The 5 Best Ski Resorts Near Boston

The 5 Best Ski Areas Near Boston - UPDATED 2020/21
Jack Lee
Written by Jack Lee / Photos by Jack Lee
Last updated May 15, 2020
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From small ski areas just outside Boston to larger resorts in nearby New Hampshire, these destinations offer beginner lessons, night skiing, tubing, family-friendly atmospheres and even shopping in quaint New England ski towns. Whether it’s an afternoon or an easy weekend getaway you’re after, check out one of these top 5 ski areas near Boston.

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Known for

Local's mountain offering plenty of activities to do for families and friends

Highlights

  • Less crowded, even on holidays and weekends
  • Snowtubing, coaster and night skiing available
  • Over 60% of the trails suitable for intermediates
  • Old lift infrastructure

Closest airports

Manchester-Boston Regional Airport - 58 mi (1 hour drive)
Boston Logan Intl. Airport - 104 mi (2 hour drive)
Gunstock mountain
Hop on New Hampshire's 3rd longest chairlift to the top of Gunstock Mountain!

Gunstock is a mom-and-pop style resort that’s known for its family-friendly atmosphere, activities and steep pitch. For a small mountain of 227 ac, it boasts an impressive quality of trails for varying ability levels, although mostly suited towards intermediate skiers. Night skiing is also a favorite here. From the slopes you’ll see views of Lake Winnipesaukee, and around the town of Gilford you’ll find various lodging and dining options, gourmet food shops and antiques. Gunstock partners with nearby resorts, B&B’s, and country inns that boast a certain New Hampshire rustic charm. Tax-free shopping at Tanger Outlet Center is a short drive away.

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Known for

Varied terrain, surrounding historic towns and attractions

Highlights

  • Stunning views of Lake Sunapee from above
  • Exceptional grooming
  • Almost half the runs are for intermediate skiers/ riders
  • Further to get to compared to other resorts on this list

Closest airports

Manchester-Boston Regional Airport - 56 mi (1 hour drive)
Boston Logan Intl. Airport - 104 mi (2 hour drive)
powder trees Mount Sunapee
Powdery trees

A Vail-owned resort home to 66 trails, Mount Sunapee has one of the best grooming in the East, just one of the perks that make travelling just a bit farther from Boston worth it. Intermediates will appreciate the excellent grooming quality, while advanced skiers can hit the moguls and glades. Higher elevation than other Boston area resorts also means better snowfall. New London is the closest major town, featuring lodging and casual eateries, as well as an historic downtown. Take a stroll down Main Street for photo ops and artsy shopping. Newbury itself is home to historic buildings and attractions, as well as the John Hay National Wildlife Refuge along the shores of Lake Sunapee.

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Known for

Wide variety of runs dedicated to beginners and a quaint downtown

Highlights

  • Night skiing available across all terrain
  • Three terrain parks for varying abilities
  • Good gladed terrain
  • A lack of challenging advanced terrain

Closest airports

Manchester-Boston Regional Airport - 30 mi (40 minute drive)
Boston Logan Intl. Airport - 83 mi (1.5 hour drive)
Pats Peak night skiing
Ski into the night at Pats Peak

With roundtrip bus services on Saturdays, Pats Peak is an easy day trip from Boston. The ski area boasts 28 trails, half of which are suited for beginners. While you won’t find the steeps of the Rockies at Pats Peak, the ski area is dedicated to maintaining good gladed areas for New England thrill seekers. Other perks include 3 terrain parks, night skiing on all terrain, and free wifi in both lodges. Snowshoeing and tubing are also available. Just down the road, the town of Henniker is picturesque and charming – a postcard of rural New Hampshire. Stay in Henniker for closest access to the resort, or in nearby Weare and Hopkinton for a more remote getaway.

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Known for

Small mountain with night skiing and two families trails

Highlights

  • Cheap lift tickets
  • Ideal terrain for beginners and intermediates
  • Good snow coverage with updated snowmaking system
  • Small ski area so it might get crowded

Closest airports

Boston Logan Intl. Airport - 61 mi (1 hour drive)
Manchester-Boston Regional Airport - 66 mi (1 hour drive)
Wachusett Mountain
At the highest peak of 2,006 ft

Small but mighty, Wachusett offers skiers 103 ac of mellow terrain including 19 trails. Terrain is mostly intermediate, while a magic carpet services a beginner learning area and an express quad offers more beginners a chance to rack up their ski laps. Much of the ski area is surrounded by old growth forest, and it overlooks the beautiful Wachusett Lake. Family-friendly events like magician visits and “Science on the Slopes” are offered. The ski area is located between the towns of Princeton and Westminster; other nearby towns also offer lodging and dining options. A weekend train from Boston followed by a complimentary shuttle bus makes it easy to get there if you’re not up for the drive.

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Known for

Closest ski area to Boston, suitable for beginners on a day trip

Highlights

  • Closest ski resort to Boston
  • Affordable ski lessons
  • Night skiing available
  • Not much challenging terrain for intermediates or advanced

Closest airports

Boston Logan Intl. Airport - 20 mi (25 minute drive)
Blue Hills Lodge at the end of Lower Big Blue trail
Blue Hills' Lodge at the end of "Lower Big Blue" trail

Blue Hills’ claim to fame is being the closest ski area to any major US city, and at just under 40 minutes drive from Boston, it can’t be beat for accessibility. Yes, at 60 ac skiable terrain, it’s tiny, but for a quick getaway or Saturday afternoon fun with beginners, this ski area is ideal. Night skiing is available on 80% of terrain. Blue Hills offers affordable ski lessons, and is especially suited for beginners because of the mellow terrain and small size. Blue Hills isn’t exactly a tourist destination, that said, if you wish to cruise around the town of Canton, expect small-town restaurants and shops, as well as charming downtown areas in nearby Dedham and Norwood.

The 5 Best Ski Areas Near Boston
Gunstock Mountain Resort
Mount Sunapee
Pats Peak
Wachusett Mountain
Blue Hills
Gunstock Mountain Resort