Winter at the Makusues

Skiing/Snowboarding

member3The Makusue ski club was founded with just that in mind… skiing! We have the same passion that the founders did and come to ski or ride every weekend that the snow is around. Here are some of our favorite skiing locations.

  • Cranmore – (5 minutes) – The closest mountain, just two miles away. This small mountain has an old New England feel to it with narrow winding trails. When the snow falls, exploring the trees on this mountain really makes the day great.
  • Attitash – (20 minutes) – Always strong with the snow blowing, Attitash will get full coverage as soon as the temps drop down. Well groomed for fast skiing, Attitash is a favorite with many of our members holding a pass to the mountain. It is also a perfect place to bring that first time friend because of their large beginner area. Leave them with the lesson and meet them on your way down.
  • Wildcat – (35 minutes) – With Mount Washington as its neighbor, the Kitty gets a lot of unpredictable weather. If you enjoy ungroomed challenging terrain, this is your mountain. This is also a Makusue favorite and many hold the pass to this mountain.
  • Black Mountain – (35 minutes) – This bit of history is like taking a trip back in time. You really will be at an Old New England Mountain. This is a great spot for first timers or a quick Sunday ride before heading home.
  • Bretton Woods – (45 minutes) – On the other side of the valley sits the largest NH ski area. EICSL holds at least one race at this mountain each year and the members enjoy some great tree skiing, snow making, natural snowfall from Mt. Washington and a generally great resort.
  • Sunday River – (1 hour) – Not far over the boarder, you can take the trip to Maine and enjoy the variety that Sunday River can offer.
    Shawnee Peak – (45 minutes) – This mountain typically hosts one of our EICSL races and has some fun fast trails. Great to bring the kids or first time skiers to.
  • Cannon – (1 hour) – Similar to wildcat in unpredictable weather, this mountain offers challenge and speed and, of course, the five fingers of death. If you enjoy a more back country feel, you can hike to the extended ungroomed area of Mittersill and take the lift back up.
  • Loon- (1 hour) – A great Sunday can start with a drive across the Kangamangus to hit Loon on the way home. A sprawling mountain with plenty of variety, it will hold the interest of any skier. They also have a great beginner lift serviced area.

Cross-Country Skiing

If you are up to a more aerobic challenge of cross-country skiing there is no lack of trails in the valley. Many of the large resorts have XC trails as well, but a few areas specialize and even blow snow on their trails.

  • Whitaker Woods – (10 minutes walking) – Just down the road from our lodge, Whitaker woods has groomed trails for XC. Our lodge holds a few free passes, which any member and guest can use for the day.
  • Jackson Cross Country – (25 Minutes) – This area has a large network of trails that wind through the countryside.
  • Bretton Woods – (45 minutes) – Behind the grand Mount Washington Hotel is a beautiful set of trails that you could spend days in.
  • Great Glen Trails – (25 minutes) – A great network along the Saco River, you will have some wonderful views as you work your way around these trails.

Winter Hiking and Snowshoeing

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In the heart of the presidentials you can find hundreds of trails for any level hiker, or snowshoer. Most trails remain open through the winter with only a few select trails closed for preservation. The more popular trails will only require a good pair of micro spikes, but if you choose to explore the path less traveled, pack a pair of snowshoes and crampons.

  • Kearsarge North – (2 minutes) – Just a stroll down our street, Mount Kearsarge offers a nice challenging 5 mile hike almost straight up. At the top, enjoy an old fire tower and wonderful views.
  • Black Cap – (5 minutes) – The road to this trail head is closed for the winter, so a short 2 mile hike becomes a full day trek with snowshoes. The trail is widened for snowmobiles and can be ridden down on skis or snowboard.
  • Tuckerman’s Ravine – (35 minutes) – A traditional hike towards the end of the season, but good any time a fresh snow falls. Take the 3 mile hike up to the ravine, ski it if the rangers give the ok, or head right back down the Sherburne trail.
  • Any AMC trail – There are simply too many trails to list, but AMC does a wonderful job of maintaining and posting trail safety and conditions. Do your research before a hike and enjoy a safe trip.
  • Cross Country Trails – All of our local XC networks allow snowshoers to use the trails respectfully.