Fresh powder and challenging terrain are not reserved solely for the West. With inspiring natural landscapes and impeccable snowmaking and grooming techniques, Eastern mountains have given rise to the some of the best competitive skiers and snowboarders in the world.
Below are six resorts that define skiing in the East, organized by category from family-friendly retreats to the best in expert trails. All are easily accessible when you fly Tradewind with private charters or regularly scheduled shuttle flights in the Northeast.
Sustained Vertical: Stowe Mountain Resort
Regularly named the best ski resort in the East, Stowe Mountain Resort stands out from the region’s more stepped mountains with a sustained vertical. 40 miles of ski trails and 12 high-speed lifts – including more mile-long lifts than any other Eastern ski resort – are headlined by the Front Four, a group of steep double-black diamonds (National, Liftline, Starr, and Goat) that really allow you to feel gravity as you descend Mt. Mansfield.
“Better skiers tend to enjoy the terrain more,” says Doug Veliko, Chief of Stowe Mountain Rescue. “There are parts of the mountain where the novice can be perfectly comfortable, but to fully enjoy the mountain, you’ve got to be in good shape.”
Where to Stay: Stowe Mountain Lodge provides luxury accommodations, spa experiences, and activities from sleigh rides to snowmobiling as the mountain’s only ski-in, ski-out resort.
How to Get There: Fly Tradewind’s scheduled shuttle to Morrisville-Stowe State Airport (MVL).
Family Getaway: Smugglers’ Notch
Affectionately known as Smuggs, Smugglers’ Notch in the same mountain range as Stowe is the place for families to enjoy extensive children’s programs and a diverse network of trails for all skill levels. “As a family resort, Smugglers’ Notch is fantastic,” says Veliko. “They have a wealth of really good intermediate terrain and a great ski school program.”
Morse Mountain offers easy slopes for learning, while a scenic lift ride to the top of Madonna will reveal more advanced terrain at nearly the same elevation as Mt. Mansfield’s lifts. (It is there where you can also find the only triple-black diamond trail in Vermont.) Off the slopes, partake in snow tubing, ice skating, and snowshoeing with the entire family.
Where to Stay: There are cozy, family-style accommodations right at Smuggs in the resort’s five distinct condominium communities.
How to Get There: Fly Tradewind’s scheduled shuttle to Morrisville-Stowe State Airport (MVL), located about 30 minutes from the resort.
Challenging Terrain: Whiteface Mountain
Spanning 288 acres in New York’s Adirondacks, Whiteface Mountain is known for its rugged intermediate and expert terrain. Skyward and Paron’s Run offer spectacular views from Whiteface Summit and thrilling, technical rides, while Wilmington takes you down 2.1 miles of mountain in the longest single intermediate run in the Northeast. Nearby, the town of Lake Placid has wonderful off-hill activities including bobsledding, ice hockey, and Nordic skiing at the Olympic venue Mt. Van Hoevenberg.
How to Get There: Charter a flight with Tradewind to Lake Placid Airport (LKP).
Fresh Powder: Jay Peak
349 inches of average annual snowfall make Jay Peak one of the best destinations in the East for powder (and one of Veliko’s personal favorites). Located in Vermont near the Canadian border, the isolated northern resort is famous for great tree skiing, encouraging skiers and snowboarders to get off the beaten track of its 78 diverse trails. “The mountain is laid out quite nicely,” says Veliko, “and they get really good, consistent snowpack up there.”
Where to Stay: Discover The Pump House Indoor Waterpark at Hotel Jay, or take in the impressive design of Tram Haus Lodge, built with locally crafted materials. The lodges offer easy access to the resort’s championship golf course, hockey rink, and the nearby slopes.
How to Get There: Fly Tradewind’s scheduled shuttle to Morrisville-Stowe State Airport (MVL), located about 45 minutes from the resort.
Après Ski: Killington
Killington lives up to its nickname as the Beast of the East with an impressive 1,509 acres of skiable terrain across six peaks. Consistently great conditions and accessibility make the resort a popular retreat, but you can easily escape the crowds by cutting over to Outer Limits or taking a break in the après ski scene for which the destination is known.
Despite its location between two sleepy Vermont towns, Killington has more than 100 restaurants, bars, and shops near the slopes, making for lively entertainment during a midday break or well into the night. Check out Lookout Tavern for casual light bites or The Foundry at Summit Pond for exquisite entrées like arctic char and rack of lamb.
Where to Stay: The Red Clover Inn provides a picturesque setting and locally sourced cuisine just minutes from the mountain.
How to Get There: Charter a flight with Tradewind to Rutland Southern Vermont Regional Airport (RUT), located about 30 minutes from the resort.
Cross Country Skiing: Acadia National Park
Snow-covered trees and spectacular vistas of the wintery Atlantic coastline await in Acadia National Park. The beautiful Maine destination has incredible scenery year-round, but during the winter, you can explore some of the park’s 47,000 acres with 45 miles of groomed roads for cross-country skiing.
Where to Stay: Check into Harborside Hotel, Spa & Marina or West Street Hotel in Bar Harbor for close proximity to Acadia National Park. Just minutes from the park, the coastal town is renowned for its fresh-off-the-boat lobster and outdoor experiences.
How to Get There: Charter a flight with Tradewind to the Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport (BHB).
*Featured Image: Stowe Mountain Resort