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  Spend the weekend at Sunday River's South Ridge
 
Spend the weekend at Sunday River's South Ridge
 

What to Bring

Waterproof jacket, snow pants,
waterproof gloves, glove straps for
kids
  Helmet (strongly
recommended for all ages)
Snow sports
equipment (or rent onsite)
  Goggles or
sunglasses with strap
Wool or sport
socks
  Lip balm
Sun lotion   Painkiller
 

Specs

  Directions
 
This route includes toll sections: you will need $2.00 when crossing the NH border, and $1.50 through Maine
From Boston: Take Route 1 north for 10-13 miles
Merge onto Route 95 north
Continue on Route 95 through NH and Maine for 100 miles.
Take exit 63, which is marked for Gray
(This used to be exit 11, but now that the
turnpike construction is finished, it has been renumbered)
Use Rte 202/ME 4 to get to route 26
Follow this two-lane road for 25 miles to
Paris; watch the signs so that you remain on rte 26 when going through towns
After Paris, you will travel another 20 miles to Bethel
Just before entering Bethel, turn right on
route 2 and following the signs to the
Sunday River resort; you will take a left just before the Sunday River Brewing Company
After passing the Sunday River X-C ski
center on your left, you will be headingup the access road to South Ridge, and the
lodging located at the base
  Good to know in advance
 
To book packages, reserve children
lessons or get snow and weather
information: www.sundayriver.com or call 207-824-3000

Parking at the base area can be difficult,
unless you have a parking space included with your onsite accommodations. If you
are driving up to the resort from a house or condo off the property, plan to arrive early so that you don't end up parking half-way down the access road

If your condo includes a kitchen: bring food from home or stop in Oxford, Maine at
Hannaford's market just across from Wal-
Mart (open until 10 pm) or at the IGA in
Bethel (15 min drive down from the resort)
Portland, Maine (about halfway to the
resort) is a possible roadside stop, or, once you leave the turnpike, you will meander
through a series of towns with restaurants and gas stations here and there
Do not speed on route 26, since the route is closely monitored by patrols
  Etiquette
 
Obey all postings and follow the code listed on the Sunday River trail map
 
   

ID Card

Overall rating: Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating
Difficulty: 3/5
  Time from Boston: 3 hours
  Duration: Weekend/ Overnight
  Cost:

$47 (junior) to $67 (adult holiday) per lift ticket

  Main activity:

Alpine Skiing

 
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From the South Ridge at the Sunday River winter sports resort near Bethel, Maine, your family or weekend social group can carve the snow on eight snow-covered peaks with trails for all levels, tubing parks, cross-country ski trails, dining and lodging.

The Sunday River resort area is one of eight properties across the country owned by American Skiing Company. The resort area consists of a series of eight peaks, each with its own character, linked together by a network of 131 trails and 13 lifts. The resort has a 2,340 foot drop, one of the largest in New England. With terrain spread evenly between trails for "experts", "advanced", "intermediates" and "novices", this provides a good range for groups that include boarders and skiers at all levels. Sunday River is friendly to both skiers and riders, and a serious commitment to snowmaking makes this a very reliable New England destination throughout the winter.

This resort is popular with families, who take advantage of an excellent children's lessons program. Probably as a result, the resort has a family culture with limited nightlife. Some bars such as White Cap and the Great Grizzly offer music and entertainment on the weekends, but it seems that Sunday River visitors return to their condos to cook meals and hunker down for the evening with board games..

Single day lift ticket prices for the 2006-2007 season are as follows:
$67 for an adult ticket (19+)
$59 for young adults (13-18)
$47 for Juniors (6-12) and Seniors (65+)
Free for kids under 5
Sunday River offers discounted rates for the "value season": Jan 2-12; Jan 16-Feb 16. You can get a 10% discount if you buy multi-day tickets online at least 4 days in advance

During the Winter break, Martin Luther King weekend and President's week, crowds really pick up, especially over the February break, since Sunday River attracts so many families during the kids' school vacations. For a weekend visit, you are better off financially and crowd-wise to avoid these busy periods.

The base lodge at South Ridge has a full range of amenities, including restaurants, lodging, equipment rental, and lockers. The resort operates its main lesson program here, with programs for children and adults. There is a busy cafeteria and a coffee shop. For sit-down dining, the Foggy Goggle pub on the top floor has an assortment of casual dining options and a great view of the slopes. Service here can be slow, but it's worth the wait to avoid cafeteria lines and find a table that isn't already staked out with duffle bags left by day-trippers.

To find relief from base crowds, head up-mountain to the cafeteria at the North Peak lodge, or drive or ski west to White Cap, to the Grand Summit hotel, or to the Barker Mountain Base Lodge which has a brew pub. If you cross all the peaks to the east over to the Jordan Bowl, you can dine mid-mountain in the Sliders restaurant in the Jordan Hotel. The trip down- slopes and up lifts can take a while. Watch out that you can make it back before lifts start shutting down in the late afternoon.

If you want to keep expenses down, one suggestion is to pack up the entire weekend's supplies for hearty breakfasts and dinners in large plastic tubs. This way, one person takes turns cooking at the end of the day while the rest of the crew runs off to the hot tub and pool, or just vegetates by the fire.

The resort offers ticket/lodging packages from condos to full-service hotels: call the resort at 800-543-2SKI or check their site at: www.sundayriver.com. Packages start at around $55 per person per night. If you feel adventuresome, you can find lodging accommodations on several websites where owners of ski houses or timeshares offer them for rent: try www.craigslist.org, www.redweek.com or www.tug2.net.

 
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