Insider's Guide to Loon Mountain
A skier cruises down Ripsaw, Loon's first double-black diamond trail. The town of Lincoln is visible below. (Loon Mountain)
It was 50 years ago that former New Hampshire Governor Sherman Adams founded Loon Mountain Resort, transforming Lincoln from a sleepy mill town to a year-round resort destination. This winter, they’re celebrating with special events throughout the entire season, including a special 50th Anniversary Weekend (Jan. 28-29) featuring a commemorative gala, family scavenger hunt, and revamped Briefcase Race.
Trails. Head to North Peak for the first runs of the day, with some eye-opening turns on Upper Walking Boss and Flume. Lap the Kancamangus Express Quad mid-morning, then head to South Peak when things get busy. Even on popular weekend days, you’ll often ski right on to the high-speed Lincoln Express Quad for thigh-burners on Ripsaw and Undercut.
If you find yourself at either the Octagon or Governor Adams base area and want to get to the other, hop aboard the J.E. Henry Railroad between the bases for a fun alternative to the typical resort shuttle.
Eat. On Sunday mornings, custom-build an omelet from over 20 ingredients at the omelet bar at Pemigewasset Base Camp. Drop in to Camp III at the base of the North Peak Express Quad for the jerk chicken chili at lunchtime, where you’ll find many locals enjoying the deck on a sunny day. For dinner, Gypsy Café in downtown Lincoln offers an eclectic international menu. Start with a seasonal margarita like the Prickly Pear. The Enchiladas Rojas are a sure favorite, but don’t be afraid to be adventurous and try something like the Malai Kofta.
Stay. The new Riverwalk Resort offers one, two and three bedroom suites with full kitchens and balconies that boast sensational views of the Whites. Don’t miss the year-round heated pool with ice skating. Taste locally made wines and take a tour of Seven Birches Winery, based right at the hotel.
Play. The Adventure Center is the resort's portal to cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating and indoor rock climbing. Try a guided snowshoe hike to the summit for views of Mt. Washington and the surrounding White Mountain National Forest.
Travel. Two hours’ drive from Boston right off Interstate 93 makes accessibility one of Loon’s strongest assets. If you can't find a parking spot close to a lodge, unload your gear at the five-minute turnaround areas in front of the Octagon and Governor Adams lodges. The Pemigewasset Base Camp, accessed by Cooper Memorial Drive in downtown Lincoln, does not have a rental shop or fully-developed base area, but is the place to go during busy weekends if you have your own gear and want to get up the mountain quickly.
Deals. Score significant savings when you purchase lift tickets online, prior to arrival. The earlier you buy, the better the deal.