We spent the week in northern New Hampshire and rediscovered the real joy of winter in New England. Squeaky crisp snow meant that the skiing, boarding and tubing were perfect and even the cold proved no problem.
Fun at King Pine
Monday was perhaps the coldest day of the week and a bit windy, so we opted for King Pine Ski Resort in East Madison, New Hampshire, lower than the Presidentials and a bit out of the wind’s path. Part of Purity Springs Resort, King Pine is just right for a short family winter getaway vacation. For people who have not skied before it offers lessons for all ages and has a variety of trails that are perfect for novices.
With only 500 feet of vertical, the trails are somewhat short but that means skiers can explore the whole mountain in a few hours and get in lots of runs on wide trails through the pines. Mid-week skiers practically have the place to themselves. The trails are a nice mix of easy green (novice) cruisers, comfortable intermediate runs that wind down through pine forests and a thrilling — and fortunately short — black diamond. Jack Pine, a double black diamond, was the steepest trail in the state until Attitash cut the trail over the ledges. As always at King Pine, we found the snow conditions and grooming are excellent.
Learn to ski as easy as 1-2-3
With the snow as perfect as it is right now, it’s a perfect time to try skiing. King Pine has a special learner’s deal for kids and adults, called the 1-2-3 Ski or Snowboard program. It includes three days’ lift tickets (first day on the beginner slope, next two for the whole mountain), 3 days of equipment rental, 3 days of group lessons and 50% off tickets, lessons and rentals for the rest of your stay. The cost for the three-day package is only $159 adults, $129 ages 8-12. For more information on this package, or to make reservations call (603) 367-8896.
Special upcoming events
A bonus is the 15th running of the Marky B Boardfest on Sunday March 8. These snowboard races support local charity and are fun not only for participants but for viewers as well. Registration is at the Base Lodge on Saturday, March 7 from 9AM to 3PM. The registration fee of $45 includes a lift ticket, lunch, one raffle ticket and race fees. Winners will be judged based on the best time of 2 out of 3 runs. There are male and female races and seven age categories. To learn more call King Pine or Purity Spring Resort at (800) 373-3754 or visit them online. If alpine skiing is not your thing, King Pine also has a nice tubing hill, cross country trails and ice skating. Alpine tickets prices are adults (18-64) $52, ages 13-17, 65-69 $$36, age 70 and over $20. Various options for part-day and night skiing are lower.
Another annual festive event is the King Pine Cardboard Box Derby, which is to be held on Sunday March 22 this year. Homemade two- or four-person racers made of cardboard boxes compete on a special race course. This end-of-the-season event is fun for everyone, worth going to just to watch it even if you don’t participate. You can find more information online.
If you want to spend more than the day skiing at King Pine, reserve at Purity Springs Resort, an all-seasons family resort adjacent to the skiing, tubing, skating and cross country trails. Midweek rates start at $138/night double occupancy, additional person age 13 and up $40.35/night, ages 6-12 $32.35/night. Winter weekend specials are also available online.
Getting to King Pine
From greater Boston take I-95 north to Portsmouth, New Hampshire and follow Route 16 (Spaulding Turnpike) north. At Center Ossipee take Route 25 to the right (east) and at Effingham Falls take Route 153 north through East Madison, the resort will be in the left.