Historic New England towns and fresh powdery snow make for the perfect setting to enjoy a quintessential winter getaway. While most places are just trying to get through the cold months, New Englanders revel in the chance to ski their favorite slopes, break out the snowshoes, and even skate across frozen ponds. If you want to experience this Norman Rockwell-ish version of winter, spend a snowy weekend in these idyllic New England towns.
1. North Conway and Jackson, New Hampshire
These two White Mountain towns are minutes from one another, and both offer unbeatable access to snowy New Hampshire adventures. While North Conway offers plenty of family-friendly activities and amenities, Jackson is a bit more quaint, offering that small-town vibe you might be looking for.
- Double Head Mountain: Jackson is home this aptly named mountain where you can discover amazing views of the Presidential Range from two peaks on a backcountry skiing, snowboarding, or hiking trip.
- Arethusa Falls via Bemis Brook Trail: About a 30-minute drive from both North Conway and Jackson, Arethusa Falls is an excellent winter adventure within Crawford Notch State Park. The 2.8-mile Bemis Brook Trail will take you up close to the tall, frozen falls, which are a popular spot for ice climbing.
2. Stowe, Vermont
From the idyllic downtown streets to the winding mountain trails, Stowe checks all of our boxes for an ideal New England winter getaway. Nestled in the shadow of Mount Mansfield, Stowe is renowned for its ski slopes, trails, and adventurer-welcoming shops, restaurants, and bars. Downtown even boasts a Ski and Snowboard museum where you can learn about the great winter adventurers of yesteryear.
- Stowe Pinnacle: At 3 miles round trip, this quick winter hike is a great way to squeeze in some fresh mountain air during your stay in Stowe. Hike or snowshoe through steep hardwood forests to enjoy astounding views of the surrounding mountain ranges and the wintry valleys below.
- Stowe Recreation Path: Get to know Stowe by traveling this 5.3-mile Greenway that stretches from downtown Stowe to the Top Notch Resort, winding across rivers, through parks, and delving into meadows and forests. In the winter, this trail is graded for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
- Stowe Mountain Resort Cross-Country Center: During your winter weekend in Stowe, dedicate an entire day to exploring the vast network of skiing and snowshoeing trails at this popular winter adventure center.
Plus, check out this Winter Adventure Itinerary for this beautiful Vermont town!
3. Rangeley, Maine
This inland Maine town is a hidden gem, especially when it comes to winter fun. Situated on Mooselookmeguntic Lake, there's no shortage of lakeside trails that are perfect for a brisk winter hike, snowshoe trek, or even a snowmobile adventure. About a one-hour drive from the popular skiing mountains of Saddleback and Sugarloaf, Rangeley is the perfect base of operations for your next New England winter getaway.
- The Bigelows and Horns Loop: Looking for an epic winter hike/snowshoe trip? Look no further than this 15-mile lasso loop that explores the beautiful mountains within Maine's Bigelow Preserve. Just north of Sugarloaf, this is a great option for those wanting to enjoy the winter mountains without skis or a lift pass.
- Table Rock Trail and Appalachian Trail Loop: About an hour and a half south of Rangeley, this 1.9-mile out-and-back hike is a great way to cap off a winter weekend. The trail becomes pretty steep, offering the chance to break out those crampons or micro spikes. At the top, enjoy sweeping views of snow-capped Grafton Notch and Old Speck, Maine's fifth-tallest peak.
Have a New England go-to destination once the snow starts falling?
Let us know in the comment section below - we'd love to hear from you!