Conway, NH – Granite State ski areas double as summer playgrounds in the warmer months, and by the start of summer operations are in full swing for many attractions and outdoor activities offered at Ski NH’s member ski areas. In addition to an already full slate of available summer activities, the following ski areas have added some new opportunities for alpine recreation during the warmer months.
Cranmore Mountain Resort in North Conway, NH is well-known for its Cranmore Mountain Meisters ski race series, and to expand on that tradition last summer the resort added a Mini-Meister downhill bike race series for kids. The program was so successful that Cranmore is expanding it to include a teen program (ages 11-14) this year. Additionally, on July 26, Cranmore will host a new downhill race event called Gateway to Meisters for all aged 15 and up.
Loon Mountain Resort in Lincoln has also been expanding its downhill mountain bike programs. Loon's team is scheduled to add over 2.5 miles of new trail by the end of summer. The majority of that is black-diamond-rated trails, including the completion of King Pin and Slack Action, with Lower Roundhouse on the build plan as well.
Bretton Woods has a new disc golf course and brought back guided rock climbing. This rock climbing experience is designed for people with a wide range of climbing abilities and previous climbing experience is not required. Also new this year is the women's social golf group called "9 and wine" which meets on Thursdays.
Families will want to check out Friday Family Nights at Whaleback Mountain in Enfield, NH, featuring food on the grill, beach volleyball, corn hole tournaments, disc golf, music, and more. The nights’ activities will enable families to take a break from social media and their busy lives at home and work, and spend some quality time together outdoors with family and friends.
Those who enjoy a good sunset will want to note that Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center in Gorham, NH will this summer be debuting Sunset Tours both on the Mount Washington Auto Road and on the river by kayak. Visitors can view the colors of a sunset on Mt. Washington from the comfort of a Mt. Washington Stage Coach, or paddle by sunset with guides and experience a whole new environment of sights, sounds, and wildlife on the Androscoggin River.
For those looking for an even more Zen-like experience, Cranmore has also introduced Sunrise Yoga on Saturdays at 7 a.m. and Conversation Campfires in partnership with Tin Mountain. The conversations will center on Astronomy: Stars & Stories. Participants will learn the stories behind some of our seasonal constellations and how to find them in the night sky.
Foodies will want to note three new food-focused events being hosted by NH ski areas: "The Summer Send-off Food Truck Festival" on Aug. 27 at Gunstock Mountain in Gilford, "Farm to Table" Dinners on July 6 & 7 and Aug. 24 at Mount Sunapee, and "Smoke on the Mountain" mountaintop BBQ on Aug. 5 at Cranmore Mountain Resort.
In addition to these new experiences, the following tried-and-true pastimes can be found all summer long at these resorts:
Aerial Adventures and Ziplines – Bretton Woods, Cranmore Mountain Resort, Gunstock Mountain Resort, Loon Mountain Resort, and Mount Sunapee.
Biking – Bretton Woods, Cannon Mountain, Cranmore Mountain Resort, Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center, Loon Mountain Resort, Mount Sunapee, and Waterville Valley Resort.
Fishing – Bretton Woods, Cannon Mountain, Gunstock Mountain Resort, King Pine / Purity Spring Resort, and Waterville Valley Resort.
Golf, Mini Golf, and Disc Golf – Bretton Woods, Eastman, Loon Mountain Resort, Mount Sunapee, and Waterville Valley Resort.
Hiking, Trail Running & Rock Climbing - Bretton Woods, Cannon, Great Glen Trails, Gunstock Mountain Resort, Loon Mountain Resort, and Waterville Valley Resort.
Horseback Riding – Black Mountain and Bretton Woods.
Kayaking, Boating & Other Water Fun – Cannon Mountain, Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center, King Pine / Purity Spring Resort, Waterville Valley Resort, and Whaleback Mountain.
Mountain Coasters – Cranmore Mountain Resort and Gunstock Mountain Resort.
Scenic Chairlift Rides – Bretton Woods, Cannon Mountain, Cranmore Mountain Resort, Gunstock Mountain Resort, Loon Mountain Resort, Mount Sunapee, Waterville Valley Resort, and Wildcat Mountain.
Summer Camps - Mount Sunapee and Whaleback Mountain.
Many mountains not offering summer programs/adventure parks do serve as a venue for events during the summer. Event listings can be found at www.skinh.com/events. The calendar is chock-full of both new and old favorites from now through October, such as foot races, mountain bike festivals, yoga series, artisan fairs, food-centric gatherings, concerts, and day and overnight camps for kids.
Ski lodges in mountain settings also make for ideal wedding and conference locations, which is growing in popularity at New Hampshire’s resorts with nine ski areas offering their location as a venue for weddings in the summer. Some are also able to host weddings in the winter.
Ski New Hampshire is the statewide association representing 32 alpine and cross-country resorts in New Hampshire