The BASICS • 4,237ft. Summit Elevation • 220 inches annual snowfall • 1,400 Skiable acres • 54 miles of Skiable trails • 138 trials • Three terrain parks • 15 chair lifts • 25% Green Ciricle • 32% Blue Square • 28% Black Diamond • 15% double black Diamond • 13% glades
With almost 50% of the trails categorized as black diamond or double black diamond, Sugarloaf Resort is legendary for steep, icy, and relentless terrain. Multiple trails, affectionately called “Wild Things”, are intentionally never groomed in order to live up to their name and maintain the level of brutal New England skiing you may have heard about. According to some, the un-groomed trails are home to some of the best bumps on the mountain, and the best glades of the East. If you are one of the experts looking to face this challenge, try your hand at Stump Shot, Blade Glade, Can’t Hook Glade, and Kurf - four of Sugarloaf’s notorious triple black diamonds.
Regardless of skill level, all skiers can appreciate the long and narrow trails prevalent throughout the mountain. It definitely provides for an authentic skiing experience…especially as narrow trails are becoming more difficult to find and enjoy. Go to Spillway and Central where you will find a host of single, double, and triple black diamonds. Along with the triple black diamonds, other challenging runs include Winter’s Way (offering up steep and generally soft bumps), and Gondi line (one of the steepest runs on the mountain).
But not to fret, there is a place for every level skier. Overall, roughly 60% of the terrain is groomed and the other 40% left untamed for the mogul aficionados. For mostly intermediate skiers, I would suggest staying on trails like Lower Gondi Line, Upper Tote Road, Pick Pole, and Sluice.
Sugarloaf offers the only lift-accessed above-tree-line skiing in the East, and it’s fierce, windy, and nestled into a part of Maine that very few people go. Vacationers, strong-hearted locals, and curious winter sport fanatics make up the bulk of visitors that venture to the mountain. Nearby Carrabassett Valley Academy, a private school whose ski team practices at Sugarloaf, was the training ground of many professional snowboarders, skiers, and Olympians - including Corey Vanular, Banks Gilberti, Matt Philippi, and David DiGravio.
Similar to many New England ski towns, the locals are passionate about the town and the sport that binds them together. This love for sliding on snow is the driving force behind the friendly community, and they encourage anyone who spends time in the area to live there for a season (or more).
In regards to life off of the mountain, there are several restaurants that stand out. For charming and historic visit The Herbert Hotel for four-star dining, Julia’s Restaurant offers luxurious fireside dining in a Georgian Mansion, and the Widowmaker Lounge is the place to be for après ski entertainment (a favorite amongst locals). Because the town is tucked away, there isn’t a bustling shopping scene, but there is a plethora of lodging options to fit any budget or taste.
*all photos courtesy of Sugarloaf
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Option 1: Take I-95 North to Augusta, Exit 112B (formerly 31B) - Follow Route 27 North through Farmington and Kingfield, straight to Sugarloaf.
Option 2: Take the Maine Turnpike (I-95) to Auburn, Exit 75 (formerly 12) - Follow Route 4 North through Farmington - Get on Route 27 North through Kingfield, straight to Sugarloaf.
From the west (Montreal):
Head east to Sherbrooke to the end of Route 10. Take 112 east to Route 253 south to Cookshire. Take a left onto Route 108 to Route 212 east through La Patrie to Woburn. Take Route 161 south to the U.S. border. Sugarloaf is approximately 58 kilometers south on Route 27.
From Vermont & Western Massachusetts:
Head north on I-91. Take Route U.S. 302 east to I-93 south (for four miles) to Route U.S. 302 east again. Turn north onto Route U.S. 3. At Route 115 junction head east to Route U.S. 2 east. At Route 4 head north to Route 27. Continue north on Route 27 to Sugarloaf.
From the East-Calais & Maritimes, Bangor:
From Calais take Route 9 west to I-395 west to Bangor, to exit 1A onto I-95 south to Exit 157 (formerly 39) at Newport, then Route 2 west to Skowhegan. Get on Route 201 north to Route 148 west through Madison, turn right just after bridge and take Route 201A north to Anson. Then North to North Anson. Take a left onto Route 16 west to North New Portland then take a left continuing onto Route 16 west to Kingfield, then cross the bridge and turn right onto Route 27 north to Sugarloaf.
From Madison/Skowhegan (DETOUR):
There is bridge work being done in the town of New Portland. Travelers from the Madison/Skowhegan area are encouraged to follow the following route:
Take ME-8 / ME-201 north from Madison. In North Anson, take a left at Elm St / ME-16. Go 5.6 miles then take a left on Katie Crotch Rd prior to New Portland to avoid the construction. Merge onto ME-146. Finally, go north on ME-27 18 miles to the Sugarloaf entrance.