Loon Mt. expansionNew Hampshire’s Loon Mountain plans to construct 13 new trails and add two fixed grip chairlifts as part of a ski and snowboard Learning Center expansion project at the South Peak area. The proposed new learning center would include a new snow tubing facility, two surface lifts and 21 acres of new beginner terrain and associated snowmaking. The U.S. Forest Service has already approved plans for a South Peak expansion.

“While we are very excited about the proposed expansion, a number of steps need to be taken before the project can move forward, and we are working to secure state and local planning board approvals. We do not currently have a timeline in place for the project,” Loon’s Greg Kwasnik told SnoCountry.com

“We think opening up more beginner and intermediate terrain will offer more space to learn and ease congestion over at the main mountain,” Kwasnik told us. Demand for beginner and intermediate terrain has increased steadily at Loon, with annual first-time beginner through novice ski school lessons up 19.6 percent between the 2009-10 and 2012-13 seasons.

The new learning area will provide beginners with a progression of terrain for each step of the learning process and more space for individualized instruction.

Plans also include a 6,000 square-foot base lodge that would offer a full compliment of skier services, including parking, rentals, retail and food outlets. This new base area would offer an alternate portal to the resort that would ease congestion at the main area and be accessible to all level of skiers and riders.

Loon debuted the South Peak area in 2007. Currently, no trails directly connect the South Peak trails and Pemigewasset Base Camp lodge with the main base area, so skiers and riders have to ride the lift to intermediate terrain or take a shuttle bus to the main mountain.

The South Peak area is just across the river from the 300,000 square-foot RiverWalk luxury resort that plans to open in 2016, with 170 units and a lift that takes skiers and riders from inside the hotel’s lobby to the base of South Peak.

Photos: Top -- Map of proposed trail expansion on South Peak (Loon. Mt.); Bottom -- Loon Mt. in Lincoln, N.H. will add a lodge, more trails and lifts in its learning center expansion (Loon Mt./Facebook)

Loon Mt.