Mount Sunapee, New Hampshire
Mount Sunapee is a family mountain that skis a lot bigger than it is and, as a bonus,it’s less than two hours from Boston.
Offering views over the lake of the same name, Mount Sunapee has a loyal following of skiers who like its New England feel and close proximity to Boston (just 90 minutes for a Massachusetts-style driver). This mountain has seen a real renaissance since 1999 when the state of New Hampshire, which had run the mountain as part of its parks system, transferred operations and development responsibilities to Tim and Diane Mueller, who own and operate Okemo Mountain in Vermont and Crested Butte in Colorado.
This new management has brought a proven recipe of friendly staff, maximum snowmaking, new lifts, new base lodge, and a focus on family amenities to Mount Sunapee. Like Okemo, the grooming at Mount Sunapee is outstanding.
Today Mount Sunapee has been ranked as the second most popular ski and snowboard resort in New Hampshire, and has also received high grades in the East for snow quality, grooming, family programs, accessibility, and weather (while no one really has control over Mother Nature, the orientation of many of the slopes helps skiers find the sun).
The mountain is not giant when compared with some of its brethren. However, it makes the most of its size. The trails are cut to use as much of the mountain as possible, and from top to bottom, skiers and snowboarders can drop more than 1,500 feet and enjoy runs more than a mile long.
Most of Mount Sunapee’s skiers are day trippers due to its proximity to several of the Northeast’s largest cities. But the nearby small towns of Charlestown, Bradford, New London, and North Sutton offer interesting dining. Lodging options are growing too.
Sunapee has also long been the base for the New England Handicapped Sports Association (NEHSA), which provides programs for skiers with physical and mental challenges.