It’s a fact that people love to ski and snowboard. While getting face shots on a remote Alaskan spine might be a thrilling goal, folks everywhere have fun on snow. Lots of high altitude resorts with huge amounts of skiable acreage get recognition, but what about the little guys?
Here are the 9 lowest ski areas in North America:
9. Powder Ridge Park, Connecticut
With its base area at 170 feet above sea level and its summit at 720 feet, Powder Ridge Park, CT is the 9th lowest ski area in North America. Powder Ridge Park offers 80 acres of skiable terrain, 40 of which are also available for night skiing. This ski area has 19 runs but boasts four terrain parks. Powder Ridge Park also offers terrain-based teaching, which means that their beginner areas have been sculpted to enhance the learning experience.
8. Camden Snow Bowl, Maine
The base of Camden Snow Bowl is located at 150 feet above sea level, while its summit sits at 1080 feet. Camden Snow Bowl has an 850-foot vertical drop; the second largest vertical drop among the 9 lowest ski areas in North America. Camden Snow Bowl has 26 runs, 60% of which are black diamonds, and only has 9% beginner terrain. It is also the only resort on the east coast with ocean views. Camden Snow Bowl also has the only remaining gravity-operated toboggan chute. The chute is 400 feet long and sends riders sliding across a frozen pond at the bottom.
7. Alpine Valley Ski Area, Michigan
Alpine Valley’s base is at 126 feet, and its summit sits at 500 feet. Alpine Valley has 100 acres of skiable terrain, and all 100 of those acres are available for night skiing. Alpine Valley has eight chairlifts and six surface lifts.
6. Le Massif, Quebec
Le Massif, Quebec has the most vertical drop of any ski area on this list. Le Massif’s base is located at 118 feet above sea level, while its summit sits at a lofty 2644 feet. In fact, Le Massif boasts the highest vertical in Canada east of the Canadian Rockies. Le Massif has 406 skiable acres. Its longest trail is a thigh-burning 3.17 miles. Interestingly, the developer of Le Massif is also the co-owner of Cirque du Soleil.
5. Mount Southington Ski Area, Connecticut
Formerly a dairy farm, Mount Southington’s base area is 100 feet above sea level, while its summit can be found at 525 feet above sea level. With 51 acres of skiable terrain, all of which are available for night skiing, Mount Southington has four chairlifts and three surface lifts. The ski area repurposed the dairy farm’s original buildings for the resort. The farm’s barn is now a rental shop and eatery, while lift tickets are sold out of the farmhouse.
4. New Hermon Mountain, Maine
The base area of New Hermon Mountain in Maine is 100 feet above sea level, while its summit is at 450 feet. New Hermon Mountain has one chairlift and two surface lifts. It has 70 acres of skiable terrain and also has the ability to make artificial snow on all 70 of those acres. However, New Hermon Mountain only has night skiing available on 45 acres. New Hermon Mountain also offers lift-serviced inner tubing.
3. Spring Mountain Ski Area, Pennsylvania
Spring Mountain Ski Area is the third-lowest ski area in North America, with a base area at 78 feet of elevation and a summit at 528 feet. Spring Mountain has four chairlifts and two surface lifts that service 45 acres of skiable terrain. They have snowmaking and night skiing available on all 45 acres. Interestingly, Spring Mountain’s bar is named Buckman Tavern after the original Buckman Tavern in Lexington Common, Massachusetts. The original Buckman Tavern is historically notable because it is the location where the first shot in the Revolutionary War was fired.
2. Yawgoo Valley, Rhode Island
Yawgoo Valley’s base area is at 70 feet of elevation, while its summit is at 315 feet. Yawgoo Valley is Rhode Island’s only ski and snowboard destination; however, Yawgoo Valley also offers eight runs for inner tubing, as well as a water park for summertime. Yawgoo Valley has two chairlifts and two surface lifts that access 30 acres of skiable terrain.
1. Camp Fortune, Quebec
Camp Fortune, Quebec holds the dubious honor of being the lowest altitude ski area of the 9 lowest ski areas in North America. Camp Fortune’s base area sits at a mere 23 feet above sea level, while its summit is at a lofty 650 feet. Camp Fortune has five chairlifts, three surface lifts, and 95 skiable acres. What Camp Fortune lacks in stature it has in history. Camp Fortune is one of the longest operating ski areas in North America as it has been open since 1910, though it did close briefly from 1915-1919 due to WWI.
From Powder Ridge Park, Connecticut, base area 170 feet, to Camp Fortune, Quebec, base area 23 feet, there are many lesser-known resorts at low altitudes all over North America. As human-driven climate change continues to affect winters, it is worth visiting these resorts before they no longer receive snow or weather cold enough to make artificial snow.