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Outdoor Activities

Top 5 Places to Hit the Slopes in CT

Ski Trails

If you’re looking for a place to ski in Connecticut this winter, look no further! We’ve ranked the top 5 best ski locations in the state so that you don’t have to guess.

With its New England weather and long winter season, Connecticut is the perfect destination for winter activities—especially skiing and snowboarding. No need to venture out of state when there are 5 different ski areas to explore right here. Next time you’re looking to hit the slopes, take a look at these five ski locations right here in CT.

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Ski Sundown

If you’re looking to perfect your skiing or snowboarding skills, Ski Sundown will be just the right place for both adults and kids. Located in New Hartford, this ski area is composed of 16 trails, 15 of which are lighted for nighttime skiing. The majority of the trails are low difficulty while four are intermediate and three are considered difficult. This mountain has 100% snowmaking capacity and has an impressive 1,075 foot summit elevation.

This ski area offers two terrain parks for various skill levels. The park on Tom’s Treat, one of the easier trails, is for beginner and intermediate park skiers and snowboarders. This park offers flat rails, kinked rails, corrugated tubes, boxes, and small jumps and jiibs. The more advanced terrain park is located on Stinger, a black diamond trail, and offers C-rails, S-rails, Lift Towers, a 32 foot Down Rail, Cannon Rails, the Un-Bow, and Barrels.

Aside from the trails there is also a large area dedicated to ski lessons with small and larger “magic carpet.” There are over 200 dedicated staff members who love sharing their love for skiing and snowboarding while offering small class sizes. Ski Sundown prides itself on offering professional and encouraging staff members to guide you to improve your skills. The lessons are offered daily to adults and kids ages 4+ of any skill level.

The Lodge area is very spacious and has large windows overlooking the base area- perfect way for non-skiers and snowboarders to enjoy watching the action in comfort. Inside the Lodge you can find the Welcome Center, Snowsports School, food areas, the Last Chair bar lounge, and restrooms. For storage there are coin operated lockers and free cubicles for personal belongings. There is also a tuning and repair shop on site for ski and snowboarding tuning, binding mounting or adjustment and repair.

Ski Sundown offers four different food options. The Sunnyside Kitchen is located in the Brookside Lodge and offers coffee, breakfast , lunch , and healthy snacks. The Back Kitchen is located in the Pondview Room and offers chicken, hot dogs, burgers, and fries. The Sundown BBQ is located on the Mountain View Deck and offers a menu of burgers, grilled chicken, and other favorites. Finally, the Last Chair Tavern is located in the Lodge and offers food options along with a large selection of local brews, cocktails, and a large screen TV.

Where: Ski Sundown, 126 Ratlum Road, New Hartford
When: Weekends and holidays from 8am10pm; Weekdays from 9am10pm.
Cost: For an 8-hour day tickets are $60 for adults, $52 for ages 7–14, $18 for children 6 and under, and $36 for senior citizens. Rentals for an 8-hour day are between $11–42.

Mohawk Mountain

A bit of notable history comes along with this ski area. In 1947, a Skiing Hall of Fame member, Walt Schoenknecht, created Mohawk Mountain ski area in northwestern Connecticut. Not only this, Walt worked with several local engineers to develop the very first snowmaking system ever used at a resort! Being the oldest and largest ski area in CT, it offers 25 trails (12 night skiing trails), eight lifts, and 112 skiable acres on 350 scenic acres of state forest.

Check out the Snowsports Discovery Center, which offers a variety of skiing and snowboarding lessons and development programs for people of all ages and skill levels. Need a repair or maintenance service before you go out on the slopes? No problem. Take advantage of the skilled technicians and keep your equipment in great shape by taking some time to visit the on site workshop.

The Main Lodge offers a cafeteria style dining option offering hearty foods. Options include New England clam chowder, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and other favorites. Chef Marty is known for cooking up some daily specials so be on the lookout for those as well. Another great option is the Pine Lodge Restaurant which was the original lodge back in 1953 and also the home to the young Schoenknecht family! Now, this is a ski-in, ski-out full service restaurant with rustic interior and an entire wall of a natural stone fireplace. Menu favorites include lobster bisque, rib-eye sandwiches and grilled paninis.

Where: Mohawk Mountain, 46 Great Hollow Rd., Cornwall
When: MondayFriday, 9:30am10pm; Saturday, 8:30am10pm; Sunday, 8:30am4pm.
Cost: For an all day pass, tickets are $62 for adults, $54 for ages 5–15, $15 for children 4 and under, and $54 for senior citizens. Rentals for an all day ticket are between $5–42. Hint: Midweek tickets are the best deal with nearly 50% off the weekend/holiday rates.

Mount Southington

Conveniently located off Interstate 84, this ski resort offers a full range of terrain for beginners and experts. With state-of-the-art snowmaking and grooming all across the mountain, Mount Southington is guaranteed to be a blast! The 14 snow-covered trails are all well groomed and designed for all abilities on the 51 skiable acres.

There are also awesome ski and riding lessons avaliable for kids and adults. The team of Certified Ski and Snowboard Instructors offer a fun and nurturing environment giving each individual the skills they need to progress quickly and safely. Not sure whether a class style or private lesson will suite you best? The friendly staff members will help you choose the lesson plan that will fit your needs and one which you will enjoy most.

Feeling a little hungry? Stop by the Mountain Room to enjoy live music, have warm homemade waffles with your favorite topping at the Waffle Haus, or get a quick bite in the Red Barn Cafeteria.

Where: Mount Southington, 396 Mt Vernon Rd., Plantsville
When: Weekday (non-holiday), 10am–10pm; Weekends and Holidays, 9am10pm; nights, 6pm10 pm.
Cost: For an 8-hour pass, tickets are $58 for adults, $48 for ages 6–12, $15 for children 5 and under, and $48 for senior citizens. Hint: Ski or ride weekdays and non-holidays 10am3pm for only $35. Rentals for an 8-hour day are between $7–40.

Powder Ridge Park

Less than 25 minutes from Hartford, New Haven, and Waterbury, Powder Ridge Park is well known in the state of Connecticut. This ski area features 22 trails with terrain park features located throughout the mountain. There are more than 80 skiable acres to explore. About 42% of the mountain is rated for beginners, 37% for intermediate, and 21% for advanced. Any winter enthusiast will love Powder Ridge Park thanks to its variety of trails and superb staff.

The Marketplace located on the first floor of the Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort’s lodge offers lockers for gear and a variety of food and beverage options. There is also a Beer & Wine Garden! Aside from the lodge, this ski park offers professional lessons. These lessons are ensured to offer a positive experience at the Terrain Based Learning area in which the snow has been shaped to provide novice level skiers and riders a high level of sensations in a safe and secure manner.

Along with skiing and snowboarding, this park also has tubing sessions which start every two hours and are fun for the whole family! Want more? Snowbiking is also available and is the easiest way to enjoy the full mountain experience. A snowbike has two mini skis on your feet and two skis on the bike for a very stable four points of contact with the  snow. No anxiety for beginners! A two-hour lesson is required before renting a B6 Skibike but once completing the program, you will receive a license allowing you to rent.

Where: Powder Ridge Park, 99 Powder Hill Rd., Middlefield
When: MondayThursday, 10am10pm; FridaySunday, 9am10pm.
Cost: For an 8-hour pass, tickets are $55 for adults, $44 for ages 612, $24 for children 5 and under, and $44 for senior citizens. Separate rates are available for access to just the Beginner Area Park. Rentals for an 8-hour day are between $1040.

Woodbury Ski Area

Known as one of the first ski areas to open each year and one of the last to close, Woodbury Ski is a great place to ski or ride. Its location in a valley makes it ideal for the winter season. This location allows air to be trapped at an altitude of 900ft which acts an an insulator and allows a cooler drier air to settle below the altitude. This temperature difference can be +10 degrees Fahrenheit above the trapped area—so some winter mornings there can be almost a 30 degree difference between the temperature measured at Woodbury Ski Area and Meriden, CT!

The ski park has many features one of which is a quarter pipe for those who want an adrenaline rush, to test their skills, or to show off a little. Check out the Ski and Snowboard School to learn about your equipment, improve techniques, and understand tactics. Grow your confidence by attending programs suited to your age and level of abilities.

Woodbury Ski Area also offers sledding and Snow Tubing. Fun Fact: This is the largest tubing park in all of Connecticut! Choose from up to 14 Snow tubing trails and fly down for hours of fun!

Additionally, there is a cozy lodge perfect for cozying up with the wood stove and watching sporting events or ski footage on the big screen TV. Keep your stomachs from growling by visiting the snack bar which serves fast food and drinks.

Where: Woodbury Ski Area, 785 Washington Rd., Woodbury
When: MondayWednesday, 11am5pm; ThursdayFriday, 11am9pm; Saturday, 9am9pm; Sunday, 9am5pm.
Cost: For an all day pass, tickets are $42 for adults, $35 for ages 6–11 and $15 for children 5 and under. Rentals for an all day ticket are between $10–39.
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About the author

Kseniya Dobrovolsky

An upcoming senior marketing major at Stonehill College and Inbound Marketing intern at Pepperland Marketing. As an avid traveler, writer, and social media fanatic she is never seen without a keyboard or coffee in hand.

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