This past weekend we cut out of the office early and headed back to New Hampshire for some classic New England skiing at Loon Mountain. Just two hours north of Boston, it’s the perfect place to find adventure and bring the family for a getaway.
A historically cold and snowy winter for New England is quickly transitioning into an epic spring at Loon Mountain, with nearly 100 percent open terrain. With a vertical drop of 2,100 feet, 61 trails, 8 gladed tree skiing area and 370 skiable acres it’s one of those mountains that doesn’t overwhelm you and yet has plenty of terrain to seek out. The runs are about 20% novice, 60% intermediate and 20% expert. Staying at The Mountain Club keeps you slopeside, with a view of the mountains beckoning with that alpine glow motivating you to get out there for first tracks.
Loon is one of those places that seriously has something for everyone, without compromising at all. We threw our expert snowboarder into a private ski lesson for the day, just for fun (he had never before been on skis). One day on the slopes with Deb and he was skiing black diamonds. Our in-house Kinderskiier spent two days at ski school and was a total rockstar by Sunday, cruising down the mountain with a confidence and ease not usually found on four year old newbies.
Look around for any Resort Hosts, you’ll spot them clearly with labels all over their jackets. Marcus Corey runs the Resort Host program—it’s essentially a team of people dedicated to making your ski experience as perfect as it can be. Is your kid having a meltdown about getting his ski boots on? A resort host miraculously appears with a sticker for his helmet. Do you find yourself somehow carrying two pairs of skis and walking at a snails pace? The skis are swept up and your personal valet for the moment helps you get to where you need to be. There’s a wonderful ambiance here, a genuinely friendly atmosphere where everyone actually wants to help others, and not just because it’s their job.
Marcus is also the Chaplain for Loon Mountain Ministry, and they hold a breathtaking non-denominational service on Sunday mornings from the stunning summit of Loon. The worship service starts at the deck of the Summit Cafe at 11:30am, then you ski or snowboard down the Bear Claw trail, making two stops along the way to read scripture, sing and hear an inspirational message. It is weather dependent, of course, but if you happen to be in town on a bluebird day it’s a wonderful way to commune with nature and really appreciate your surroundings.
Lincoln has some great après-ski grub but for something truly spectacular go a little further into Sugar Hill and have one of the best meals of your life at the Sugar Hill Inn. After a tough day on mountain sink into one of their luxurious chairs, enjoy the roaring fire beside you and order a Godiva Truffletini. Life will never be the same again.
The Sugar Hill Inn is one of those hidden gems that you just don’t expect to find outside of a major city. It’s a romantic getaway known for the art of fine dining. There’s a European philosophy to dining here—the table is yours for the evening. Sit. Sip. Relax. Executive Chef Val Fortin focuses on making everything from scratch with as many local ingredients as possible, and is just a true culinary artist. The menu changes seasonally and you’ll never be disappointed. The flavors were perfect and the portion size so spot on—you can have a four course dinner and actually enjoy dessert. Which is important, since the Death by Chocolate trio is something you’ll spend years dreaming of once it’s over.
A little birdie told us that Loon Mountain would be staying open even longer than usual this year (the typical closing date is April 12th), so book your tickets, make a reservation for a gourmet après-ski feast and start daydreaming about the weekend already.