You don’t have to be a skier to enjoy a winter holiday break in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. North Conway, only a few hours from Boston and Hartford, is justly popular with skiers and boarders but also has a lot more to offer anyone who does not enjoy those sports. Check out the many different options of things to do and see right there without going to the slopes.
Ski resorts are not just for skiers and riders
In the past few years, ski resorts have come to realize that some families have members that don’t enjoy skiing or boarding, and even those who do like a break for some other sort of activity.
While the snow conditions are near perfect this winter at all five ski areas around North Conway, the non-ski options are equally enticing. The result is a wide range of other slopeside activities. Cranmore Mountain Resort, right in town, has three very popular attractions in addition to great skiing. The Mountain Coaster, introduced several years ago, is a thrilling ride down twisting steel rails. It part of the Mountain Adventure Park which also includes the Giant Swing and the Eagle Zip line. A two hour Mountain Adventure and Tubing combo ticket is $45. The ten lane tubing park is only $28 for a two hour ticket. These attractions are open Friday through Sunday through the end of March.
Purity Spring Resort operates King Pine, a prime family-oriented ski resort in Madison that also has tubing, skating and cross-country ski options, as well as snowshoe trails. If you buy a regular lift ticket you also get to skate free. Cap off a weekend with a Saturday night Sleigh Ride ($22/person) at Purity Spring, but be sure to reserve with them first at (603) 367-8896. Purity Springs is a short ride from Conway on Route 153.
Attitash Mountain Resort, in the neighboring town of Bartlett is another ski area that is not limited to skiers. Attitash has a Mountain Coaster that drops 316 feet over the course of its descent of 2,880 feet, at speeds up to 25 MPH; the rider gets to decide how fast to go.
Another option for adventure is cross country skiing and snowshoeing, and there are two good options in the area. The largest, in terms of kilometers of trails, is internationally-known Jackson Ski Touring, in the town of Jackson on Route 16 a few miles north of North Conway. They have more than 115 kilometers of trails for cross-country and snowshoeing, with full rental facilities. Another option is to travel a few miles up Route 302 to Bear Notch Ski Touring, which also has several kilometers of trails and rentals. They are just up the road from Attitash.
Getting to North Conway
From greater Boston and eastern Massachusetts take I-95 north to Portsmouth and following the signs for Route 16 and the NH Mountains to North Conway. West of Boston Take I-93 north to Lincoln, NH, and then taking Route 112, the Kancamagus Highway, to Route 16 north at Conway. From western Massachusetts and Connecticut take I-91 north from Hartford to I-90 (Mass Pike) east. From I-90 take I-495 north to I-95. At Portsmouth follow the signs for Route 16 and the NH Mountains to North Conway.