The White Mountains have long been a popular destination for skiers since the 19th century. Long before skiing really took off in the United States, the White Mountains were home to “some of the first purpose-cut ski runs on the continent and a host of other innovations in grooming, lifts, and ski schools were developed here in the 1930s,” according to National Geographic. The high peaks make for an exhilarating ride, and the conditions are perfect for powder. Despite the area’s longtime fame for great slopes, new skiers are still discovering New Hampshire’s many great mountains and the area continues to receive positive press.
Last year Bretton Woods praised New Hampshire as a top ski spot for families, with “beautiful views of Mount Washington and gorgeous grooming.” The Boston Globe picked Wildcat Mountain this year for “yanked-from-postcard views” that also get you a great vantage point of The Presidential Range and Mount Washington, and highlighted Cannon Mountain in Franconia Notch for its “character and soul” as one of the oldest ski resorts in the US. The New York Times highlighted Wildcat Mountain in 2009 for its seclusion, simplicity, and prime terrain for beginning and intermediate skiers, as well as those looking for a more wild ride.
Cross country skiers can enjoy numerous trails throughout the North Conway area, including those along Route 16A in Intervale, by the Saco River (across the street from the Green Granite, or ungroomed trails for more experienced skiers through the White Mountain National Forest. Less experienced skiers can explore Whitaker Woods or make their way to Intervale for a fun day trip. It’s a whole new way to experience the natural wonder of New Hampshire than summer hikes and ATV excursions.
With such a great history and range of trails, it’s no wonder so many people flock to North Conway for both cross country and downhill skiing. There’s also so much to see and do after a day hitting the slopes, like swinging by Moat Mountain Smokehouse and Brewery for local beers, wood-fired pizzas, burgers, nachos, and BBQ. Flatbread Company features organic fare, clay oven pizzas, with free-range meats, top-quality cheeses and plenty of toppings to fill you up after an active day. If you need supplies and equipment, there are numerous sports stores that stock what skiers need, including Joe Jones Sports, Bob and Terry’s Ski and Sports, North Conway Ski Equipment, and more.
If this weren’t enough to get you excited, the 2013-2014 ski season promises to be excellent with plenty of snow. An early start to the winter season and the placement of the jet stream over North Conway has many ski enthusiasts eagerly anticipating getting out on the slopes. As Outside Magazine explains, “The North Atlantic Oscillation, which follows the spread of high and low pressure across the northern Atlantic, is predicted to be “moderately negative” this winter. Negative NAO values can send storms as far south as Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia; although LaRosa sees the biggest dumps come to the Northeast.” Be sure to book your stay at the Green Granite for a ski vacation and make the most of this favorable winter weather pattern!
Written by Tiffany Hutton