10 Best Ski Destinations on the East Coast
Ski resorts out West tend to get the lion’s share of attention, but there’s a lot to love about East Coast skiing, too. Here are 10 of our favorite East Coast ski destinations you'll want to check out.
Photo By: Jesse Schloff Photography
Photo By: Okemo Mountain Resort
Photo By: Chandler Burgess
Photo By: Smugglers’ Notch
Photo By: ORDA / Whiteface Lake Placid
Photo By: Camelback Mountain Resort
Photo By: Ski Butternut
Photo By: Jamie Walter / Sugarloaf
Photo By: Loon Mountain Resort
Photo By: Sunday River
Stowe Mountain Resort
Celebrated as the "Ski Capital of the East," the postcard-perfect village of Stowe sits at the base of Vermont’s highest peak, Mount Mansfield. At Stowe Mountain Resort, more than 116 trails await, including some of the longest ski runs on the East Coast. Off the slopes, look for sleigh rides, ice skating, snowmobile tours and one of the best networks of cross-country ski trails in the country. New this winter, on-mountain "adventure zones" which enable kids’ access to gentle terrain and side-country areas for gladed skiing through the trees.
Okemo Mountain Resort
When the snow begins to fall, skiers and boarders flock to Okemo Mountain Resort in southern Vermont for 121 ski trails, nine terrain parks, and the longest superpipe on the East Coast. As a bonus, Okemo is the first resort on the East Coast to add a six-person bubble-covered chair lift - with toasty heated seats to boot! Non-skiers have plenty to do too thanks to nearly eight miles of dedicated snowshoe trails, an alpine mountain coaster, a slopeside tubing park and an ice skating arena. In September, Vail Resorts closed on its acquisition of Okemo, so look for more upgrades and enhancements to come.
More than 150 ski trails, including 60 black diamonds, make Vermont’s largest ski resort, Killington, a must-go, particularly for avid (and fearless) skiers. As home to six terrain parks, from a progression park where novices can find their groove to a massive 18-foot superpipe for tricks and stunts, Killington is a top choice among boarders, too. A $25 million investment in the resort has brought new lifts, better snowmaking capabilities, and RFID (radio-frequency identification) ticketing to speed up lift lines to get you on the slopes more quickly.
Consistently ranked as one of the most kid-friendly ski resorts on the East Coast, Smugglers’ Notch in northern Vermont goes the extra mile (and beyond) to ensure even the littlest guests enjoy themselves. Kids as young as two-and-a-half can take ski lessons and a specially-designed practice area makes it easier to pick up skills quickly (hello, pizza wedge). Beyond skiing and snow sports, look for a winter zip line, snowcat rides and ice fishing tours, as well as indoor activities for the whole family, like bingo, character dance parties and karaoke.
At Whiteface Mountain in upstate New York, you’ll find more vertical drop than any other ski resort on the East Coast, making its 86 trails exceptionally attractive for winter sports enthusiasts of all skill levels. Best of all, you’ll be skiing where athletes skied during the 1980 Winter Olympics. A Cub Camp caters to children who aren’t quite ready to take to the slopes, while a Future Medalist program gets kids ages 4-6 up on skis. Off the slopes, lace up your skates for a few laps around the speed skating oval, then ride a four-person toboggan onto a frozen Mirror Lake at Lake Placid.
Camelback Mountain Resort
Situated in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, Camelback Mountain Resort caters to skiers of all levels with top-notch ski instruction, 38 groomed trails, including the brand new Scarab trail, and an epic new snow park. However, it may be the off-slope activities that make Camelback so enticing to winter-lovers, like a mountain coaster and the largest snow tubing park in the United States, which this year introduced LED-lit "galactic snow tubing." Camelback is also home to a massive 125,000 square foot indoor waterpark with a wave pool, lazy river and 13 waterslides.
Set in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, midway between New York City and Boston, Ski Butternut is an ideal escape from the city for winter enthusiasts thanks to 22 ski trails and two terrain parks. Ski Butternut is a mid-size mountain, making it just right for families and first-timers, but with more than a dozen blue and black slopes, it’s a good pick for those who’ve been up on skis more than a few times, too. On Wednesdays, Ski Butternut offers women-only lessons, while weekends bring eight lanes of snow tubing fun.
As one of the largest ski areas on the East Coast, Maine’s Sugarloaf wows with more than 160 trails and glades across 1,240 skiable acres. With more than 200 inches of snow each year, outdoor adventures of all kinds are possible, including fat biking, dog sledding, cross-country skiing and showshoeing. As a bonus, thanks to its location in northern Maine, you’ll see huge snowfalls, making it possible to play in the snow well into April (sometimes as late as early-May).
Loon Mountain Resort
Tucked away in New Hampshire's White Mountains, Loon Mountain is a family-friendly resort with more than 60 ski trails and six award-winning terrain parks. Kids as young as three can learn to ski or snowboard in the Junior Scouts program. Hit the slopes or sign up for a guided tour on cross-country skis or snowshoes to explore the network of scenic trails that meander through the snow-covered forest. Fly over the Pemigewasset River on a zipline or get some serious speed in a snow tube at the Loon Tubing Center.
With 167 inches of annual snowfall and more than 130 ski trails, it’s no surprise that Sunday River is one of Maine’s most popular ski resorts. It’s a great place to take the kids too, winning rave reviews for its first-rate ski school. Beyond skiing, look for snow tubing, ice skating and dog sledding. Book a stay on the mountain at the Jordan Hotel or Grand Summit Hotel, both of which are ski-in, ski-out. Don’t miss snapping a photo with Eddy the Yeti every Saturday at 11:30 a.m. in front of the SnowSports School.