Shawnee Peak: A Huffington Post Travel Ski Resort Guide
The Huffington Post
| By Lesley Henton
Shawnee Peak in Maine is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. As part of a series on ski resorts, Huffington Post Travel offers our guide to Shawnee Peak, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.
Located in southwest Maine, Shawnee Peak is less than an hour's drive from Portland, 2 1/2 hours from Boston and 20 minutes from North Conway, New Hampshire. Shawnee Peak offers the most night skiing in New England, with 19 lit trails open six nights a week. The resort's freestyle terrain park features rail slides, kickers and walls -- all lit for nighttime action. The nearest airport is Portland International Jetport, but Manchester International in New Hampshire and Boston's Logan International are also nearby. From Boston, the Downeaster train takes visitors round-trip to Portland.
Shawnee Peak's elevation is 1,900 feet, with a vertical drop of 1,300 feet and 249 acres for skiing and snowboarding. The mountain receives 90 to 110 inches of snow annually, plus the resort boasts a state-of-the-art snowmaking system and afternoon grooming that provide good conditions day and night. Ski season begins in mid-December and runs through late March; night skiing is from late December to mid-March. Shawnee Peak is neither too big nor too small, falling somewhere between the overwhelming vastness of some resorts and small ski hills, according to SkiResortGuide.com.
Trails And Lifts
Skiers of all abilities will find the right run among Shawnee Peak's 40 day trails, 19 night trails and four glade trails. New skiers can practice on one of the resort's seven beginner trails, while more advanced visitors can ski 23 intermediate and 14 advanced trails. The resort's five chairlifts, including one quad, two triples, one double and a surface carpet lift, can take 7,200 skiers up the mountain each hour. Shawnee Peak's terrain parks -- Grommet Garden for beginners and Main Terrain Park for experienced freestylers -- are lit up at night; features such as kickers, rails and spines are always changing.
In The News
Catering to families is important at Shawnee Peak and the resort plays host to the Shawnee Peak race team for kids ages 6 to 18. This USSA-affiliated program allows youngsters the opportunity to compete on elite levels at FIS, USSA and other events. Each year, families compete in the Mountain Dew Vertical Challenge, the largest family ski-racing event in the country with races for all levels. And for beginners or experienced skiers looking to improve, the resort's Snowsports School has certified instructors who teach a variety of lessons for all levels and age groups.
During the week, a full day is $41 for adults and $33 for juniors ages 6 to 12, while night skiing ranges from $13 to $30, depending on the day of the week. On weekends, full-day lift tickets cost $59 for adults and $46 for juniors. Kids 5 and younger ski free every day and on weekends and holidays. Multiday tickets are $95 for adults and $82 for juniors on two-day weekends and nonholidays, and $105 for adults and $82 for juniors skiing two days during a holiday. Skiers can save with corporate and group rates, along with daily specials such as Ladies' Day on Fridays with discounts on lift tickets, equipment rentals and lunch for female skiers. Shawnee Peak rents Burton equipment for skiing and snowboarding, with prices ranging from $10 to $35 per day; discounts accompany multiday rentals.
Hungry skiers can choose from one of three Shawnee Peak eateries. The family-friendly Base Lodge Cafe boasts standards like burgers, pizza and fried fish. Blizzard's Pub stays open late with food, live entertainment and a full bar. The East Lodge Cafe offers quick snacks, sodas and coffee. Other resort amenities include the Peak-A-Boo Daycare, a fully licensed facility for children ages 3 months to 6 years. And in between trips down the slopes, couples can tie the knot at Shawnee Peak with several wedding options for the ceremony, reception, catering and honeymoon room.
WATCH: Shawnee Peak
Freestylers show off some tricks at Shawnee Peak's terrain park.