulty:  30% novice, 30% intermediate, 40% advanced 

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults, 50% Active Duty Military discount, racing teams for all ages 

What's special:  The TubaSlide!

Where to stay:  Hotels near Ski Ward Hill

More Information: 1-508-845-1797; Ski Ward Hill website; photo courtesy of Ski Ward Hill

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Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, Princeton, Massachusetts

Photo of skiers at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area an hour from BostonTime and distance from Boston:  1 1/4 hour, 64 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, NASTAR

What you'll find:  1,000 foot vertical drop, 25 trails, 110 skiable acres, 8 lifts (capacity of 9,200 skiers per hour), 100% snowmaking, longest trail 1 1/2 miles, highest mountain in Massachusetts east of the Connecticut River

Trail difficulty:  30% novice, 40% intermediate, 30% advanced 

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults, restaurant, cafeteria, coffee shop, and lounge in the base lodge

What's special:  Weekend "Ski Train" service from Boston (From early December through March, take the 8:35am FItchburg Commuter Rail from North Station to Fitchburg, and Wachusett Mountain will pick you up at the station and take you to the mountain, plus bring you back to the station in late afternoon). 

Something else special about Wachusett: you can see the Boston skyline from the summit.

Where to stay: 

More Information: 1-978-464-2300; Wachusett website; photo courtesy of Wachusett Mountain Ski Area

More photos of Wachusett Mountain

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Western Massachusetts ski areas

Best for weekend trips - but do-able in a day.

Berkshire East Ski Area, Charlemont, Massachusetts

Berkshire East Ski area in western Massachusetts, 2.5 hours from BostonTime and distance from Boston:  2 1/2 hours, 138 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, racing

What you'll find:  1,180 foot vertical drop, 45 trails, 400 skiable acres, 6 lifts (capacity of 6,200 skiers per hour), 100% snowmaking, 2 1/2 mile longest run

Trail difficulty:  30% novice, 35% intermediate, 35% advanced

More:  Racing, 3 terrain parks, childcare program, zipline canopy tours and hiking in summer - New England's largest zip destination

What's special:  Green skiing:  this family-run ski resort has just installed a huge wind turbine to provide 100% of the resort's power while saving greenhouse gasses equivalent to planting 85,356 trees each year, driving 2.3 million fewer miles each year, or burning 94,372 less gallons of fuel oil each winter

Where to stay:  Hotels in North Adams, near the Berkshire East Ski Area

More Information: 1-413-339-6617; Berkshire East website; photo courtesy of Berkshire East Ski Area

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Blandford Ski Area, Blandford, Massachusetts

Time and distance from Boston:  2 hours, 107 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding

What you'll find:  465 foot vertical drop, 22 trails, 130 Skiable acres, 4 lifts, 80% snowmaking

Trail difficulty:  40% novice, 40% intermediate, 20% advanced

More:  Skiing lessons for kids and adults

What's special:  Blandford Ski Area is 75 years old, making it the oldest club-owned ski area in North America; attractive member rates

Where to stay:  Hotels near the Blandford Ski Area

More Information: 1-413-848-2860; Blandford website; photo courtesy of Blandford Ski Area

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Ski Butternut, Great Barrington, Massachusetts

Photo of skiers at Ski Butternut in Great Barrington, MATime and distance from Boston:  2 1/2 hours, 136 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, tubing

What you'll find:  1,000 foot vertical drop, 22 trails, 110 Skiable acres, 10 lifts, 100% snowmaking, terrain park

Trail difficulty:  20% novice, 60% intermediate, 20% advanced

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults

What's special:  Special rates for police, firefighters, EMS, military, college students, scout troops - plus 5th graders ski free!

Where to stay:  Hotels near Ski Butternut

More Information: 1-413-528-2000; Ski Butternut website; photo courtesy of Ski Butternut, photographer Matt Sawyer

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Bousquet Ski Area, Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Photo of Bousquet Ski Area in western MassachusettsTime and distance from Boston:  2 1/2 hours, 136 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing

What you'll find:  750 foot vertical drop, 23 trails, 200 skiable acres, 5 lifts, 3 terrain parks, 85% snowmaking

Trail difficulty:  34% novice, 33% intermediate, 33% advanced

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults

What's special:  Snowsports School, affordable rates

Where to stay:  Hotels near Bousquet Ski Area

More Information: 1-413-442-8316; Bousquet website; photo courtesy of Bousquet Ski Area

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Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort, Hancock, Massachusetts

Time and distance from Boston:  2 3/4 hours, 152 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding

What you'll find:  1,150 foot vertical drop, 44 trails, 170 skiable acres, 9 lifts, 96% snowmaking, longest run 2 miles

Trail difficulty:  22% novice, 45% intermediate, 25% advanced, 8% expert

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults, 3 terrain parks

What's special:  Southern New England's largest full-service ski resort, the only Mountain Coaster in the Northeast (3,600 feet of twisting fun through the woods!), lots of lodging and dining options

Where to stay:  Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort accommodations and other nearby hotels

More Information: 1-413-738-5500; Jiminy Peak website

See Jiminy Peak skiing up close:   Check out this fun video on our skiing near Boston page

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New Hampshire ski areas

Southern New Hampshire

Good for day or weekend trips.

Crotched Mountain Ski Area, Bennington, New Hampshire

Time and distance from Boston:  2 hours, 77 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, NASTAR

What you'll find:  875 foot vertical drop, 23 trails, 75 skiable acres, 7 lifts, 100% snowmaking.

Trail difficulty:  28% novice, 50% intermediate, 22% advanced 

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults, equipment rentals, college student discounts 

What's special:  "Midnight Madness" night skiing until 3am on Friday and Saturday nights during January and February, with slopeside bonfires and concerts - 100% lighted slopes and terrain parks, and discounts for college students

Where to stay:  Hotels near Crotched Mountain Ski Area

More Information: 1-603-588-3668; Crotched Mountain website

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Pats Peak Ski Area, Henniker, New Hampshire

Popular New England ski areas include Pat's Peak near BostonTime and distance from Boston:  1 1/2 hours, 82 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing (weekends and holidays), snowbiking (rentals available), snowshoeing along a marked "discovery" trail

What you'll find:  710 foot vertical drop, 22 trails and slopes, 7 gladed areas, 72 skiable acres, 10 lifts, 3 terrain parks, 100% snowmaking, 1.5 miles longest run

Trail difficulty:  50% novice, 18% intermediate, 14% advanced, 18% expert 

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults, equipment rentals, free WiFi in lodges, 3 separate beginner areas with their own lifts, some of the longest and steepest pitches in Southern New Hampshire.  Well-regarded by many Bostonians as a family-oriented place with plenty of skiable spots for beginners and anyone who enjoys a relaxing experience. 

What's special:  "POP" (Pay One Price) program on Saturday nights gets you skiing, rental, lesson tips, tubing, and entertainment for a flat fee

Where to stay:  Hotels near Pats Peak; photo courtesy of Pat's Peak Ski Area, photographer Terri Trier

More Information: 1-888-728-7732; GPS coordinates:  43.163949, -71.797982; Pats Peak website

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Mount Sunapee, Newbury, New Hampshire

Photo of Mount Sunapee, New England ski area close to BostonTime and distance from Boston:  2 hours, 98 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, NASTAR racing

What you'll find:  1,510 foot vertical drop, 65 trails, 230 skiable acres, 11 lifts, 97% snowmaking.

Trail difficulty: 26% novice, 49% intermediate, 25% advanced

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults, attractive discounts for college students and a variety of weekday savings deals and discounts for everyone.

What's special:  Even though Mt Sunapee isn't in the White Mountains, you'll still find impressive slopes only 2 hours from Boston.  If you're looking for the biggest slopes closest to the city, Mount Sunapee is where you'll find them - perfect for a day trip from Boston.

Where to stay:  Mount Sunapee hotels and deals 

More Information: 1-603-763-2356; Mount Sunapee website; photo courtesy of Mount Sunapee

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Gunstock Ski Area, Gilford, New Hampshire

Time and distance from Boston:  2 hours, 99 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, racing, cross country, snowshoeing

What you'll find:  1,400 foot vertical drop, 55 trails, 227 Skiable acres, 8 lifts, longest run 1.5 miles, 90% snowmaking

Trail difficulty: 12% novice, 61% intermediate, 27% expert

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults; 12 acre terrain park with jumps, rails, kickers, gaps, and tables; horse-drawn sleigh rides, lots of lodging and dining choices

What's special:  New Hampshire's longest tubing run, largest terrain park close to Boston

Where to stay:  Hotels near Gunstock Ski Area

More Information: 1-603-293-4341; Gunstock website; photo courtesy of Gunstock Ski Area

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Ragged Mountain Ski Resort, Danbury, New Hampshire

Photo of Ragged Mountain Ski Resort, 2 hours north of BostonTime and distance from Boston:  2 1/4 hours, 101 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, racing

What you'll find:  1,250 foot vertical drop, 50 trails, 3 terrain parks plus the new Learn to Slide Park, 220 acres (trails and glades), 5 lifts, 84% snowmaking.

Trail difficulty: 30% novice, 40% intermediate, 30% advanced

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults, ski teams, affordable food choices, children's and teens ski camps, mid-week lift ticket specials and deals.

What's special:  Sweeps the Flamingo . . . yes, a "real" plastic pink flamingo on Ragged Mountain!  Every day the Ski Patrollers hide him somewhere on this mid-sized mountain . . . find Sweeps, bring him to Guest Services, and you'll get a free day of skiing at Ragged.  Lots of family-oriented fun here, with challenging slopes for intermediate and even advanced skiers as well.

Where to stay:  Hotels near Ragged Mountain Ski Resort

More Information: 1-603-768-3600; Ragged Mountain website; photo courtesy of Ragged Mountain Ski Resort

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Whaleback Ski Area, Enfield, New Hampshire

Photo of Whaleback Ski Area in Enfield, NH, 2 hours north of BostonTime and distance from Boston:  2 hours and twenty minutes, 124 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, racing

What you'll find:  700 foot vertical drop, 30 trails, 2 terrain parks, 60 skiable acres, 2 lifts, 85% snowmaking.

Trail difficulty: 19% novice, 50% intermediate, 31% advanced

More:  Wide variety of lessons and programs, directed by Whaleback co-owner and former 2-time Olympian Evan Dybvig with frequent guest pros, live music and other pub events on most Thursday and Friday evenings, free WiFi in the lodge

What's special:  Whaleback is a year-round action sports resort.  During the summer, Whaleback hosts events, programs, and camps for bike racing, mountain biking, inline skating, skateboarding, pit bikes, BMX,  and paintball in nearby Hartford, VT.

Where to stay:  Hotels near Whaleback Ski Area

More Information: 1-603-448-1489; Whaleback website; photo courtesy of Whaleback Ski Area, by photographer Miguel Graves

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Middle New Hampshire ski areas

Great snow at these resorts - but farther from the city . . . probably a bit too far for just a day trip.

King Pine & Purity Spring Resort, East Madison, New Hampshire

Photo of ski lesson at King Pine and Purity Spring Resort, New England Ski Resort in NHFrom Boston:  2 1/2 hours, 122 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, tubing, ice skating, cross-country skiing, night skiing, snowshoeing, sleigh rides,

What you'll find:  350 foot vertical drop, 17 trails, 45 skiable acres, 6 lifts, 100% snowmaking;

Trail difficulty:  44% novice, 31% intermediate, 25% advanced

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults, guided snowshoe tours

What's special:  Resort atmosphere including ski village with shops, restaurants, entertainment; sleigh rides, fireworks, ice-skating, and lots of kids activities

Where to stay:  Hotels near King Pine and Purity Spring Resort

More Information: 1-603-367-8896; King Pine website; photo courtesy of Dan Houde/Purity Spring photo library

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Waterville Valley Resort, Waterville Valley, New Hampshire

Waterville Valley Resort, popular New England ski areaTime and distance from Boston:  2 1/2 hours, 129 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing

What you'll find:  2,020 foot vertical drop, 54 trails, 255 skiable acres, 10 lifts, 100% snowmaking, 40+ miles of groomed trails

Trail difficulty:  30% novice, 60% intermediate, 20% advanced

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults; ski village with nice shops, restaurants, and a spa; 4 terrain parks

What's special:  Large ski resort with lots of amenities; bus ride/lift ticket combo from Boston (see website); entertainment at the Lodge

Where to stay: 

More Information: 1-800-468-2553; Waterville website; photo courtesy of Waterville Valley Resort

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Loon Mountain, Lincoln, New Hampshire

Time and distance from Boston:  2 1/2 hours, 130 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, day and night snow tubing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, NASTAR racing

What you'll find:  2,100 foot vertical drop, 61 trails, 370 skiable acres, 7 tree skiing areas, 12 lifts, 99% snowmaking, 6 terrain parks for every level of ability, 425 foot long superpipe, 27 miles of trails, longest trail 2.5 miles, uphill lift capacity of 15,157 skiers/hour

Trail difficulty:  20% novice, 60% intermediate, 20% advanced

More:  Skiing and snowboarding school for kids and adults, indoor and outdoor climbing walls, zipline across the Pemigewasset River, lots of events and entertainment, "Frequent Skier Card"

What's special:  Many activities and entertainment options at this big resort close to Boston, and a terrific snow-makiing system, making this one of the most popular New England ski areas with Bostonians - on a busy weekend, you'll see plenty of people you know here.

Where to stay:  Loon Mountain hotels and deals 

More Information: 1-603-745-8111; Loon website

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Cannon Mountain Ski Area, Franconia, New Hampshire

Cannon Mountain Ski Area - New England Ski Area near BostonTime and distance from Boston:  2 1/2 hours, 138 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding

What you'll find:  2,146 foot vertical drop, 72 trails and glades, 163 skiable acres plus another 100 or so acres in the Mittersill Backcountry Area, 10 lifts, 97% snowmaking

Trail difficulty:  17% novice, 48% intermediate, 35% advanced

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults, discounts for college students, usually offers mid-week specials.

What's special:  Cannon Mountain is huge - at 4,080 feet, this White Mountain monster has the highest ski summit in New Hampshire as well as the longest vertical drop in the state.  Lots of family and kids programs.

Where to stay:  Hotels near Cannon Mountain Ski Area

More Information: 1-603-823-8800; Cannon Mountain website; photo courtesy of Cannon Mountain Ski Area

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Dartmouth Skiway, Lyme Center, New Hampshire

From Boston:  2  3/4 hours, 147 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding

What you'll find:  968 foot vertical drop, 30 trails, 104 skiable acres across 2 mountains, 3 lifts, 70% snowmaking.

Trail difficulty: 25% novice, 50% intermediate, 25% advanced

More:  Snow Sports School provides skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults

What's special:  Family-oriented center that's home to nearly 100 Dartmouth All-Americans and more than 30 national champions - you'll see many of them here with their families, along with Dartmouth College students hitting the slopes as a break from studying; the Skiway belongs to Dartmouth College, 15 minutes away. 

Where to stay:   Hotels in Hanover near Dartmouth College and Dartmouth Skiway

More Information: 1-603-795-2143; Dartmouth website

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Cranmore Mountain Resort, North Conway, New Hampshire

Photo of Cranmore Mountain Resort, popular New England ski area 3 hours north of BostonFrom Boston:  3 hours, 138 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, tubing park, mountain coaster

What you'll find:  1,200 foot vertical drop, 54 trails, 200+ skiable acres, 10 lifts, 100% snowmaking, longest run 1 mile, 3 terrain parks

Trail difficulty:  24% novice, 46% intermediate, 29% advanced (8 trails and 8 glades)

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults, night skiing, fireworks

What's special:  Resort offers lots of attractions and amenities such as mountain coaster, family fitness center, indoor tennis courts, indoor climbing wall, lots of dining options, kids programs, and supervised playroom for young children.  Non-skiers in your group will love the excellent North Conway discount shopping.

Where to stay:  Hotels near the Cranmore Mountain Resort

More Information: 1-603-356-5543; Cranmore Mountain website; photo courtesy of Cranmore Mountain Resort - photographer Bob Bossi

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Omni Mount Washington Resort, Bretton Woods, NH

Bretton Woods - Mount Washington Resort - Top New England Ski AreasTime and distance from Boston:  3 hours, 159 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, tubing, dog sledding, sleigh rides, ziplining, ice skating, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, alpine eco tours, alpine racing

What you'll find:  1.500 foot vertical drop, 102 trails and glades, 464 skiable acres, 9 lifts with 14,000 skiers/hour capacity, 92% snowmaking, terrain parks

Trail difficulty:  35% novice, 40% intermediate, 25% advanced

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons and schools for kids and adults, welcoming firepit next to the base lodge, full service spa, night skiing

What's special:  With the historic hotel at its center, the enormous 4-season Omni Mount Washington Resort offers a huge variety of activities, amenities, and attractions, including one of the longest canopy tours in the U.S.  Also offers breath-taking scenery and views.

A bit of history:  If "Bretton Woods" sounds familiar for some reason other than just skiing, it's because this was the site of the United Nations International Monetary Conference in 1944 where delegates from 44 Allied nations met and established the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the U.S. dollar as the standard for international monetary exchange.  The conference actually took place at the enormous Mount Washington Hotel, even then a famous resort.

Where to stay:  

More Information: 1-800-314-1752 or 1-603-278-3320; Bretton Woods website; photo courtesy of Omni Mount Washington Resort

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Attitash, Bartlett, New Hampshire

Photo of snowboarders at Attitash, one of the top New England ski areas located in Bartlett, NHTime and distance from Boston:  3 1/4 hours, 176 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, race teams

What you'll find:  2 peaks, 1,750 foot vertical drop on Attitash Mountain, 1,450 foot vertical drop on Bear Peak, 73 trails and glades, 307 skiable acres, 11 lifts, uphill lift capacity of 14,385 people per hour, 23 miles of trails, 98% snowmaking coverage

Trail difficulty:  33% novice, 47% intermediate, 20% advanced

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults; mountain coaster covering almost a mile in length; lots of events and entertainment

What's special:  Attitash's Thad's Choice terrain park, with over 1,700 feet of ramps, table tops, huge air hits, jibs, and rails, is rated the best in the Mount Washington Valley; interchangeable season passes and left tickets with Wildcat Mountain

Where to stay: 

More Information: 1-603-374-2368; Attitash website; photo credit Attitash Mountain Resort

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Black Mountain, Jackson, New Hampshire

Time and distance from Boston:  3 1/4 hours, 159 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding

What you'll find:  1,100 foot vertical drop, 44 trails and glades, 143 skiable acres, 4 lifts, 98% snowmaking

Trail difficulty:  34% novice, 32% intermediate, 34% advanced

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults, race programs, on-site pub with entertainment, military and college student discounts, lots of attractive mid-week deals and specials.  

What's special:  This family-owned 4-season White Mountains resort offers a family-oriented experience, terrific views, a southern exposure, a nice balance of easy/intermediate/difficult trails, and smaller crowds than some of its other White Mountain rivals.  Black Mountain is all about skiing and riding, but in the nearby village of Jackson, you'll find some great music, entertainment, and shopping.

Where to stay:  Hotels near Black Mountain

More Information: 1-603-383-4490; Black Mountain website

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Wildcat Mountain, Jackson, New Hampshire

Photo of skier at Wildcat Mountain, New England ski area in New HampshireTime and distance from Boston:  3 1/2 hours, 159 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding

What you'll find:  2,112 foot vertical drop, 47 trails, 225 Skiable acres, 4 lifts, 90% snowmaking

Trail difficulty:  25% novice, 45% intermediate, 30% advanced

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults; excellent spring skiing; 1/2 mile long zip rider

What's special:  Offering close-up views of Mount Washington, Mount Adams, and Mount Madison, Wildcat Mountain is rumored to have the best views of any ski area in New England; also has the longest top-to-bottom runs, at 2.75 miles, in New England, as well as New England's most powerful quad chairlift (2,112' vertical in 6 minutes); interchangeable season passes and left tickets with Attitash

Where to stay:   

More Information: 1-603-466-3326; Wildcat Mountain website; photo courtesy of Wildcat Mountain

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Northern New Hampshire

The Balsams, Dixville Notch, New Hampshire

Time and distance from Boston:  4 1/2 hours, 217 miles

What you can do:  Skiing (downhill and cross country), snowboarding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, ice skating

What you'll find:  1,000 foot vertical drop, including some of the steepest terrain in New England, 16 trails, 87 skiable acres, 4 lifts, 5 gladed areas, terrain park, 80% snowmaking

Trail difficulty:  28% novice, 22% intermediate, 33% advanced, 17% expert

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults, sleigh rides, entertainment, occasional hockey and broomball games, wine tastings, billiards tournaments, speakers, movies, salon and spa

What's special:  This 4-season family-oriented grand resort provides a wide range of winter (and summer) sports and activities, including complimentary skiing for registered guests - something for everyone to enjoy!

Where to stay:  The Balsams Grand Resort

More Information: 1-603-255-3400 or 1-800-255-0600; The Balsams website; photo courtesy of The Balsams

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Vermont

Central Vermont

Central Vermont ski slopes are closer to Boston than those in Southern Vermont - so we list Central Vermont slopes first.

Suicide Six, Woodstock, Vermont

From Boston:  2 1/2 hours, 141 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding

What you'll find:  650 foot vertical drop, 24 trails and slopes, 100 skiable acres, 3 lifts, 50% snowmaking, 2 terrain parks; longest run is 1 mile (5,280 feet)

Trail difficulty:  30% novice, 40% intermediate, 30% advanced

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults, on-site restaurant, close to The Woodstock Inn and Resort

What's special:  Discounts for college students, military, and Woodstock Inn guests; focus on family-oriented fun

Where to stay: 

More Information: 1-802-457-1622; Suicide Six website

Okemo Mountain Resort, Ludlow, Vermont

Okemo Mountain Resort, New England ski area about 3 hours from BostonTime and distance from Boston:  3 hours, 165 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, NASTAR, alpine racing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing

What you'll find:  2,200 foot vertical drop, 119 trails, slopes, and glades, 632 Skiable acres, 19 lifts with uphill capacity of 33,450 riders/hour, 96% snowmaking, longest trail 4.5 miles, 5 mountain areas (2 peaks, 2 faces, 1 ridge), 6 terrain parks and 1 superpipe

Trail difficulty:  32% novice, 36% intermediate, 32% advanced/expert

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults, season discount passes for college students, some weekday special deals

What's special:  The 4-season Okemo Mountain Resort features a ski and snowboarding school with 400+ teaching professionals.   Family-oriented.

Where to stay: 

More Information: 1-802-228-4041; Okemo Mountain website; photo courtesy of Okemo Mountain Resort

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Ascutney Mountain Resort, Brownsville, Vermont

CLOSED 2010

Killington Resort, Killington, Vermont

Time and distance from Boston:  3 1/4 hours, 160 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, rock climbing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, snowmobiling

What you'll find:  6 mountains, 3,050 foot vertical drop, 140 trails, 752 skiable acres, 22 lifts with uphill capacity of 38,315 people/hour, 70% snowmaking, 7 terrain parks, 500 foot long superpipe, 71 miles of trails, 250" (635cm) of annual average natural snowfall

Trail difficulty:  28% novice, 33% intermediate, 39% advanced / expert

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults, shopping, spas, great dining, renowned nightlife at Wobbly Barn, discount card, college student and military discounts.

What's special:  Stretching across 6 mountains, Killington offers diverse terrain, the steepest and longest mogul slope in the Northeast, the world's most extensive snow making system covering 600 acres, and a spring skiing season that extends through early May (conditions permitting).  Killington is one of the largest ski resorts in the Northeast, and a popular destination from Boston.  Smoke-free environment at Ramshead Mountain.

Where to stay: 

More Information: 1-802-422-3261; Killington website; photo courtesy of Killington Resort

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Southern Vermont

Mount Snow, West Dover, Vermont

Photo of Mount Snow, New England ski area in West Dover, VTTime and distance from Boston:  3 hours, 150 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, tubing,  dog sledding, ice skating, horse-drawn sleigh rides, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing

What you'll find:  1,700 foot vertical drop, 80 trails, 588 skiable acres across all 4 faces of Mount Snow, 20 lifts (30,370 people per hour capacity), 80% snowmaking, 37 miles of trails, 12 terrain parks, 1 superpipe, 1 mini-pipe

Trail difficulty:  15% novice, 70% intermediate, 15% advanced 

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults, equipment rentals, passes and discounts for college students.  Nearby:  guided snowmobile tours during the Green Mountain National Forest

What's special:  Top East Coast terrain park with 80 features and nearly 5 miles of trails spread over 12 parks; home to the Dew Tour in February

Where to stay:   Hotels near Mount Snow 

More Information: 1-800-245-7669; Mount Snow website; photo courtesy of Mount Snow

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Stratton Mountain Resort, Bondville, Vermont

Time and distance from Boston:  3 1/4 hours, 157 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, NASTAR racing, ice skating on Stratton Village Pond, tubing, snowshoeing tours.

What you'll find:  Highest peak in Southern VT, 2,003 foot vertical drop, 92 trails, 600 skiable acres, 39 skiable miles, 16 lifts (29,550 capacity), terrain parks.  Trail difficulty:  42% novice, 31% intermediate, 27% advanced.  90% snowmaking.

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults, free parking and free shuttle between resort areas and hotels, equipment rentals, plenty of dining options, indoor swimming pool and tennis, fitness center, shopping in Stratton Village, discount designer shopping 20 minutes away in Manchester, VT.

What's special:  Snowboarding - known for having the best parks and pipes in New England.  US Open is held here.  Every rider must take a short safety workshop.

Where to stay: 

More Information: 1-800-787-2886; GPS coordinates:  43.1442220, -72.8749690; Stratton website; photo courtesy of Stratton Mountain Resort

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Magic Mountain, Londonderry, Vermont

Photo of Magic Mountain Ski area in VermontTime and distance from Boston:  3 1/4 hours, 164 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snow tubing

What you'll find:  1,700 foot vertical drop, 40 trails, 135 skiable acres, 4 lifts, 70% snowmaking

Trail difficulty:  33% novice, 30% intermediate, 37% advanced and expert

More:  Skiing lessons for kids and adults, cross country skiing and showshoeing nearby at Viking Nordic Centre, designer discount shopping in Manchester, VT

What's special:  A steep 45 degree slope at the top of Magic Mountain; look for novice and intermediate terrain and classic Vermont cruising trails on the East Side; on the West Side, you'll find plenty of intermediate, advance, and expert terrain to challenge you

Where to stay:  Hotels and lodging near Magic Mountain

More Information: 1-802-824-5645; Magic Mountain website; photo courtesy of Magic Mountain

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Bromley Mountain, Peru, Vermont

Photo of Bromley Mountain, New England Ski AreaFrom Boston:  3 1/2 hours, 169 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, zip riding

What you'll find:  1,334 foot vertical drop, 45 trails, 300 skiable acres, 10 lifts, 80% snowmaking, 4 terrain parks spanning the mountain

Trail difficulty:  35% novice, 34% intermediate, 31% advanced

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults; nearby: ice skating, dog sledding, sleigh rides, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross country skiing; close to Manchester designer outlets

What's special:  All the fun family-oriented activities in the area; spectacular scenery; great amusement park to check out for a return visit during the summer

Where to stay: 

More Information: 1-802-824-5522; Bromley Mountain website; photo courtesy of Bromley Mountain

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Northern Vermont

Sugarbush Resort, Warren, Vermont

Time and distance from Boston:  3 1/2 hours, 184 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, NASTAR racing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing, ice skating, mountain and outback tours

What you'll find:  2,600 foot vertical drop, 111 trails totaling 53 miles, 508 skiable acres, 16 lifts, 70% snowmaking, 2,000 acre wilderness area, 3 terrain parks, 269" average annual snowfall

Trail difficulty:  20% novice, 45% intermediate, 35% advanced/expert

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults, indoor pool, indoor tennis and racketball, rock-climbing gym

What's special:  Located in Mad River Valley, Sugarbush Resort includes 2 mountains, 6 peaks, a terrain park, 11 wooded areas, and lots of varied terrain

Where to stay: 

More Information: 1-802-583-6300; Sugarbush website; photo courtesy of Sugarbush Resort

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Burke Mountain Ski Area, East Burke, Vermont

Time and distance from Boston:  3 1/2 hours, 189 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, showshoeing

What you'll find:  2,011 foot vertical drop, 45 trails and glades, 250 skiable acres, 5 lifts with 4,780 person/hour capacity, 80% snowmaking, 4 terrain parks, average annual snowfall of 217 inches

Trail difficulty:  25% novice, 45% intermediate, 30% advanced

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults

What's special:  Burke Mountain ski area, located in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom, is home to the Burke Mountain Academy, producer of 45 Olympians.

Where to stay:  Northeast Kingdom hotels and vacation rentals near Burke Mountain

More Information: 1-413-528-2000; Burke Mountain website

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Mad River Glen, Waitsfield, Vermont

From Boston:  3 1/2 hours, 196 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, racing

What you'll find:  2,037 foot vertical drop, 45 trails, 115 skiable acres plus 800 acres of boundary-to-boundary tree skiing, 4 lifts, 15% snowmaking, annual average snowfall of 250 inches

Trail difficulty:  30% novice, 30% intermediate, 40% advanced

More:  Ski school for kids and adults; note: equipment rental not available

What's special:  Mad River Glen is a member-owned co-op, committed to making continual improvements and preserving this special ski area.  Mad River Glen owns the last single chairlift in the U.S.

Where to stay:  Hotels near Mad River Glen

More Information: 1-802-496-3551; Mad River Glen website

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Stowe Mountain Resort, Stowe, Vermont

Stowe Mountain Resort, New England ski area north of BostonTime and distance from Boston:  3 1/2 hours, 200 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, racing, dog sled tours

What you'll find:  2,360 foot vertical drop, 116 trails, 485 skiable acres, 13 lifts with 15,000 person/hour capacity, 80% snowmaking, 2 freestyle terrain parks, halfpipe, longest run 3.7 miles, average annual snowfall of 333 inches

Trail difficulty:  15% novice, 59% intermediate, 25% advanced

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults, spa

What's special:  Two mountains divided into 6 areas for skiers and snowboarders

Where to stay: 

More Information:  802-253-3000;  Stowe Mountain Resort website; photo courtesy of Stowe Mountain Resort

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Cochran's Ski Area, Richmond, Vermont

From Boston:  3 1/2 hours, 207 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding

What you'll find:  500 foot vertical drop, 5 trails, 30 skiable acres, 4 lifts, 20% snowmaking, affordable prices

Trail difficulty:  22% novice, 22% intermediate, 56% advanced

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults

What's special:  The Cochran family started this ski area in their back yard, so to speak, in 1961 with a couple of backyard trails and a short rope tow.  As the family's 4 children became members of the U.S. Ski Team and Olympic (Gold Medal) and World Cup success, the family ski areas expanded and developed, offering a wide array of educational and recreational programs.  In 1998, the family transformed the area into the first New England non-profit ski area- in fact, the first in the U.S. - in order to continue the mission of providing top-notch local skiing and training at very affordable prices.   Now the next generation of Cochrans are winning national and international titles.

Where to stay:  Hotels near Cochran's Ski Area

More Information: 1-802-434-2479; Cochran Ski Area website

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Bolton Valley Resort, Bolton Valley, Vermont

Photo of Bolton Valley Resort, New England ski area with huge indoor sports centerFrom Boston:  3 1/2 hours, 208 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, telemark, cross-country skiing, backcountry skiing, night skiing, snowshoeing, racing

What you'll find:  1,704 foot vertical drop, 71 trails, 300 skiable acres, 6 lifts, 60% snowmaking, 3 terrain parks, 312 inches average annual snowfall

Trail difficulty:  36% novice, 37% intermediate, 27% advanced

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults, indoor pool

What's special:  The large indoor sports center for winter season features an indoor pool, spa, basketball, jacuzzi, sauna, aerobics, fitness equipment, and sports bar; excellent lift ticket prices for college students and night skiing

Where to stay:  Hotels near Bolton Valley Resort

More Information:  Bolton Valley website; photo courtesy of Bolton Valley Resort

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Middlebury College Snow Bowl, Middlebury, Vermont

Photo of trail sign at Middlebury College Snow BowlFrom Boston:  3 3/4 hours, 195 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding

What you'll find:  1,050 foot vertical drop, 17 trails, 110 skiable acres, boundary-to-boundary access to 500+ acres wooded terrain, 3 lifts, 35% snowmaking

Trail difficulty:  29% novice, 21% intermediate, 50% advanced

More:  Historic lodge with original fieldstone fireplace, cafeteria; lessons available from professionals at the "Snow School"

What's special:  Owned by Middlebury College, the Snowbowl is located in Middlebury Gap and is popular with college students and local families - and a great choice for anyone wanting to escape the crowds at the bigger resorts.

Where to stay:  Middlebury Hotels

More Information: Middlebury College website   (Search on "snow bowl"); photo courtesy of Middlebury College Snow Bowl

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Smugglers' Notch Resort, Jeffersonville, Vermont

Photo of gorgeous scenery at Smuggler's Notch Resort, top New England Ski AreaTime and distance from Boston:  4 hours, 213 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, showshoeing, dog sledding, snowmobile touring, ice skating, zipline canopy tour

What you'll find:  3 interconnected mountains with Vermont's biggest drop: 2,610 foot vertical, 78 trails, 1,000 skiable acres (largest in VT), 8 lifts, 62% snowmaking, 5 terrain parks, average annual snowfall of 322 inches (yes, that's almost 30 feet!)

Trail difficulty:  19% novice, 50% intermediate, 31% advanced - including 5 black diamond trails, and The Black Hole - the only Triple Black Diamond in the East

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults, indoor pool,ice skating rink, arts and crafts workshop, year-round canopy tours with 9 zip lines, suspension bridge, and 2 rappels

What's special:  Three big mountains with all kinds of terrain connected by lifts and trails at this top full-service family-oriented resort complete with slopeside village with restaurants, eateries, entertainment; open through mid-April; 360 degree views of Canada, Lake Champlain, and the White Mountains of NH from the base-to-summit Madonna 1 lift

Where to stay:  Smugglers' Notch Resort and other nearby hotels

More Information: 1-802-644-8851; Smuggler's Notch website; photo courtesy of Smuggler's Notch Resort

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Jay Peak Resort, Jay, Vermont

Photo of Jay Peak, most norther New England Ski AreaTime and distance from Boston:  4 hours, 227 miles

What you can do:  Downhill, cross country, snowshoe tours, horse-drawn sleigh rides, ice skating, indoor waterpark

What you'll find:  2 peaks, 50+ miles of skiable terrain, 385+ skiable acres, 100+ acres off-piste skiing, and 76 trails, glades, and chutes.  Trails:  20% novice, 40% intermediate, 40% advanced.  Longest trail is 3 miles.  

What's special:  HUGE indoor waterpark, a new hotel, a new lodge, a new ice rink, and a new clubhouse on the golf course . . . plus snowmaking upgrades and more.  This year-round resort less than 3 miles from the Canadian border continues to expand and upgrade.  Magnificent vistas from what feels like the top of the world.

Where to stay:  Hotels and vacation rentals near Jay's Peak

More Information:  Jay Peak website; photo courtesy of Jay Peak Resort

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Rhode Island's only ski area

Although Rhode Island once boasted 6 ski areas, now only Yawgoo Valley remains open.  If you're driving from south of Boston, you can reach Yawgoo in an hour or less.

Yawgoo Valley Ski Area, Exeter, Rhode Island

Photo of Yawgoo, southern New England ski and snowboarding areaFrom Boston:  1 1/2 hours, 70 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, tubing

What you'll find:  245 foot vertical drop, 12 trails, 38 skiable acres, 4 lifts, 100% snowmaking, terrain park

Trail difficulty:  50% novice, 30% intermediate, 20% advanced

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults

What's special:  What do you do if you own a ski slope in a state has hills rather than mountains, and have to compete with big ski resorts on real mountains just a couple of hours away?  Well, if you're Yawgoo Valley Ski Area, you provide an experience that's fun!  Generations of Rhode Islanders have learned to ski here, and continue to enjoy the slopes, terrain park, and snow tubing area - if you're visiting south of Boston, Yawgoo is close, so check it out!

Where to stay:  Hotels near Yawgoo Valley Ski Area

More Information: 1-401-294-3802; Yawgoo website; photo courtesy of Yawgoo Valley Ski Area

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Connecticut ski areas

Connecticut ski slopes cluster in the Berkshires in the western part of the state.  These ski areas are virtually unknown to most skiers from Boston, who normally head north to the steeper slopes in New Hampshire and Vermont, or even west to the Massachusetts Berkshires.  Most skiers at the Connecticut ski areas hail from local areas, or come from New York or Rhode Island.  

However, you can reach Connecticut ski areas in just 2 1/4 - 3 hours from Boston - and because their family-oriented focus means they're about having fun, you can relax and enjoy.  

You won't find slope-side lodging, but with plenty of small hotels and New England inns in lovely nearby villages and towns, these Connecticut ski slopes can be fun for a low-key weekend getaway - and for some of the first skiing each October.

Mount Southington, Plantsville, Connecticut

Photo of snowboarder at Mount Southington, family-oriented New England ski areaFrom Boston:  2 1/4 hours, 120 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, night skiing

What you'll find:  425 foot vertical drop, 14 trails, 51 skiable acres, 7 lifts (including 2 for children only), 100% snowmaking, 2 terrain parks

Trail difficulty:  33% novice, 42% intermediate, 25% advanced

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults

What's special:  Family-oriented fun!

Where to stay:  Hotels in Plantsville

More Information: 1-860-628-0954; Mount Southington website; photo courtesy of Mount Southington

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Ski Sundown, New Hartford, Connecticut

From Boston:  2 1/2 hours, 120 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding

What you'll find:  625 foot vertical drop, 15 trails, 65 skiable acres, 5 lifts, 100% snowmaking, 2 terrain parks, night skiing, longest trail 1 mile, lift capacity of 8,040 skiers per hour

Trail difficulty:  50% novice, 25% intermediate, 25% advanced

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults

What's special:  Lots of lesson options and programs

Where to stay:  Hotels near Ski Sundown

More Information: 1-860-379-7669; Ski Sundown website; photo courtesy of Ski Sundown

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Woodbury Ski Area, Woodbury, Connecticut

Photo of Woodbury Ski area in ConnecticutFrom Boston:  2 3/4 hours, 144 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, tubing, cross-country skiing, skateboarding, sledding, snowbiking

What you'll find:  2 mountains, 300 foot vertical drop, 15 trails, 100 skiable acres, 6 lifts, 100% snowmaking, terrain park, longest run 1/2 mile

Trail difficulty:  25% novice, 50% intermediate, 25% advanced/expert

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults

What's special:  Closest big tubing park to NYC, and almost always the first ski area in the state to be open in the fall - often as early as October

Where to stay:  Hotels near Woodbury Ski Area

More Information: 1-203-263-2203; Woodbury Ski Area website; photo courtesy of Woodbury Ski Area

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Mohawk Mountain Ski Area, Cornwall, Connecticut

Photo of skiers at Mohawk Mountain Ski area in Cornwall CTFrom Boston:  3 hours, 139 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding

What you'll find:  650 foot vertical drop, 25 trails, 107 skiable acres, 6 lifts, 98% snowmaking, terrain park

Trail difficulty:  20% novice, 60% intermediate, 20% advanced

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults

What's special:  Lots of varied terrain in this ski area in the Berkshire Mountains of Northwest Connecticut

Where to stay:  Hotels near Mohawk Mountain Ski Area

More Information: 1-860-672-6100; Mohawk Mountain website; photo courtesy of Mohawk Mountain Ski Area

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Maine Ski Areas

Although Central Maine ski areas are as close as 2 1/2 - 3 hours from Boston, more northern slopes take longer to reach.

So why drive all the way to Maine to ski from Boston, when other areas are closer? 

Maine's mountains are higher and farther north - on the top of the world, for New England - so the snow stays drier, lasts longer, and is less icy than farther south.  Relatively few people travel to many of the Maine ski areas because of the distance from Boston and other cities, so most slopes are uncrowded. 

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Central Maine

Lost Valley, Auburn, Maine

From Boston:  2 1/2 hours, 137 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding

What you'll find:  240 foot vertical drop, 15 trails, 45 skiable acres, 3 lifts, 100% snowmaking, terrain park, night skiing

Trail difficulty:  40% novice, 27% intermediate, 33% advanced

More:  Ski school for kids and adults

What's special:  Hourly rates - great if you can hit the slopes for only a couple of hours

Where to stay:  Hotels near Lost Valley

More Information: 1-207-784-1561; Lost Valley website

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Shawnee Peak, Bridgton, Maine

From Boston:  3 hours, 150 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding

What you'll find:  1,300 foot vertical drop, 38 trails and glades, 245 skiable acres, 5 lifts with uphill lift capacity of 7,200 skiers per hour, 98% snowmaking, 2 terrain parks - 1 freestyle and 1 for beginners, night skiing, average annual snowfall of 90-110 inches, open from mid-December through late March, night skiing 6 or 7 nights/week

Trail difficulty:  25% novice, 45% intermediate, 30% advanced

More:  Skiing and snowboarding school for kids and adults, lots of weekday (and night) lift ticket deals, 2 lodges with cafeteria dining, full table service dining and entertainment in Blizzard's Pub, only 20 minutes from North Conway discount shopping

What's special:   Fun and close to Boston, with lots of trails for intermediate skiers.

Where to stay:   Hotels near Shawnee Peak

More Information: 1-207-647-8444; Shawnee Peak website

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Mount Abram Family Resort, Greenwood, Maine

From Boston:  3 1/4 hours, 158 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing park

What you'll find:  1,150 foot vertical drop, 44 trails, 650 skiable acres of trails and glades plus 400 more forested acres for experienced skiers, 5 lifts, 75% snowmaking, 4 freestyle terrain parks

Trail difficulty:  24% novice, 47% intermediate, 29% advanced and expert

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults

What's special:  Small ski area near Sunday River, and a great alternative if you want something lower-key

Where to stay:  Hotels near Mount Abram Family Resort

More Information: 1-207-875-5000; Mount Abram website

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Black Mountain of Maine, Rumford, Maine

Photo of Black Mountain ski resort in MaineFrom Boston:  3 1/2 hours, 179 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, cross-country skiing, racing

What you'll find:  1,150 foot vertical drop, 25 trails, 3 lifts, terrain park, top-to-bottom lighting for night skiing

Trail difficulty:  14% novice, 43% intermediate, 43% advanced and expert

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults

What's special:  Fun ski and snowboard area.  Affordable rates - free for kids enrolled in grades K, 1, and 2 in any Maine school

Where to stay:  Hotels near Black Mountain

More Information: 1-207-364-8977; Ski Black Mountain website; photo courtesy of Black Mountain of Maine

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Sunday River Ski Resort, Bethel, Maine

Sunday River Ski Resort, top New England ski areaTime and distance from Boston:  3 1/2 hours, 170 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, snow tubing, ziplining

What you'll find:  8 mountain peaks, 1,630 foot vertical drop on White Cap, with a total vertical descent across all 8 mountains of 2,340 feet, 132 trails, 671 skiable acres plus 1,000+ more acres for boundary-to-boundary skiing/riding, 16 lifts with a capacity of 40,000 skiers/hour, 92% snowmaking, 4 terrain parks, 1 superpipe, 1 mini pipe, average season is November - late April, average annual snowfall of 167 inches

Trail difficulty:  33% novice, 36% intermediate, 31% advanced and expert

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults, huge snowmaking system, night skiing, music, entertainment, fireworks

What's special:  This huge family-friendly ski resort stretches for 3 miles over 8 mountain peaks so there's plenty of space here for everyone.  With a huge array of winter sports available, everyone will find something to enjoy here.

Where to stay: 

More Information: 1-207-824-3000; Sunday River website; photo courtesy of Sunday River Ski Resort

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Eaton Mountain Ski Area, Skowegan, Maine

From Boston:  3 3/4 hours, 200 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snow tubing

What you'll find:  525 foot vertical drop, 12 trails from easy to expert - and two new ski tows, ski rentals, and lessons

More:  Lodge with healthy food, wine, and beer - or bring your own food and beverages

What's special:  Small local snow tubing area with family-friendly rates; new owners who are committed to restoring skiing on this mountain, and are making great progress!

Where to stay:  Waterville hotels near Eaton Mountain

More Information: 1-207-474-2666; Eaton Mountain website

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Titcomb, West Farmington, Maine

Photo of Titcomb, popular ski area in MaineFrom Boston:  3 3/4 hours, 180 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing

What you'll find:  340 foot vertical drop, 16 trails, 45 skiable acres, 2 lifts, 70% snowmaking, terrain park, night skiing twice a week

Trail difficulty:  23% novice, 29% intermediate, 48% advanced

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults, lodge with a big stone fireplace and home-cooked food

What's special:  Excellent family-oriented place with a special focus on teaching beginners, affordable rates; managed by Farmington Ski Club with special rates and privileges for members

Where to stay:  Hotels near Titcomb

More Information: 1-207-778-9031; Titcomb website; photo courtesy of Titcomb

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Camden Snow Bowl, Camden, Maine

Photo of snow boarder at Camdem Snow Bowl, popular New England ski area near Camden MaineFrom Boston:  3 3/4 hours, 188 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, toboggan chute, snow tubing, ice skating, showshoeing, winter hiking, racing

What you'll find:  943 foot vertical drop, 9 trails, 80 skiable acres, 4 lifts, 45% snowmaking, terrain park

Trail difficulty:  22% novice, 67% intermediate, 11% advanced

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults.  Host of the U.S. National Toboggan Championship in February.

What's special:  Camden Snow Bowl's location just outside of the cultural center of coastal Camden, Maine.  Wide selection of winter sports.  Spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean.   Location near the coast means outdoor temps are not as frigid, although the snow will be softer than other higher, colder, drier Maine slopes. Community owned.  Friday night coffee house with open mic and live music by local singer/songwriters and musicians

Where to stay:  Hotels in Camden

More Information: 1-207-236-3438; Camden Snow Bowl website; photo courtesy of Camden Snow Bowl

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New Hermon Mountain, Hermon, Maine

Photo of run at New Hermon Mountain, ski area in MaineFrom Boston:  4 hours, 229 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing

What you'll find:  350 foot vertical drop, 18 trails, 70 skiable acres, 3 lifts, 100% snowmaking, terrain park, annual average snowfall of 110 inches, night skiing

Trail difficulty:  40% novice, 30% intermediate, 30% advanced

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults, full service snack bar in the new lodge, very affordable rates

What's special:  Small family-owned ski area close to Bangor that's perfect for beginning skiers, plus excellent tubing runs designed to be fun for all ages (over 3 years)

Where to stay:  Bangor hotels near New Hermon Mountain

More Information: 1-207-848-5192; New Hermon website; photo courtesy of New Hermon Mountain

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Sugarloaf Mountain, Carrabassett, Maine

Sugarloaf Mountain, top New England ski areaTime and distance from Boston:  4 1/2 hours, 230 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, ziplining

What you'll find:  2 mountains, 2,820 foot vertical drop, 153 trails and glades, 1,056 skiable acres, 15 lifts with capacity of 21,810 skiers/hour, 53% snowmaking, 3 terrain parks, superpipe, longest trail 3.5 miles, average annual snowfall 200 inches

Trail difficulty:  22% novice, 33% intermediate, 45% advanced and expert

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults, average length of season is mid-November through the end of April.  Concerts, nightlife.  Overnight ski check service.

What's special:  Largest ski area east of the Rockies; econd highest mountain in Maine (only Katahdin, which is not a ski area, is higher), with cold dry, snow and smaller crowds than Sunday River.  Only lift-serviced above-treeline skiing in the East.  The greatest continuous vertical drop in New England.   

Where to stay:   Hotels near Sugarloaf

More Information: 1-207-237-2000; Sugarloaf website; photo courtesy of Sugarloaf Mountain

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Saddleback Mountain, Rangeley, Maine

Photo of skier and spectacular scenary at Saddleback Mountain in Maine, one of the top New England ski areasFrom Boston:  4 1/2 hours, 221 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, racing

What you'll find:  2,000 foot vertical drop, 66 trails and glades, 152 skiable acres, 5 lifts, 85% snowmaking, terrain park, longest run 3.1 miles, average annual snowfall of 200 inches

Trail difficulty:  33% novice, 32% intermediate, 45% advanced and expert

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults

What's special:  Not far from Sugarloaf, with stunningly gorgeous scenery and short or non-existent lift lines.  The self-contained Kennegabo Steeps area offers a 4,000 foot elevation at the top, advanced skiing with 12 steep trails, and its own quad chairlift and food service.

Less pricey than other big Maine resorts, plus mid-week specials.  Locally owned.  Affordable season passes for military and college students.  Inexpensive season passes for Maine K-12 students on the Honor Roll!

Where to stay:  Hotels near Saddleback

More Information: 1-207-918-3380; Saddleback website; photo courtesy of Saddleback Mountain

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Northern Maine

Big Squaw Mountain Resort, Greenville, ME

Closed in 2010; vandalized in 2011. 

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Mount Jefferson Ski Area, Lee, Maine

From Boston:  5 1/4 hours, 296 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding

What you'll find:  432 foot vertical drop, 11 trails, 3 lifts (1 rope tow and 2 T-bars), no snowmaking (but no need due to dry snow and cold temps), terrain park, half pipe, skiable area of 12 acres

Trail difficulty:  33% novice, 33% intermediate, 34% advanced

More:  Skiing lessons for kids and adults

What's special:   This small family-owned ski area northeast of Orono is perfect for beginning skiers and family fun.  Would you drive all the way from Boston to ski here?  Probably not - but if you're in the Orono/Bangor area anyway, stop by, as it's close to Route 95 and picturesque Lee Village.  Rates are some of the lowest I've seen.

Where to stay: 

More Information: 1-207-738-2377

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Bigrock Ski Area, Mars Hill, Maine

Photo of Big Rock Ski Area in northeastern MaineTime and distance from Boston:  6 1/2 hours, 380 miles

What you can do:  Skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing park, cross country skiing, snowshoe trails, night skiing, racing

What you'll find:  980 foot vertical drop, 27 trails, 50 skiable acres, 4 lifts, 60% snowmaking, terrain park

Trail difficulty:  20% novice, 50% intermediate, 30% advanced

More:  Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids and adults

What's special:   This small ski area in the far northeastern corner of Maine is only about 4 miles from the border with New Brunswick, Canada.  Owned by the Maine Winter Sports Center, and dedicated to providing an affordable place for individuals and families to learn how to ski, and to enjoy winter sports.   Great place to stop by for some skiing if you're driving up to New Brunswick from Boston.

Where to stay: 

More Information: 1-207-425-2000; Bigrock Ski Area website; photo courtesy of Bigrock Ski Area

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