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Enjoying a Maine ski resort.

Enjoying a Maine ski resort.

From winter sports to laid-back resorts, there’s no shortage of things to do in Maine when the snow starts to fall.

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Maine Skiing and Snowboarding

There’s nothing quite like it. You stand at the top of the run, skis or snowboard quivering, and leap off into the void.

Or...maybe not. Maybe you’re a beginner, whose thrill of the day comes as you push yourself slooooowly down the nice, gentle pitch of the bunny slope, all the while trying not to face-plant into in the snow.

Either way, Maine’s got you covered. We’ve got ski and snowboard areas big enough to challenge the best in the East and small enough that they barely cover the side of a meadow. All are waiting for you to come and explore.

Many skiers and riders know Maine for its three largest resorts - Sugarloaf, Sunday River and Saddleback Mountain Ski Area & Bike Park – all of which are in the Maine Lakes and Mountains region.

Sugarloaf, built on 4,237-foot Sugarloaf Mountain, is a big place with runs ranging from nice and easy to OMG. Expansions have brought side-country and cat skiing options into the mix. Sunday River is big, too, sprawling across eight different peaks. It’s known for its mix of glades, bowls and steeps. Saddleback Mountain Ski Area & Bike Park, Maine’s third-largest ski mountain, has a new chairlift and expanded base lodge. Saddleback rises 4,120 feet above the town of Rangeley, the gateway to Rangeley Lakes.

The three biggest resorts offer many choices in lodging and dining, either slopeside or at their nearby ski towns, as well as a full menu of resort amenities such as ski and snowboard lessons, cross-country skiing trails, programs for racers and kids and lots of non-skiing activities.

Maine also has a nice collection of mid-sized ski and snowboard areas, which have vertical drops of around 1,000 feet or more. These resorts offer amenities including snowmaking, ski & snowboard lessons and equipment rentals. They’re more compact than the big resorts and are popular with families, locals and new skiers and riders. They include Bigrock Mountain, in Aroostook County; Black Mountain of Maine, in the Maine Lakes and Mountains region; Camden Snow Bowl, in Maine’s MidCoast and Islands region, with ocean views rare for a ski area; Mt. Abram, in the Maine Lakes and Mountains region; and Pleasant Mountain, in the Maine Lakes and Mountains region.

Finally, Maine’s smaller ski and snowboard areas are scattered like snowflakes across the state, from far-northern Lonesome Pines Trails (on the Canadian border) to tiny Powderhouse Hill in far southern Maine. These areas generally have only a couple lifts – some have only one – and a couple hundred feet or less of vertical drop. Some are run by families, others by communities or clubs.

They include:

For those with disabilities, Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation offers free programs for downhill skiing, ski racing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and Nordic skiing. The free lessons, which include your lift ticket or trail pass, equipment, and instruction are held at locations throughout Maine, including Sunday River, Sugarloaf, Black Mountain of Maine, Pineland Farms, and Bethel Village Trails.

Maine also has an expansive network of trails for cross country skiing with Nordic Centers at larger ski resorts and other great places to ski, from Aroostook to York County.

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