Taking up a new sport like skiing as an adult can be tough but it’s one of the best ways to challenge yourself physically and mentally. Picking up skiing is a great way to make new friends, enjoy wintery landscapes, and travel to some seriously beautiful places, among many other benefits. Case in point: the Northeast is home to a handful of New England ski resorts for beginners that will take you to lakeside ski towns, provide panoramic views of the Northeast’s biggest mountain ranges, and give you a taste of the small, family-owned hills that embody the heart and soul of ski culture.
The most important thing about skiing is to have fun and being in the right place is a big part of that experience. If you’re in New England or just visiting for a long weekend, you’ll want to spend a day (or three!) at some of the region’s best ski resorts.
Here are the best New England ski resorts for beginners and a few tips on how to make the most of your ski vacation.
Important Note: Before planning any trips, please do your research to make sure these places are welcoming visitors, follow local guidelines, and do your part to be a responsible visitor including taking precautions against COVID-19 like wearing a mask and social distancing.
How to Save on New England Lift Tickets
Skiing can be an expensive sport to pick up, so first let’s cover how to save money on lift tickets at ski resorts in New England and the northeast. The good news is that there plenty of ways to save. You can score deals of up to 60% off all the mountains on this list by logging onto Liftopia where you can buy tickets in advance and save.
If you plan on visiting Sugarloaf, Sunday River, or Loon for a long weekend or skiing more than 5 times at any of those ski resorts look into the New England Pass or the Ikon Pass. Both of these options offer a discounted season pass, plus deals on lodging, lessons, and more. The Ikon Pass will give you access to more mountains worldwide, whereas the New England Pass only covers the 3 destinations mentioned above.
The Epic Pass is another large-scale season pass that includes Stowe as its only East Coast destination. Like the New England Pass and the Ikon Pass, this pass also gives you discounted lodging, which is worth considering if you know you’re planning a ski trip to an Epic Pass resort.
8 Great New England Ski Resorts for Beginners
1. Sugarloaf Mountain | Carrabassett Valley, Maine
Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine is one of the biggest and best ski mountains in the Northeast and it’s also great for beginner skiers. About a quarter of Sugarloaf’s terrain are green trails that are very well-marked and perfect for helping any new skier learn how to navigate the slopes.
2. Bromley Mountain | Peru, Vermont
Bromley is a Vermont ski resort on a fun mountain with wide-open trails that are not too steep but just challenging enough for beginners. It’s a small resort with a laid-back and easy-going vibe, so it attracts families and skiers who are just out for a cruise. Bromley is an easy ski-in, ski-out resort and has some really incredible views.
Learning to ski? Check out our first-time skier FAQs.
3. Okemo Mountain | Ludlow, Vermont
Southern Vermont’s Okemo Mountain is one of the best New England ski resorts for beginners thanks to its manageable terrain and friendly crowd. New skiers won’t have to worry about stumbling onto advanced trails. The only high-octane thing about Okemo is its heated six-person chair lift. Not so bad, huh?
4. Sunday River | Newry, Maine
Located in Southwestern Maine, Sunday River is a fun and welcoming ski resort for beginners that is easily accessible and a great place to ski for a weekend or longer. You’ll enjoy incredible panoramic views of the White Mountains.
Check out more of our favorite winter destinations for fun in the snow & sun!
5. Stowe Mountain | Stowe, Vermont
Skiers of all abilities are drawn to Stowe for its reputation as an exceptional mountain as well as the quality of ski instructors, both of which make this resort one of the best New England ski resorts for beginners. Plan a ski vacation to Stowe in Vermont and invest in taking lessons while you’re there to gain confidence, skills, and have fun!
6. Magic Mountain | Londonderry, Vermont
Vermont’s Magic Mountain fully embraces its retro ski persona with a throwback style and throwback prices, making it one of the cheapest ski resorts in the Northeast ($54 lift tickets for a half-day!). There is certainly expert terrain, but they cater to beginner skiers with plenty of green trails and ski lessons to help you grow.
7. King Pine Mountain | Madison, New Hampshire
King Pine is one of the best ski resorts in New Hampshire where you can ski easy groomers and enjoy a visual feast of lake views. The mountain is primarily made up of beginner terrain, which makes it a haven for folks just learning how to ski. The beautiful Purity Spring Resort slopeside lodge is also a great place to stay if you want to splurge for a nice winter ski vacation in the northeast.
Read our 10 Beginner Skier TIps for Adults
8. Loon Mountain | Lincoln, New Hampshire
While Loon Mountain has more intermediate than beginner-level terrain, the trails are still accessible for novice skiers. Plan a ski-and-stay vacation here for both the skiing and exploring the town of Lincoln, which has a fun downtown area with shopping, restaurants, and bars.
We hope this blog post helps you plan your next (or first) New England winter ski adventure!
Do you have a favorite New England ski resort for beginners? Which one and why? What other resorts would you add to our list?