Right about this time of year, all you avid snowboarders and skiers in the Keene area are doing the same thing. You’re hoping winter comes early, drops tons of snow, and stays as long as possible, at least through April, maybe even into May.
Looking for a place nearby to make some turns? Listed below are 10 ski resorts, arranged in order of their relative distance to Keene. All 10 are within an hour’s drive of home.
- Granite Gorge is the closest ski area to Keene, located just 5 miles (or 13 minutes) to the east, on Pinnacle Mountain in Roxbury, New Hampshire. But it’s also one of the smallest, with one double chairlift, one rope tow, and one magic carpet. But what Granite Gorge lacks in size, it makes up for with a 390-foot vertical drop and cosmic tubing with glow lights and a DJ on Saturday nights, not to mention a terrain park and 14 kilometers of cross-country trails.
- Crotched Mountain is a full-fledged resort, offering a 1,000-foot vertical drop, four chairlifts, three terrain parks, a pub, and multiple ski programs. Located in Bennington, New Hampshire, Crotched Mountain is 27 miles to the northeast of Keene (or 35 minutes), so it’s a bit of a drive. But once you get there, you can stay on the slopes until 3 a.m. And on Friday and Saturday nights, you’ll find live music (for free) at the Onset Pub.
- It might take you 40 minutes to drive the 35 miles to Pat’s Peak, in Henniker, New Hampshire, but you’ll be rewarded with 28 trails and slopes, 11 different lifts, three terrain parks, nine gladed areas, and a vertical drop of 770 feet. Pat’s Peak boasts some of the longest and steepest pitches in New Hampshire, and their Blast trail is the only novice trail in all of southern New Hampshire that runs off a summit.
- Head straight north from Keene for 50 minutes, turn east toward Newbury, New Hampshire, on Route 103, and you’ll find yourself at Mount Sunapee Resort. You will have traveled 35 miles to explore 230 acres of skiable terrain that includes 66 trails, 10 lifts, three terrain parks, three lodges, and a vertical drop of more than 1,500 feet. Sunapee also has one of the oldest adaptive ski programs in the region. Seven days a week, volunteers with the New England Healing Sports Association make it possible for skiers of all abilities to enjoy their time on the slopes.
- If you’re willing to drive for an hour, you can take advantage of multiple ski resorts in both Massachusetts and Vermont. An hour’s drive to the southwest brings you to Berkshire East Mountain Resort, in Charlemont, Massachusetts, and an hour’s drive to the southeast brings you to Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, in Princeton, Massachusetts. Strike out to the northwest for Vermont, and you’ll join skiers at Mount Snow, in West Dover; Stratton Mountain, in Bondville; Okemo Mountain Resort, in Ludlow; and Magic Mountain Ski Area, in Londonderry.