The Skiing and riding in New Hampshire is spectacular. The views, the mountains and the history play into an all-encompassing good time. New Hampshire has a ton of options to choose from but one of my true favorites is Cannon Mountain located in The Franconia Notch State Park.
Cannon Mountain is a state owned mountain, home to many of New Hampshire’s best skiers and riders including World Champion and Olympic medalist Bode Miller. Notorious for a variety of extreme weather conditions and steep terrain, Cannon has a reputation as being an experts-only style mountain. It is true Cannon has many steeps, bumps and trees but there is plenty of terrain for the beginner skier to advance on.
How to Ski: Cannon Mountain, Franconia Notch N.H.
Most people start their day at Cannon Mountain by hopping on the Peabody Express quad near the full-service lodge. The quad takes you about ¾ of the way up Cannon. From the top of this lift there is skiing for intermediate to advanced riders only . If you’re looking for a good warm up run I recommend riding Middle Cannon to Gremlin. It’s easy to weave back and forth through the islands of trees at the top of the split of these two runs. Missing Link to Turnpike is another option but I find the lower half of Turnpike to be too flat for a good morning warm up.
Once you’re warmed up take a few laps on the Cannonball Quad at the top of the mountain. You can choose to rip right under the chair on Cannonball, which follows the fall line beautifully and allows for prime spectator viewing to be had. If your into something a little more New England take a run down Upper Ravine which consists of a more narrow cut trail with fun twists and turns. Upper Cannon is also super good for this.
At this point its time to get involved and head over to the newly re-opened Mittersill, which has had a brand new double chair installed on it. I recommend this route if there has been substantial snowfall as it operates solely on natural snowfall. Mittersill is also un-groomed which means its bump city. The trails are that of classic New England skiing, narrow and winding.
If the snow gods haven’t been good then head over to the Front 5 where there are plenty of steeps to be had and the Zoomer lift gets you back to the top of the 5 in no time at all. Paulies Folly is a ripper and the bumps on Zoomer stack up real nice under the lift. Once your done with the Front 5 head over to the historic tram which will take you right back the summit where you can access just about anything. When the snow is deep Kinsman glade will be a true test of your abilities, and it allows for full on tram laps.
How to Après: Cannon Mountain, Franconia Notch, N.H.
One of my all-time favorite ski bars is the Cannonball Pub, located right back at the base area in the Peabody Lodge. Order up a Switchback or whatever tickles your fancy and enjoy 3000 square feet of designated après zone. The bar is 100 feet in length and has 48 spots for you and your closest friends. This place knows how to get down on the weekends, so be ready with your boots on.
If your into the historical side of skiing don’t be afraid to stop in to the New England Ski Museum on your way out of town, don’t worry, you don’t have to ski there. The great state of N.H. has built an exit ramp available for the tram and the museum for easy viewing pleasure.
Cannon Mountain is a real place with real people and some true beauty. It has an appreciation for how far the sport of sliding down a hill has come. The next time you’re wondering where to ski, head up to Cannon and see what its all about.