Results Are In: Top Three Ski Destinations Near Boston

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Posted December 18, 2013 by Stephanie Rineman in Urban Living
Wachusett Mountain takes the gold for size and accessibility.

There’s just something about an approaching Olympic Games that seems to bring out the athlete in all of us—that desire to get out there and race down a mountain of our own, or land a perfect triple axel. Sliding a rock across ice? I’ll happily leave curling to the Canadians.

If it’s skiing near Boston that you’re after, you won’t have far to travel. There are quite a few mountains within driving distance of downtown that all provide the speed you need within the confines of a day trip. Here are my medal winners to experience the best skiing near Boston.

Gold Medal: Wachusett Mountain (Princeton, MA) 70 minutes door-to-door

Wachusett gets the gold not only because it’s the biggest mountain around, with a 1000-foot vertical drop, 22 trails, and 8 lifts, but also because it is the easiest for us city-folk to reach. It’s the farthest of the bunch, but the weekend “ski train” makes it very accessible. You can purchase a ticket that allows you to store all your gear in a designated “ski car” while you ride along the commuter rail from North Station to Fitchburg, from which Wachusett will shuttle you the remaining 20 minutes to the mountain. If you’re still mastering the art of staying vertical, Wachusett Mountain boasts the biggest ski school in the state, with 200 instructors. Make sure you don’t call it a day without a trip to the summit: the view of the Boston skyline to the east will remind you just how close you are to home.

The Boston skyline is visible from Wachusett's summit.

The Boston skyline is visible from Wachusett’s summit. Photo Credit: WikiMedia by user Luboš Motl

Silver Medal: Nashoba Valley Ski Area (Westford, MA) 45 minutes door-to-door

Nashoba has come a long way since opening in 1964, when rope tows were used as lifts and unusually warm temperatures meant the entire season lasted a mere 14 days. Still a family run business after 50 years, Nashoba has grown to 17 trails, 9 lifts, and now includes a terrain park for the more adventurous. The Ski Area also offers New England’s largest snow tubing park, which is open daily until 10 p.m. Try to fit in a trip in December, when the mountain is aglow for the Holiday Festival of Lights. Climb on a wagon for a ride through the forest, twinkling with more than 2 million lights, and past the Reindeer Barn, Santa’s Workshop, and Eskimo Village. Bring the family or just bring out your inner child.

Bronze Medal: Blue Hills Ski Area (Canton, MA) 25 minutes door-to-door

As the name suggests, Blue Hills is more hill than mountain, but the fact that you can make it from your driveway to the chairlift line in less time than it takes to finish a Friends rerun keeps Blue Hills as a strong contender in the winner’s circle. This is undoubtedly the closest and least expensive ski area around, and while it may not measure up to the ski resorts of Vermont and New Hampshire, it still offers a dozen trails, including three black diamonds, and the Big Blue Terrain Park. With about half of the trails illuminated for night skiing, you won’t even have to wait till the weekend to get in a few runs—Blue Hills offers the perfect getaway for skiing near Boston.

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