Ski Bradford in Massachusetts is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. As part of a series on ski resorts, Huffington Post Travel offers our guide to Ski Bradford, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.
The BasicsLocated in Essex County, Massachusetts, at the New Hampshire border, Ski Bradford offers snowboarders and skiers 48 acres of trails and terrain. Ski Bradford is a short car, bus or train ride by commuter rail from Boston. Out-of-state guests can access the resort from two airports: Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, located in Manchester, New Hampshire, and Boston's Logan International Airport, which is only 33 miles from the ski resort. Owned by family business Sawyer Enterprises Inc., the standalone ski area has a lift capacity of 9,600 skiers per hour.
The MountainDead Hill features a vertical drop of approximately 248 feet. The regular season from December through March lasts about 110 days, and the mountain averages 7 feet of natural and man-made snow. Natural snowfalls of a foot or more treat visitors to soft powder. Management states visitors usually experience packed-powder conditions and online reviewers report good snow as well -- though they also add that it can be icy at the end of the day. The Merrimack Valley Eagle Tribune reports that Ski Bradford has five snow-grooming machines in constant in-season use.
Trails And LiftsSki Bradford offers 15 trails for skiers of all levels, including eight challenging black-diamond trails, four intermediate blue-square trails and three easy green-circle trails. Guests can also enjoy night skiing Monday through Saturday. The terrain park, considered the ski area's signature feature, offers skiers a 30-foot step down, a 35-foot single barrel, a 24-foot A-frame and several rails, including down rails and small boxes for new skiers. Extreme sports enthusiasts enjoy the mini half-pipe area with small ramps and a large kicker. Ski Bradford operates 10 lifts, including three triple chairs, three rope tows, three carpet conveyors and one T-bar.
In The NewsSki Bradford's ski team coaching staff includes former Junior Olympian Kevin Fitzgibbons. The team is serious about competing throughout the season in the Eastern Massachusetts Buddy Werner League as well as USAA and Tri-State open ski races. Local radio stations and Radio Disney make frequent visits, and family-friendly celebrities such as cartoon character SpongeBob appear to amuse fans. Local sports glitterati such as Tom Brady and his wife, model Gisele Bundchen, are also known to soak up the scenery.
CostA weekday lift ticket, good from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., costs $33 to access all lifts, whereas a Learning Area-only ticket is offered at a discounted rate. Regular skiers and boarders may purchase season passes, starting at $320. Group or private lessons are also available. A weekday lesson package, which includes a one-hour lesson, rentals and a lift ticket, costs $65 per person. Rent skis, boots and poles or snowboards and boots for $35 a day or $30 per half-day or nights. Rentals for juniors with boot size 3 or smaller are $25 a day or $20 for a half-day. However, helmets are not included and cost an extra $8 for a full day.
Apres-SkiSki Bradford fans recommend the hill for its small-town feel and its family-friendly New England flavor. Apres-ski, guests visit local eateries like Bistro-45 for casual dining or Olivia's for award-winning Italian cuisine and martinis. Visitors may also take a stroll down Haverhill's main street to visit quaint shops and boutiques. For luxury shopping, a trip to Boston on the MBTA commuter rail is also an option. For those who didn't get enough of a workout on the slopes, the Cedardale Health Club in Haverhill offers a complimentary three-day gym pass.
WATCH: Ski Bradford
Ski Bradford guests enjoy a winter visit from SpongeBob SquarePants.