Skiing is not an inexpensive pastime. Consider that the premier mountains in New England – places like Stowe in Vermont and Sunday River in Maine – have adult one-day lift tickets in the neighborhood of 90 bucks and up. Bring a family along, and you may have to apply for a second mortgage.
According to the New England Ski Industry, the average adult lift ticket for non-holiday periods at Massachusetts ski areas this season is $56.68, an increase of 2% over last season.
Still, a bluebird sky on a cold New England winter day is exhilarating when spent on the slopes.
For those who just can’t keep away from the slopes, there are relatively cheap alternatives to the big mountains that are close enough to Boston to warrant a day trip. While these local hills can’t match the amenities of a big resort – forget about high-speed detachable quads, hundreds of skiable acres and five-star slopeside accommodations – they do offer an opportunity for families to ski or snowboard affordably.
Cheap Options Close to Home
Blue Hills in Canton is close enough to Boston to offer a view of the urban skyline at the peak. With 16 trails and 4 lifts, Blue Hills is a great spot for those who want to catch a few runs close to home. In a departure from ski industry practice, Blue Hills offers Everyday Lift Ticket Pricing – $45 for a full day of skiing every day – weekdays, weekends and holidays included.
Looking to get out of town and still ski cheap? In Massachusetts, two of the most affordable ski areas are less than two hours from Boston. Otis Ridge, in the tiny enclave of Monterrey, is conveniently located not far off the Mass Pike. A quaint hill offering 11 trails, and four lifts, the “Ridge” has been in operation since 1946. There’s a lodge with simple fare, a small ski shop and restaurant with a more substantial menu. Best of all, lift tickets are cheap – daily rates start at $15 for night skiing and top out at $45. For seniors 70 and up, expect to pay NOTHING, as in it’s free.
For those looking for a bit more terrain, there’s Ski Blandford in Blandford. With 18 trails and two terrain parks, Ski Blandford is serviced by 6 lifts. Formerly owned by the Springfield Ski Club, Ski Butternut recently purchased Ski Blandford and plans some upgrades this season. (Ski Butternut also owns Otis Ridge). Adult lift tickets range from $20 to $50; highest rates for juniors (7-13) and college students is $40; kids 6 and under and seniors 70 and above cost from $15-$25.
Best to check operating hours and ski conditions before heading out. Also make sure to know whether there is ski racing activity before you go.