Overview of Maine
Written by Greg and Heather Burke • Last updated Sep 21, 2017
Maine skiing ranges from rugged snowfields at Sugarloaf to the best snowmaking and grooming in the East at Sunday River, but Maine is not known for its luxury. Hence the state slogan “the way life should be” not “the way life would be in the lap of luxury”.
Sugarloaf is the largest single Maine ski area, with the most acreage in New England, and Sugarloaf has the biggest fan base due to snowfields, superb scenery and popular on mountain restaurants for ski in lunch and après ski at Gepettos, Shipyard Brewhaus, and The Bag – with the best burgers in ski country. You can rent a ski in ski out condominium at Sugarloaf, or stay at the four-diamond Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel. Ask for the penthouse suite at Sugarloaf if you really want the best place to stay on the mountain. You’ll have your own private hot tub and great views of the slopes from your 5-bedroom private ski suite. Then you can really call yourself a Loafer… like the locals do.
Sunday River ski vacations are reliable because of the best snowmaking in New England, and the second largest acreage of ski terrain in New England at 820 including perfectly groomed trails, to glades and terrain parks. Lodging at Sunday River comes down to one of the two Grand hotels - The Grand Summit or the Jordan Grand Hotel and Spa are both right on the slopes with outdoor heated swimming pools and limited spa treatments, and in hotel dining and bars. While these hotels aren’t as “grand” as they sound, the on mountain location is convenient with ski storage and valet service. Just a short drive from the slopes is a luxury ski house rental called Ski Esta at Sunday River.
You will also find plenty of great après ski bars like the Matterhorn at Sunday River, and some top restaurants in the town of Bethel – Ski Magazine named Bethel in the top 10 ski resort towns in the country.
Saddleback ski area in the Rangeley Lakes region, in the western part of Maine is almost like a private country club – never crowded, high elevations, plenty of snow to go around. In recent years, Saddleback had received new ski lifts, snowmaking, new ski trails and extensive glades like Casablanca, and a beautiful base lodge perfect for a ski wedding.
Visiting Saddleback, you can rent a condo or a ski townhouse right on the slopes (not fancy – remember this is Maine). The town of Rangeley is more popular for Maine snowmobiling than downhill sports. There are more trucks with snowmobile trailers than SUVs with ski racks on a winter weekend.