Photo Courtesy of a TripAdvisor Traveler/ayuh

Families will love:

  • Wide variety of challenging skiing terrain
  • The intimate base lodge village
  • Largest skiing in New England

Sugarloaf is big -- very big. Okay, it's downright huge. That's likely to be your first impression driving up through the awesome scenery of the Carrabassett Valley of Maine when you first catch a glimpse of the giant ocean liner of a mountain looming in the distance. It's not just that Sugarloaf is the largest -- and arguably, the best -- ski resort in the East, with ... more
Sugarloaf is big -- very big. Okay, it's downright huge. That's likely to be your first impression driving up through the awesome scenery of the Carrabassett Valley of Maine when you first catch a glimpse of the giant ocean liner of a mountain looming in the distance. It's not just that Sugarloaf is the largest -- and arguably, the best -- ski resort in the East, with more than 150 trails and 1,000 acres of skiable terrain. There's something that just feels larger than life about the giant hulk of a mountain commanding pride of place among some of Maine's most spectacular scenery, hours-drive from the nearest city. Sugarloaf engenders a fierce loyalty among the skiers, who proudly call themselves Sugarloafers and who return year after year to ski some of the most varied terrain in the East. Some of them have been doing it for decades.

Despite the size of the mountain itself, however, its cult following has created a tight-knit, intimate feel to the small village of restaurants and bars that nestle at its base. The staff are some of the friendliest anywhere, often on first-name basis with many of the regular skiers, and its easy for families to feel at home in a short time. Crowds are definitely kept to a minimum by the sheer distance to the resort from major cities, which tends to keep day skiers to a minimum. And because skiers come here for the skiing and boarding rather than the apres scene, there's a wholesomeness to the village that sets families with children at ease.

Make no mistake, this is the real deal -- with hardcore skiers coming from all over the world to test themselves on the Loaf's high-altitude snowfields and glades. Since its start in the 1950s, the developers created some of the most challenging terrain in the country. And it's well poised to continue that tradition well into the 21st century. Financial problems in the 1980s and 1990s led to some of the lifts and facilities showing their age; since being acquired by Boyne Resorts in 2007, however, its seen an infusion of new money that led to a replacement of its oldest lift with a state-of-the-art new quad and an ambitious 10-year plan to double the skiable terrain by 2020. The improvements have been met with enthusiasm from the mountain's faithful, who will be proud to call themselves Sugarloafers for decades to come.

Written by Michael Blanding less

Sugarloaf, ME Planning & Tips
Traveling Family with Baby

Your personal family vacation planning starts now

Get expert advice, handpicked recommendations, and tips for your family all year round!