Granite Gorge Ski Getaways

ski getaways

Granite Gorge is located in the Monadnock region of southwestern New Hampshire, just five miles from downtown Keene on Route 9 East heading towards New Hampshire's State Capital, Concord. Originally opened in the 1950's by a group looking to create an ideal "gateway" mountain, the current incarnation of Granite Gorge offers a full range of winter activities, including downhill skiing and boarding, snow tubing, XC skiing and snowshoeing. It is also the home training area for the Keene High School State Champion XC Ski Team as well as the home for the Keene area Bill Koch Youth Ski League.

While Granite Gorge is still a developing ski area, it does have a small, but cozy base lodge that offers snacks and hot drinks, as well as a vending machine. There are heated portable bathrooms and a new 30 ft diameter heated warming hut. On most weekends, the staff builds a wood fire in the large outdoor grill which can be used for grilling hamburgers or hotdogs if you bring them. Lessons are available on weekends or by special request but make it a point to call ahead for lesson availability. There are also a limited number of downhill and XC skis as well as snowboards and snowshoes available to rent.

Granite Gorge offers 17 trails all serviced by the new Pinnacle Express double chair. There is also a Handle Tow on Bunny Buster for new skiers and riders. The tubing park has its own carpet lift and is lit up for night tubing. In addition to the downhill area, Granite Gorge has 12 kilometers of Piston Bully groomed XC trails that are usually set for both classical and skating technique. The River Run Trail, a beautiful 2.5km trail, connects with Otter Brook Park, a large flood control dam and recreation area. Most of the trails in the park are easy novice terrain made up of loops in and around Otter Lake. Guests are encouraged to pack a picnic lunch to have along the trail on nice days. There are picnic tables in many locations along the trails. On the way back to the lodge you may choose to ski up and over Camel's Hump, which is a short up and down trail with a quick decent back into the Granite Gorge basin area.

For snowshoeing, the backcountry trails range from gentle strolls through the woods along streams and brooks to rugged hikes up the mountain to the Pinnacle. Many trails run along and around the Otter Brook Lake area that is created by the dam. Snowshoe trails primarily follow old wood roads along the Otter Brook River basin but some wind their way up to the top of the Alpine Area with many great vistas looking west into Vermont. Granite Gorge grooms and maintains a 1km man mad XC snow loop in the basin area around the lodge for use when natural snow may be lacking.