Atlantic Canada boasts plenty of amazing opportunities for downhill skiing. Beautiful hardwood forests, minimal wait-time at the lifts, uncongested trails, sea views and of course, great maritime hospitality are all great reasons to visit ski hills on the East Coast. This year, Atlantic Canada expects more winter adventure visitors than ever, especially from our American neighbours who can take advantage of a strong US dollar.
Here’s our list of the best downhill skiing along The East Coast’s “Appalachian Powder Trail”.
Poley Mountain is located 10 km outside of Sussex, New Brunswick. It has a vertical drop of 660 ft., 32 trails and 5 lifts including a quad chair and a triple chair. Tragically, their iconic main lodge burnt to the ground in 2014, but they have rebuilt. Their stunning new lodge and restaurant, The Slopeside Bar and Grill is open to skiers and non-skiers.
Located 45 minutes north of Fredericton, Crabbe Mountain began its life in 1952 with a trail called The Tippy Canoe. Now it boasts 27 trails and glades, an 853 vertical feet high drop and 3 lifts. For refreshments, there is a cafeteria. Their lounge, The Thirsty Boot is open on weekends for après-ski entertainment.
Near Edmunston, the drop at Mont Farlangne is 600 ft vertical feet with 5 lifts and 22 trails. One of the most attractive things for visitors is the wide choice of nearby hotels and lodges that offer ski packages. For an après-ski drink, head to the Avalanche Bar.
Sugarloaf Provincial Park
At 507 vertical feet, Sugarloaf Provincial Park is not to be confused with the East coast mecca that is Sugarloaf, Maine. Sugarloaf, New Brunswick has 12 downhill ski trails, and four lifts, including double chair lift. In addition, the park offers groomed cross-country ski trails, snowmobile trails, snowshoeing, tobogganing, tubing and ice skating.
Marble Mountain Ski Resort
Marble Mountain is a premier ski resort in the Humber Valley boasting a 1,700-foot vertical drop with 37 runs, 5 lifts, and an average snowfall of 16 feet. At its peak, it’s higher than any other ski area in Atlantic Canada, and the only resort to offer hillside accommodations, at Marble Villa, with also plenty of other chalets and hotels available locally. For families, Marble has a great child care centre and ski school. For après-ski, warm up with great food and live music inside the beautiful post-and-beam lodge described by Powder Magazine as “the most beautiful lodge in the world”. This isn’t just a ski hill, it’s a destination.
Smokey Mountain Ski Club
Smokey Mountain Ski Club isn’t actually part of the Appalachians, but located in the Wapusakatta Mountains, 5 kilometres from Labrador City. Smokey Mountain Ski Club offers 19 groomed runs, on a 1000 ft vertical drop. Located in Labrador City, Smokey has 100% natural snow, and offers the longest ski season in Atlantic Canada – early December to late April.
White Hills is only two hours drive from St. John’s, with a vertical drop of 750 feet, a quad lift and a magic carpet. offering great winter fun for the beginner to intermediate skier, White Hills also some exciting ungroomed, unsupervised glade trails for the expert skier who likes to take risks.
A short drive from Halifax, Ski Martock is a great place for kids who are learning to ski. At 600 feet high, Martock has seven trails including a terrain park and half pipe, 1 quad chairlift, two T-bar lifts and two rope tows.
At 815 vertical feet high, Ski Wentworth has 20 alpine trails, a 1/2 Pipe and a terrain park. To get up: a quad chair lift, a T-bar & the new Magic Carpet. After skiing, enjoy a warm fireside drink at Ducky’s bar.
Cape Smokey is Nova Scotia’s best kept winter secret. Resurrected in 2011 by volunteers after being closed for 5 years, Cape Smokey is a kept open through the enthusiasm and hard work of the community. With 1000 ft elevation and stunning ocean views, Cape Smokey offers 16 alpine runs, 2 lifts, and two lodges, and, judging by their Facebook photos- a whole lot of wonderful winter family fun.
Also located on beautiful Cape Breton Island near Sydney, Nova Scotia, Ski Ben Eoin offers 33 acres of trails at 502 vertical feet, plus snowshoeing and nordic skiing, with fantastically affordable rates.
Prince Edward Island
Brookvale Provincial Ski Park
Small is beautiful! Brookvale Winter Activity Park, located in the central part of Queens County, has lots of fun activities for winter enthusiasts of all ages, including skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. Their ski hill has a 250-foot vertical drop and 9 alpine trails serviced by a quad chair and a Magic Carpet Lift.
Have you had an amazing family experience at one of the amazing ski hills in Eastern Canada? Are there any features of your favourite ski hill that we forgot to mention? Tell us in the comments!