New To Ski

9 Best Maine Ski Resorts For Families

by Alaina Johnson | Updated: October 27th, 2022
maine family

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Whether you’re a local to Maine or you’re just visiting — there are plenty of ski resorts calling your name. I’ve curated a list of the best resorts for families that offer great accommodations for those with children, including lessons and childcare!

Sunday River is a popular spot and for good reason — it has over 100 trails to choose from! Sugarloaf has a great childcare program that begins teaching kids to ski as young as 2.5 years old. Families are sure to have a Maine experience they’ll remember for years to come.

Our Top Picks

    9. Black Mountain — Rumford

    Black Mountain
    Photo by Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

    Black Mountain is famous for its Nordic facility and alpine skiing. There is a decent amount of varied terrain for guests whether they’re beginners or have been skiing for a decade. While not on par with some of the larger mountains and resorts, Black Mountain is a great stop if you’re a local and want to check out something closer by.

    Fun for Kids

    For the kids who seek an adrenaline rush — there’s the Edge Tubing Park where they can race down the tubing lanes and feel the frigid air on their faces. Kids will enjoy the programs that Black Mountain puts on for them, as well as the lessons on how to properly use their skis and the basics that they need to learn before hitting the trails.

    Family Skiing

    With 90% snowmaking, Black Mountain ensures that it’s able to stay open during the entire season. There is also night skiing available for those who want to keep the fun going after the sunsets. With 20 trails, there’s a great mix of terrain and families can explore a decent amount of acreage while skiing down the different runs.

    Off the Slopes

    Guests can check out nearby Rumford for dining and lodging accommodations after they’ve had their fun on the mountain for the day. Nothing beats a hot meal after you’ve been cold all day and you’ve been working your way down the mountain for hours.

    What We Love About Black Mountain — Rumford:

    • Tubing park which is a popular hit with the kids
    • 90% snowmaking capabilities to ensure the mountain stays open to guests
    • Professional ski and snowboard lessons
    • The famous Nordic facility

    Black Mountain — Rumford Stats

    Summit Elevation:1380 ft / 420 metres
    Skiable terrain: 50 acres
    Lifts:3
    Runs:46

    8. Big Squaw

    Ski Resort 1

    Big Squaw goes back many decades — all the way to 1963 in fact. When they first opened, they started with only four trails. Now, they have 6 beginner trails, 18 intermediate trails, and 3 black diamond trails for the more experienced guests who want a challenge.

    Fun for Kids

    Kids on the more daring side may like to check out the terrain park where they can impress (and scare) their parents a little with their trick moves. Kids who are looking to add to their repertoire can take a lesson at the ski and snowboard school — where packages start at $63 and include a lift ticket, rentals, and a 1-hour beginner lesson.

    Family Skiing

    Families can enjoy the 6 miles of groomed cross country trails and even strap on some snowshoes to explore the mountain as well. There are many wildlife sightings in the area and plenty of scenic views to take in. Group lessons start at $15 per person and families can tackle the challenge of learning how to ski together.

    Off the Slopes

    There is a snack bar and grill located in the lodge and great rental availability for children and adults — with a discount for students! If you’re in need of a tune-up on your equipment, head on over to the Volkl RTM Rentals shop and they’ll have you covered.

    What We Love About Big Squaw:

    • Beautiful scenic views with plenty of wildlife to spot
    • Operated by a nonprofit — which offers reasonable prices
    • Cross country skiing available on groomed trails
    • A varied mix of different terrain on the trails for all ability levels

    Big Squaw Stats

    Summit Elevation:3200 ft / 975 metres
    Skiable terrain: n/a
    Lifts:1
    Runs:33

    7. Lonesome Pine Trails — Fort Kent

    Ski Resort 7

    Lonesome Pine Trails is a great ski area for those who live in and around Fort Kent and you’re sure to find many loyal locals if you visit. Their lodge and slopes are all within walking distance to downtown Fort Kent, where guests can find a great array of dining and lodging amenities.

    Fun for Kids

    Kids will enjoy the various activities that Lonesome Pine Trails puts on throughout the season — including the Kids Day and the Biathlon World Cup. There is a great mix of beginner, intermediate, and advanced trails, so kids can work their way up year after year as they gain confidence and the skill set to do so.

    Family Skiing

    While Lonesome Pine Trails has limited snowmaking capabilities, there is a decent amount of natural snowfall each season. It’s recommended that guests check the forecast ahead of time before they make the drive.

    Off the Slopes

    Once families are properly worn out from skiing, they can head over to Fort Kent to get a bite to eat and something to drink. Being able to walk to the downtown area is a big plus for this ski area.

    What We Love About Lonesome Pine Trails — Fort Kent:

    • Close to Fort Kent — where families can eat and sleep
    • A great mix of ski events throughout the season
    • Fully stocked ski rental shop
    • Ski waxing and sharpening services are available

    Lonesome Pine Trails — Fort Kent Stats

    Summit Elevation:2300 ft / 701 metres
    Skiable terrain: n/a
    Lifts:2
    Runs:81

    6. Titcomb Mountain

    Ski Resort 6

    Titcomb Mountain is proud of its small and family-oriented ski area and is mostly run by volunteers. The prices are affordable and parking is easy — which isn’t always the case at some of the larger resorts. The mountain isn’t so large that beginners will feel overwhelmed.

    Fun for Kids

    Kids will enjoy the one-on-one and personalized nature of the lessons available at Titcomb. They’ll be able to gain their footing on their skis and before you know it, they’ll be flying down one of the trails like a pro.

    Family Skiing

    For the more daring families, there is a terrain park onsite with a half pipe. Children (and parents!) can practice their flips and fancy tricks after a day of shredding on the mountain. The trails at Titcomb are well-groomed and the volunteers ensure that things are kept running smoothly for guests.

    Off the Slopes

    Families can check out the cafeteria to grab a bite to eat after a long day on the mountain — the prices are affordable here as well. If somebody in your group needs a piece of equipment, you can hop on over to the Northern Lights Rental Shop to grab your gear and head back out again. They carry both downhill and cross country ski equipment.

    What We Love About Titcomb Mountain:

    • Affordable prices due to the mountain being operated by volunteers
    • Ideal for beginner and intermediate skiers — not so much for experts
    • Private lessons available for children and adults
    • Nordic trails are some of the best available in the vicinity

    Titcomb Mountain Stats

    Summit Elevation:750 ft / 229 metres
    Skiable terrain: 45 acres
    Lifts:3
    Runs:16

    5. Mt. Jefferson

    Ski Resort 4

    Mt. Jefferson is around 60 miles from Bangor, Maine and it’s located in Lee. The peak elevation is over 2,800 feet and it boasts of a 1,100-foot vertical drop. While it doesn’t have some of the amenities of the other parks, such as a terrain park, it does offer locals a great area for some good old-fashioned skiing without the fancy equipment.

    Fun for Kids

    Kids will enjoy the lack of crowds and not having to wait around for lifts at a busy resort. They’re able to ski down the mountain and head right back up to do it again — so it’s great for those with younger children who lack patience.

    Family Skiing

    Families will enjoy the smallness of Mt. Jefferson and it can easily be explored within a day. The longest run is one mile long and over 20% of the trails are well-suited for beginners, though the majority are suited for intermediate level skiers — which keeps families coming back the next year once they gain their confidence.

    Off the Slopes

    Mt. Jefferson is generally open from mid-December to late March — depending on the weather that year. Families can travel in for the day or weekend and then head back home. While there isn’t a traditional lodge, families can still get some great skiing in without dealing with crowded lanes and bustling lodges and restaurants.

    What We Love About Mt. Jefferson:

    • Less crowded when compared to some of the larger resorts
    • Most trails are suitable for beginner and intermediate level skiers
    • Close proximity to Bangor — great for local residents
    • Provides families the ability to get into snow sports without any pressure

    Mt. Jefferson Stats

    Summit Elevation:753 ft / 230 metres
    Skiable terrain: 12 acres
    Lifts:3
    Runs:12

    4. Eaton Mountain

    Ski Resort 2

    Eaton Mountain, while it’s certainly not the largest facility, has a great set of amenities to offer to families looking to ski this winter season. Eaton dates all the way back to the early 1960s and their many decades in the business show through their professional and friendly nature that guests are sure to immediately notice when they arrive.

    Fun for Kids

    Eaton has a great tubing lane set up and children are sure to love the exhilarating ride down the lanes. There is a great beginner ski school for those who are just learning how to strap on their ski boots and who haven’t gained the confidence to hit the real trails quite yet.

    Family Skiing

    Eaton Mountain may only have 18 lanes but they have a good mix of difficulty levels — with 5 being designated for beginners and 7 for intermediate-level skiers. 6 are set aside for experts and mom and dad can check those out while the kids are at their lessons. There is even a terrain park for those who want to get fancy and show off their tricks and flips.

    Off the Slopes

    Eaton Mountain is close to the town of Skowhegan, where families can go for a bite to eat or to get a change of scenery from the mountain. With 100% snowmaking on the mountain, there is never a day where the facility closes due to a lack of snow, and families come back season after season due to the dependability.

    What We Love About Eaton Mountain:

    • 100% snowmaking means families won’t ever be turned away for a lack of natural snow
    • Night skiing is available for those who want an evening adventure
    • Tubing lanes are lit up during the evenings — so the fun can carry on
    • There are even some gladed trails on the mountain

    Eaton Mountain Stats

    Summit Elevation:840 ft / 256 metres
    Skiable terrain: 130 acres
    Lifts:2
    Runs:18

    3. Hermon Mountain

    Mount Hermon

    Hermon Mountain is on the smaller side compared to some of the more crowded resorts but it keeps a family-friendly oriented vibe that’s great for those just learning how to ski. They’ve been in business for over three decades, so you can rest assured that they know what they’re doing and strive to provide guests with a high-quality experience during the winter season.

    Fun for Kids

    Kids will love the professional instructors who strive to make the experience both informative and fun at the same time. After a few hours of lessons, kids can enjoy the tubing lanes for a nice break from their boots and skis. The tubing slope is 600 feet long and the tickets are good for three hours — so kiddos can tube to their heart’s delight.

    Family Skiing

    Located only 10 minutes from Bangor, Maine — Hermon Mountain is a great day trip for families who want to hit the slopes for a few hours. They offer affordable rates, which parents are sure to appreciate.

    Off the Slopes

    Many families choose to go to Hermon Mountain on a day trip but there is nearby lodging for those who want to make it a weekend trip. Bangor has many available options for dining and lodging and can be very affordable for guests on a budget.

    What We Love About Hermon Mountain:

    • Night skiing is available on certain days — check ahead on their website
    • Offers both half-day and full-day rental equipment for guests
    • Tubing is available onsite with over 600 feet of space
    • Knowledgable and helpful staff to set up your equipment and show you the basics

    Hermon Mountain Stats

    Summit Elevation:450 ft / 137 metres
    Skiable terrain: 70 acres
    Lifts:3
    Runs:20

    2. Sugarloaf

    skiresort3

    Sugarloaf ski area is in the heart of the Carrabassett Valley and offers its guests striking views of Maine’s Western Mountains. The drive-in alone will have guests in awe of the beautiful scenery. With over 4,000 feet worth of elevation, there is plenty of surrounding area to admire while you’re a guest at Sugarloaf, or “the Loaf” as the locals call it.

    Fun for Kids

    Sugarloaf offers the Mooseketeers program that is designed for 2.5 to 3-year-olds who want to be introduced to the slopes — the program includes a lift ticket and equipment. The childcare on the mountain is licensed by Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services, so parents can rest assured that their children are in professional hands.

    Family Skiing

    Families can ski the over 160 trails and glades available to them on the mountain and stay busy exploring over 1200 acres of skiable terrain. There is cat skiing, nordic skiing, and even fat biking available on the mountain. Over 20% of the trails at Sugarloaf are classified as “beginner” so there’s plenty of area to explore with newcomers to the sport.

    Off the Slopes

    On a down day, families can try their hand at snowmobiling or check out The Rack to experience a popular Maine eatery. With so many acres of mountains to explore, the kiddos are sure to work up an appetite.

    What We Love About Sugarloaf:

    • Variety of options apart from skiing — fat biking, snowmobiling, snowshoeing
    • Professional childcare program
    • Multiple terrain parks so one doesn’t get overly crowded
    • Over 600 acres are covered by snowmaking capabilities

    Sugarloaf Stats

    Summit Elevation:4237 ft / 1291 metres
    Skiable terrain: 1240 acres
    Lifts:13
    Runs:162

    1. Sunday River

    maine sunday river
    Photo by Udi h Bauman licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Sunday River has a vast array of trails — totaling over 130! There is plenty for your family to do on their winter vacation and no one will get bored too quickly. There is a range of lesson options for adults and children who want to boost their skiing skills this season.

    Fun for Kids

    For the kiddos, there is ice skating at the Grand Summit Hotel if they get tired from being outdoors all day. There is a SnowSports School that offers lessons for children in skiing and snowboarding — and even snow biking! Families can choose between day lessons and season-long programs if their local to the area.

    Family Skiing

    Sunday River has the ability to make snow and they ensure that it’s groomed to perfection for their guests to enjoy. There are eight peaks that are interconnected through the trail system and with 15 lifts, guests have spread apart from each other so even on busy days the mountain doesn’t feel too crowded.

    Off the Slopes

    Sunday River is known for being one of the higher-quality resorts but it still ensures that it keeps the ambiance of a smaller family-friendly area. Families can check out the small town of Bethel to grab a bite to eat off of the mountain and do some shopping.

    What We Love About Sunday River:

    • Great snowmaking capabilities to ensure good snow coverage
    • Night skiing available on the weekends and on holidays
    • A vast array of trails interconnected together
    • The nearby village of Bethel for dining options and other activities

    Sunday River Stats

    Summit Elevation:3140 ft / 957 metres
    Skiable terrain: 878 acres
    Lifts:18
    Runs:135

    Why Choose Maine for Skiing

    Maine is known for many things (such as fresh lobster) but the locals know that there is great skiing to be had within the state as well. Many of the above resorts go above and beyond for families by offering affordable beginner lessons and equipment rentals.

    Our overall top pick for the best Maine ski resort simply has to be Sugarloaf. They offer top-tier experiences for young children and families can opt to snowshoe or snowmobile on a down day. With so many mountains to explore, you can’t go wrong with any of the above ski areas — so just get out there!

    How Did We Order This List?

    To help rank our top selection of ski resorts for this list we compared the following ranking factors:

    👨‍👩‍👦 Ranking Factor📈 Power to affect Rank
    Amount of Beginner Trails (Mi) 4x
    Amount of Skiing Area (Mi) 3x
    Cost of two adult tickets + child ticket1x
    How many magic carpet lifts1x

    We gave each factor its own weighting depending on how important we feel it is for family fun across all ages. For example, a resort with more beginner trails is higher ranked than a resort with a lower-priced family ticket – with all else being equal. That’s because while cost is a factor, it’s not a primary one. We may also use our editorial judgment to remove or add resorts that we believe should make the list.

    When taking all of this into account, it gives us our awesome list above. We hope it was helpful in planning your next family ski vacation.


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    Best Ski Resorts for Families In Maine

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