That special time of year – fall – is beginning to pop its annual display of colors and a getaway to many of New England’s ski resorts will make family memories “picture perfect.”
Every little town along virtually any route in New York’s Adirondacks, the mountains of Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, or Massachusetts is loaded with farm stands, mini-festivals, old inns, and chain motels. But, since we’re all skiers and riders, why not get in the mood for winter by taking your family’s fall getaway to a ski resort?
Here’s why: Many resorts offer scenic chairlift or gondola rides to the summit. The views are always expansive and, when fall foliage reaches its rolling peak, downright spectacular. Consider spending a few days.
“Stratton is a great bet for fall foliage viewing at its peak,” Myra Foster told SnoCountry.com. “In addition to the music and festivals that make fall special at Stratton, you’ll want to board the gondola for a ride to the summit of southern Vermont’s highest peak. The views stretch clear across four states. You’ll see the Adirondack, Berkshire, White and Green mountains in a blaze of color.”
Stratton’s gondola ride costs $15 for adults, $8 for juniors and seniors, and kids under 7 are free with a paying adult. There’s also a $40 family rate. Rides are available every day through Columbus Day, Oct. 8. There’s also hiking, golf, paintball, and ATV tours. Fall foliage package, including gondola rides, start as low as $70 per person. Call 1-800-787-2886 to book.
Mount Snow is a short drive away from Stratton and 3,600-foot summit views pick up four states. Summit Chairlift rides are operated every weekend through Oct. 8, and weekdays through Oct. 5 when foliage is expected to peak. Cost is $10 round trip, $5 for children under 12 and seniors; kids five and under are free.
Foliage viewing comes first in northern Vermont so Stowe is a great place to start. The round-trip Gondola SkyRide is $25 for adults; $17 for kids 6-12. Family (2 adults, 2 children is $76. One-way rides also are available. The gondola goes up almost to the peak of Vermont’s highest mountain. That’s the access to hiking trails.
New York’s Adirondacks have long been a favorite for leaf-peepers. Whiteface Mountain, three miles from the Olympic Village of Lake Placid, offers scenic rides on its Cloudsplitter Gondola Sky Ride Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through Oct. 8. Prices are $19 for adults, $13 for juniors (7-12) and seniors. There’s plenty to do in Lake Placid for your fall getaway.
“Autumn is always such an exciting time for this region and the Adirondacks,” Ted Blazer, President/CEO of the Olympic Regional Development Authority told SnoCountry.com. “It signifies the transition from the warm summer months to the upcoming cooler months of what else, but ski season of course! Lake Placid, Wilmington and Whiteface are famous for their intense fall colors, which include brilliant red, orange and yellow color palettes. These colors provide spectacular memories and the anticipation of the winter season ahead.”
Meanwhile, a bit farther south, you can follow the foliage to Gore Mountain in North Creek where the Northwoods Gondola operates every weekend through Oct. 8. The rides provide access to two self-guided interpretive hikes, too. Rides are $17 for adults, $10 for juniors (ages 7-12) and seniors (71+). Kids 6 and under are free.
Moving over to New Hampshire, head to Cannon Mt., in Franconia and catch the colors from the Aerial Tramway as it rises to the 4,180-foot summit. Get views of the mountains of New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Canada, and even New York. Rides are offered daily through Oct. 14, weather permitting. Costs are $15 for ages 13 and up, $12 for children 6-12, kids 5 and under are free.
Wildcat Mountain in Jackson, N.H., means gondola rides weekends through Oct. 14. Rides are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, and $10 for children 6-12; kids 5 and under are free. There’s a picnic lunch deal available, including chairlift rides, for a family of four at $64.95.
Maine’s Sunday River, near Bethel, offers scenic rides on its Chondola lift to the top of North Peak with its views of the Mahoosuc Mountains and across the Sunday River Valley. Rides are available through Oct. 8. Prices are $12 for age 13 and older, $8 for kids 6-12, free for under 5 and over 80. Discounts are available for resort passholders.
There are plenty of fall foliage packages available at all resorts in the region. Check out the deals at SnoCountry Vacations. Choose a resort at the top of the page and click “go.”