Connecticut Ski Areas

southington
Photo courtesy Mount Southington


Mohawk Mountain, Cornwall • 107 skiable acres on 650′ vertical
Specs: Summit elevation: 1600′; Base elevation: 950′. 5 Lifts: 1 Triple, 4 doubles. Uphill Capacity: 7400/hr. Terrain Mix: 20-60-20. Longest Run: 6,600′. Season: usually mid November through late March/early April. Night Skiing: Mon-Sat. Annual Snowfall: 92″. Snowmaking: 98%.
The SKInny: An oldie but goodie; probably the best overall in the state. Lots of history here; Ski Hall of Famer Walt Schoenknecht built Mohawk prior to Mount Snow. Snowmaking (his invention) debuted here. Beyond the history, the skiing is decent, the lifts are seldom crowded, the pace is nice. Hotshots will find a few trails of interest, but wanderers will run out of steam. Ideal for families and skiers looking for a challenge without the stress of a monster resort. Mohawk has a “mid-mountain” lodge, which is one of the best things any ski area can do, so we give it top grades for skiing ambiance based on that alone. Size dictates that it be listed as a “small” ski area, but it’s certainly at the top of that heap.
Signature Trail: Mohawk.


Powder Ridge, Middlefield • 75 skiable acres on 500′ vertical
Specs: Summit elevation: 525′; Base elevation: 100′. 7 Lifts: 1 Triple, 2 doubles, 4 surface lifts. Uphill Capacity: 6254/hr. Terrain Mix: 33-34-33. Longest Run: 2,000′. Season: usually December through mid March. Night Skiing. Annual Snowfall: 50″. Snowmaking: 100%.
The SKInny: Good small suburban ski area, great for newbies and family skiing. After operating as something of a small but innovative type of area for decades, Powder Ridge closed in 2006. Ultimately purchased by the town of Middlefield, it has since been sold to an operator and rumor is they have very limited development options. Whatever the future holds, Powder Ridge is back from the dead and doing a great job all around.


Mount Southington, Southington • 50 skiable acres on 425′ vertical
Specs: Summit elevation: 525′; Base elevation: 100′. 7 Lifts: 1 Triple, 2 doubles, 4 surface lifts. Uphill Capacity: 6254/hr. Terrain Mix: 33-34-33. Longest Run: 2,000′. Season: usually December through mid March. Night Skiing. Annual Snowfall: 50″. Snowmaking: 100%.
The SKInny: Good small suburban ski area, great for newbies and family skiing. They do a great job making snow, teaching the sport, setting up park stuff…they do just about everything as well as you possibly can when you have 500 feet in the Nutmeg State. Underrated like most CT areas.


Ski Sundown, New Hartford • 65 skiable acres on 625′ vertical
Specs: Summit elevation: 1075′; Base elevation: 450′. 5 Lifts: 3 Triples, 1 double, 1 surface lift. Uphill Capacity: 6600/hr. Terrain Mix: 35-45-20. Longest Run: 5,288′. Season: usually December through mid March. Night Skiing. Annual Snowfall: 60″. Snowmaking: 100%.
The SKInny: Probably the most challenging terrain in Connecticut, although none of it is beyond the scope of a strong blue. Conditions are generally decent, lines are short, trails are scenic and pleasant. Hotshots can get a bit of a thrill, wanderers will say that it feels like a much bigger ski area than it really is. The only downside to Sundown is that it doesn’t have much at all for the absolute newbie. It’s positively great for the already-skiing novice.
Signature Trail: Gunbarrel.


Woodbury, Woodbury • 100 (?!) skiable acres on 300′ vertical
Specs: Summit elevation: 850′; Base elevation: 500′. 3 Lifts: 1 double, 2 surface lifts. Uphill Capacity: 2544/hr. Terrain Mix: 33-34-33. Longest Run: 2,640′. Season: usually November through March/April, occasionally opens in October. Night Skiing. Annual Snowfall: 64″. Snowmaking: 100%.
The SKInny: We saved the best for last. Not necessarily the best skiing in CT, but certainly the best ski area, if only for having the audacity to scoop Killington and Sunday River by being the first area open in 2002! Like David against Goliath, this is a small ski area with spunk. Wrings absolutely everything out of this hill, but we’re not sure about the 100 acres claim. Rod Taylor blows snow chaotically, opens when he wants to, lifts are creaky…the whole operation ignores convention. Draws squigggly lines on a map of a wide open slope and claims each is a different “trail.” You gotta love it, but in all honesty you’ll head for bigger/better when time permits.


Lift Tickets at Discount: This is a “clearinghouse” of sorts that many ski areas use to raise cash by selling discount tickets in advance, called Liftopia. If you haven’t used this service, it is important to knowfor certain that you are going on a specific date. The deeply discounted tickets must be purchased in advance; generally up to two days out. The sticking point is that some ski resorts only make a limited number of tickets available to Liftopia for any given day, so they might be sold out if you wait too long…so, as soon as you are absolutely, positively sure that you will be skiing on a certain day, click this link to get deeply discounted tickets. I’ve used this service many times, but again, ONLY when I am absolutely certain I will be skiing on a specific date. You need to have access to a printer to print out your receipt, and you have to take identification with you to the mountain. I’ve knocked a third off the price of some tickets. Not every area participates, but it’s well worth checking if you’ve got a date nailed down.


Wicked Awesome Key

Hotshots are skiers who can ski anywhere, anytime, in any conditions, and generally enjoy showing off those skills. Wanderers are skiers who like to go exploring, to essentially get “lost” and move from face to face, seldom skiing the same trail twice. Newbies are the girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband who has never skied before, but gamely insists on going along. Obviously, Blues represents intermediate skiers, while Blacks refers to experts.

A Signature Trail Is mostly subjective. Whether it’s history, reputation, the view, or degree of difficulty…it’s the run you have to do, even if it isn’t necessarily the best the resort has to offer.

Finally, a note about ski area statistics: Although it’s hard to believe, some ski areas are (gasp!) less than truthful with their numbers. Like the guy who lies about his, uh, shoe size, some ski areas believe that inflated numbers make their resort sound more appealling. When these numbers are obviously questionable, we put a note: (?!) and will attempt to verify the legitimacy of the claim.