Lifestyle

The 9 Best Ski Slopes and Resorts in New England

From socially distant chairlifts to the best Airbnbs.

Boasting as one of the top destinations for skiing, New England has its fair share of mountains worth scaling and slopes worth conquering. With resorts not too far from Boston, we’ve rounded up the top spots to check out this winter for when you’re ready to leave the house and continue safe social distancing. Before you head out, make sure to review the latest state guidelines for travel in addition to the different resorts’ COVID-19 rules and regulations. Masks are required, even while on the slopes, so be sure to grab the essentials and lead with extra caution.

Blue Hills Ski Area

Canton, Massachusetts
Distance from Boston: 20 mins
Less than a half an hour from the city, Blue Hills is easy to get to and doesn’t require any out-of-state or far travel to get your shred (or wipe out) on. Since 1950, this ski area has welcomed local Boston families looking to venture out, featuring 60 acres, 16 trails, and four ski lifts. You can pick up your season pass online now or check back on their website for more information on daily passes.
Find an Airbnb nearby: Search near Canton, Massachusetts.

Wachusett Mountain Ski Resort
Wachusett Mountain Ski Resort | Monika Salvan/Shutterstock

Wachusett Mountain

Princeton, Massachusetts
Distance from Boston: 1 hour and 20 mins
As one of New England’s most accessible ski resorts, Wachusett Mountain has everything you need for a successful day on the slopes, featuring over 25 trails and eight lifts. To ensure your safety remains priority, instead of a full day of skiing, tickets will be broken up into four sessions and will soon be available for purchase online. In the meantime, if you’re interested in a season pass, you’ll have to fill out a quick form online, which will mark you down on the resort’s current waiting list.
Find an Airbnb nearby: Search near Princeton, Massachusetts.

Cannon Mountain

Franconia, New Hampshire
Distance from Boston: 2 hours 
Located in Franconia Notch State Park, Cannon Mountain holds the name for the highest ski area in New Hampshire. With opening day tentatively set for December 4, Cannon Mountain is working to adhere to CDC guidelines by monitoring capacity both on the slopes and within buildings. Despite season pass sales coming to an end November 1 (with the exception of the NH College Pass and NH Senior Midweek Pass), avid skiers can still look forward to purchasing a lift ticket online.
Find an Airbnb nearby: Search near Franconia, New Hampshire.

Berkshire East Mountain Resort

Charlemont, Massachusetts
Distance from Boston: 2 hours and 20 minutes
When it comes to making quintessential New England plans, the Berkshires are your go-to destination. With a mountain range that is exceptionally breathtaking all year round, both the elements and sights set you up for a top-tier ski trip. One of the area’s beloved ski resorts, Berkshire East, has the terrain you’re looking for but with COVID-19 guidelines in place, of course. This year, the resort’s Berkshire Summit Pass, a combination pass to Berkshire East, Catamount, and Bousquet (both less than a two and a half hour drive from the city), has a deferral policy in case the resorts are shut down due to the pandemic. 
Find an Airbnb nearby: Search near Charlemont, Massachusetts.

Bretton Woods

Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
Distance from Boston: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Featuring 464 acres of skiing and snowboarding on 63 trails and 35 glades, Bretton Woods has plenty of space for skiers to enjoy this snowy paradise. With opening day on track for December 17, current season pass holders will be back on the mountain for the 2020/2021 season; however, passes are no longer being sold. Instead, you can grab a lift ticket online once December hits. 
Find an Airbnb nearby: Search near Bretton Woods, New Hampshire.

Ski Butternut 

Great Barrington, Massachusetts
Distance from Boston: 3 hours
In the quaint town of Great Barrington, you’ll find Ski Butternut, a family-focused resort offering affordable rates and rentals. With season passes now available online (and for a special price until November 30), the resort also offers a free purchase protection plan so if you buy but don’t pick up your pass for the 2020/2021 season, they’ll roll your pass to the 2021/2022 season without penalty.
Find an Airbnb nearby: Search near Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort

Hancock, Massachusetts
Distance from Boston: 3 hours and 20 minutes
Jiminy Peak, yet another favorite ski destination located in the Berkshires, is also the largest ski and snowboard resort in southern New England. For the 2020/2021 season, in order to allow season pass holders to ski without a reservation (helping to limit capacity), the resort will shut off season pass sales beginning on December 1, with the exception of its college and twilight passes. In the meantime, you can purchase passes and lift tickets online in addition to making lodging reservations at the Country Inn and available vacation homes.
Find an Airbnb nearby: Search near Great Hancock, Massachusetts.

Stowe Mountain Resort

Stowe, Vermont
Distance from Boston: 3 hours and 20 mins
A picturesque winter wonderland, Stowe is known as one of the best ski towns in the US. Despite many of the area’s attractions closed for the rest of the year, Stowe Mountain Resort will remain open for the season, with reassuring safety guidelines in place and measures to avoid overcrowding. This year, the resort is managing on-mountain access by requiring pass holders to make a reservation then, beginning December 8, lift tickets will be available for purchase online. As another precaution, and as an FYI for you and your party, all transactions made at the resort will be cashless.
Find an Airbnb nearby: Search near Stowe, Vermont.

Mohawk Mountain

Cornwall, Connecticut
Distance from Boston: 3 hours and 30 mins
Mohawk Mountain, which has been a longstanding family business for over 70 years, will welcome skiers for their 2020/2021 season. With 12 skiable acres on 350 scenic acres of state forest, this mountain tucked away in Connecticut does not disappoint. You can purchase a season pass online or grab a four-hour flex lift ticket ahead of your road trip.  
Find an Airbnb nearby: Search near Cornwall, Connecticut.

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Jillian Hammell is a contributor for Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.