A day on the slopes in New England can be quite an investment. At premier skiing destinations like Vermont's Stowe Mountain Resort—New England's most expensive ski area—an adult weekend lift ticket can run north of $100. Ouch. So, what's a frugal ski or snowboard enthusiast to do?
Whether you're a college student with limited funds, a parent with kids who all love to snowboard or simply a skier who wants to ski more and pay less, here is your guide to 10 cheap places to ski in New England. Sure, you'll sacrifice some amenities, but you'll get in plenty of exhilarating runs without wiping out your bank account.
Cheap Skiing in Rhode Island at Yawgoo Valley
If you've never thought of Rhode Island as a skiing destination, you're not alone. The Ocean State isn't exactly known for its altitudes. But RI does have one lone ski area: Yawgoo Valley in Exeter. It's about a 90-minute trip from Boston, two hours from Greenwich, Connecticut. And with a dozen downhill trails for beginning and advanced skiers and riders, three lifts, lighted night skiing, a snow tubing park and 100% snowmaking capacity, it's a reliable spot for affordable winter fun.
2018-19 Adult Full-Day Weekend Lift Ticket Price: $48
Cheapest Places to Ski in Maine
Maine dominates when it comes to cheap skiing in New England: Four Maine ski areas make the list of the region's best deals. You can seriously spend a Saturday or Sunday skiing in Maine for less than you probably drop on fancy coffee every week. And you may find you really enjoy no-frills skiing at small mountains that cater to rugged Mainers and loyal local families.
Why is Eaton Mountain in Skowhegan, Maine, such a bargain? This classic New England ski area has been in rebuilding mode since it was acquired by new owners in 2008. Efforts remain underway to raise sufficient capital to restore the chairlift to the top of the mountain. In the meantime, two new ski tows provide access to skiing and snowboarding on the lower part of the hill, a snowcat with bench seats runs skiers to the top of the hill, and a terrain park gives snowboarders their own place to play. Eaton Mountain also has a snow tubing park. And when you make this your winter fun destination, you help to ensure this 57-year-old ski area makes a complete comeback.
2018-19 Adult Full-Day Weekend Lift Ticket Price: $15
Located in Lee, Maine, Mt. Jefferson is a rarity in the ski resort world: It relies solely on all-natural snow. So, you should always call ahead to see if Mother Nature is being cooperative, then get ready for a throwback skiing experience on trails that range from a beginner's slope all the way up to double black diamond.
2018-19 Adult Full-Day Weekend Lift Ticket Price: $20
Big Squaw hasn't changed much since the 1960s, and the Friends of Squaw Mountain are determined to keep it that way. When this ski area in Greenville Junction, Maine, closed after the 2010 season, loyal fans banded together to form a non-profit that keeps classic New England skiing alive. For a price that's still incredibly cheap, you'll find more skiing and more facilities here including dozens of trails for a range of abilities. And you can feel stoked that your lift ticket purchase supports Big Squaw's mission: keeping skiing and riding affordable for families.
2018-19 Adult Full-Day Weekend Lift Ticket Price: $30
New Hermon Mountain
With 20 trails for day and night skiing and a tubing park, this family-owned ski area near Bangor in Hermon, Maine, has 100% snowmaking to ensure your trip is worthwhile. Want proof New Hermon Mountain is kid-friendly? Their mascot is a teddy bear.
2018-19 Adult Full-Day Weekend Lift Ticket Price: $32
Two Cheap Places to Ski in Massachusetts
The two cheapest ski areas in Massachusetts are just 12 miles apart in the southwestern part of the state. Plan a weekend ski getaway, and visit both of these off-the-beaten-path mountains on the eastern edge of the Berkshires.
SkiBlandford Ski Area
Operated by the Springfield Ski Club—one of the oldest ski clubs in America—and open to the public at affordable rates, uncrowded SkiBlandford in Blandford, Massachusetts, has 22 trails, two terrain parks, two lodges and 80% snowmaking coverage. A local favorite since 1936, Blandford is the oldest club-owned ski area in North America and a place where generations of Massachusetts kids have learned to ski.
2018 Adult Full-Day Weekend Lift Ticket Price: $45
Petite Otis Ridge, in Otis, Massachusetts, has 10 trails to ride or ski. It's been a destination since 1946 when it opened with a single trail. You can still ski the steep and curvy Ridge Run. It's cheaper than building a time machine!
2018-19 Adult Full-Day Weekend Lift Ticket Price: $40
Cheap Skiing in New Hampshire at Dartmouth Skiway
It's Ivy League skiing at a state school price! The ski area owned by prestigious Dartmouth College is located in Lyme, NH: about 20 minutes north of the smallest Ivy's campus. Dartmouth Skiway has been a training ground for national champions, and it's also open to the public. You may be surprised to find big mountain skiing in New Hampshire for nearly 50% less than you'd pay on weekends at Bretton Woods: New Hampshire's largest ski area and hotel. With 25% of its 22 trails devoted to beginners and another 25% a challenge for expert skiers, Dartmouth Skiway offers something for every member of your family. There are also plenty of places to go cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in New Hampshire as well.
2018-19 Adult Full-Day Weekend Lift Ticket Price: $50
Middlebury College Snow Bowl is Vermont's Cheapest Place to Ski
Most of Vermont's big mountains come with big price tags. So, what's a Vermonter or visitor on a budget to do? Save big bucks at Vermont's cheapest place to ski. Middlebury College Snow Bowl in Hancock, VT, isn't just for students. This family-friendly ski spot has 17 trails serviced by three lifts, plus 500 acres of tree skiing for the adventurous.
2018-19 Adult Full-Day Weekend Lift Ticket Price: $55