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 $125 for one day. 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. Use these budget travel tips to save even more on your New England trip.
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.
2019-2020 Adult Full-Day Weekend Lift Ticket Price: $50
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.
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.
2019-2020 Adult Full-Day Weekend Lift Ticket Price: $25
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.
2019-2020 Adult Full-Day Weekend Lift Ticket Price: $30
New Hermon Mountain
With 20 trails for day and night skiing and a lift-serviced snow tubing park, this family-owned ski area near Bangor in Hermon, Maine, has 100% snowmaking to ensure your trip is worthwhile. New Hermon Mountain is super kid-friendly, too, with learn-to-ski programs and even cheaper rates for junior skiers.
2019-2020 Adult Full-Day Weekend Lift Ticket Price: $35
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 58-year-old ski area makes a complete comeback.
Eaton Mountain Will Not Operate for the 2019-2020 Season But Anticipates Reopening Following This Year Off.
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.
Ski Blandford Ski Area
Open to the public at affordable rates, uncrowded Ski Blandford in Blandford, Massachusetts, has 22 trails, two freestyle terrain parks, two lodges, and 80% snowmaking coverage. A local favorite since 1936, Blandford is a place where generations of Massachusetts kids have learned to ski.
2019-2020 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 black-diamond trail. You can still ski the steep and curvy Ridge Run. It's cheaper than building a time machine! Texas-style BBQ awaits at the slopeside Grouse House when you've had your fill of skiing.
2019-2020 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. With 25% of its 30 trails devoted to beginners and another 25% a challenge for expert skiers, Dartmouth Skiway offers something for every member of your family.
2019-2020 Adult Full-Day Weekend Lift Ticket Price: $53
There are affordable places to go cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in New Hampshire, as well.
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 chairlifts, plus 500 acres of tree skiing for the adventurous.
2019-2020 Adult Full-Day Weekend Lift Ticket Price: $60
Connecticut's Cheapest Place to Ski
Connecticut has more ski areas than you may realize, and one has two distinctions: It's the only place to go tubing on synthetic snow in the summer and fall and it's the cheapest place to ski downhill in Connecticut once winter's here (there's winter snow tubing, too). Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort in Middlefield, Connecticut, also rents snowbikes: a cool alternative for those who do not ski. With slopes and terrain parks for all abilities and on-site dining at Fire at the Ridge, it's a complete destination for affordable winter fun.
2019-2020 Adult Full-Day Weekend Lift Ticket Price: $49