Shawnee Peak Ski Getaways

ski getaways

Somewhere between too big and too small is where Shawnee Peak fits into the scheme of things.

With 1300 feet of vertical, 44 trails, 5 lifts, a ᄑ pipe and a big terrain park, and two distinct base areas, Shawnee Peak certainly isn't small. In fact, its night lighting covers 17 trails, a respectable amount of terrain on its own. But all this sits on a compact small mountain that's easy to explore, there's no long access road to negotiate, and there's plenty of Maine hospitality. Add to this a good local clientele and a long history of operation and you've got an area that exudes down-home friendliness, more in the character of much smaller areas.

Shawnee skis and rides big because many of its trails and combinations run top to bottom and a full half of them are rated intermediate. This is real crowd-pleasing stuff. But beginners of all ages have what amounts to their own little area on the western edge of the mountain, serviced by a double and the longer Pine Quad. Here you'll find the gentle Rabbit Run and the more challenging Happiness Is and West Slope, two green circle favorites and real trails. But the heart of the mountain is devoted to intermediate cruising terrain. Lower Kancamagus, Upper and Lower Roosevelt, Jack Spratt and The Main - to name but a few - are all fine examples of solid blue terrain.

Subtract the beginner and intermediate terrain from the trail count and you still have a full quarter devoted to advanced skiers and riders. For starters, of course, there's the big freestyle terrain park and half pipe, situated just above the main base lodge. Then there's Upper and Lower Appalachian, over on the east side, the area's longest continuous black diamond. The Sunny Side Triple will let you do laps on Appalachian to your heart's delight and your legs - demise if you wish, but you'll also want to explore Sunny Side Glades, Poacher's Paradise, and Tycoon while you're over there. Back on the main face, the double-diamond glades (also accessible from the Sunny Side Triple) provide Shawnee's most difficult challenge. By the way, about 99% of all this terrain is covered by snowmaking.