FasterSkier will be profiling a number of ski areas this winter.
Bretton Woods Nordic Center
210 Mount Washington Hotel Road, Bretton Woods, NH 03575
Trail system hours of operation: 8:30-4pm
Ticket rates: 21$ adult day, 19$ teen (13-17), 14$ Junior (5-12) and Senior (65+), Free for Seniors 80+ and kids under 4 with an adult
*Rates are cheaper for resort guests as well as multi-day deals, special offers and a military rate
Bretton Woods Nordic Center offers all the amenities you could need for a day of skiing and more! Just a sample of what they offer:
- Rental equipment (for skiing and snowshoeing)
- Group and Private lessons for skiers of all skill levels
- A ski shop offering apparel, wax, and ski gear (including a large enticing selection of Skida hats, headbands, and buffs!)
- A bar offering coffee, snacks, and on the weekend’s sandwiches and soup!
- Tables as well as couches and comfy chairs surrounding a double-sided fireplace.
- Cubbies to store your backpack or extra clothes while skiing.
- A waxing area
- Lockers rooms which not only offer bathrooms but a changing area and showers which can be key if you have a longer drive ahead of you after skiing
- Dog friendly trails (~8km) accessible right from the Nordic Center
- A safety check-in if you are skiing solo
*The safety check-in is for anyone skiing alone. Prior to heading out on a solo ski they have a book for you to sign into with your name, cell phone number, car make, model, and state along with what time you are heading out skiing and what time you plan to be back. Then when you return from skiing you sign out, so they know you have returned. Speaking from personal experience when it turns to 4pm and your car is still in the parking lot they will call your cell phone and make sure you are okay. It was reassuring to know they were aware of who was out on the trails by themselves, a nice safety precaution.
Now to the best part! THE TRAILS! The skiing at Bretton Woods is never-ending in the best possible way. There are 100 kilometers of trails, many of them in the White Mountain National Forest and you can easily ski for several hours barely having skied on the same trail twice. The trails run along rivers, are framed by snow-covered trees, meander around glittering fields of snow, and show you beautiful views of the Presidential Mountain Range. I have been to Bretton Woods many times and skied many hours and have yet to ski all the trails offered. A ski center with that many kilometers of trails is sure to keep even the hardiest skier entertained.
One of the best parts of the Bretton Woods trail system is the variety, there are trails ranging from “Easiest” to “More Difficult” to “Most Difficult.” The trails immediately surrounding the Nordic center are trails in the Easiest category making it an ideal area if you are new to skiing or looking to head out for a more relaxing ski. (Link to large PDF trail map.)
Perimeter to Bridle Path to B&M (Easiest, More Difficult, Easiest) Approximately 4-5km loop or do an out and back! If you are looking to get swept up in all that Bretton Woods has to offer, beautiful trails, scenery, relaxing and rolling skiing this is a great option. Heading out of the Nordic Center, go across the small bridge and take a left on to Perimeter. Continue to follow Perimeter around the outside of the open field and then into the woods. Stay to the left when you come to the intersection with Bridle Path, take the Bridle Path trail and enjoy a trek along a winding river. Follow Bridle Path until it meets up with the B&M trail and take a right to follow B&M back to the Nordic center. This entire loop will be approximately 4-5km. If you are looking for a longer loop you could turn left on B&M and check out the map for several longer options that way!
Sebosis (More Difficult) (connecting to Sebosis from Porcupine Lane) A long and fun downhill (just be careful of skiers coming up!) if you connect to it from the trail Porcupine Lane (Easiest).
Dark Forest (More Difficult)– a long uphill if you start from the end closer to the Nordic center- especially good if you are looking for a place to practice uphill technique or for uphill intervals.
Jump in a race at Bretton Woods
The Nordic Center offers some great racing options if you are looking to experience the trails in a more competitive fashion. The races are well run on fun picturesque courses. The races are for any skill level, whether you are looking to race competitively or just jump into a race for fun!
The Geschmossel is a 15K classical race on Monday, January 20, 2020.
The Mt. Washington Cup is a 10K skate race on Saturday March 7, 2020.
The Bretton Woods Nordic Marathon offers two classical race options, a 21 K and a 42K.
Looking for food on the way to or from Bretton Woods?
These are my personal recommendations and offer a couple of on the go coffee and food options off of the two main routes in New Hampshire. Those are I-93 and route 16.
Close to Bretton Woods, on route 3
The Wandering Moose Coffee shop is located in Carroll, NH only seven miles from the Nordic Center. They offer coffee, smoothies, breakfast sandwiches, grab and go snacks, and sandwiches. An option if you are accessing Bretton Woods from I-93 and could also be an option if you are coming from the north or west of Bretton Woods since it is located so close to those routes.
If you are using I-93 to get to Bretton Woods and looking for a place to stop for coffee or food then check out Mad River Coffee House in Campton, NH. Located approximately 45 minutes from Bretton Woods, they offer coffee, beer, breakfast and lunch sandwiches, soups, and baked goods!
Off Route 16
If you are like me and sometimes want to turn your day or weekend going skiing into a joint shopping, eating, and coffee drinking trip Route 16 offers all three of those activities.
Route 16 on the eastern side of NH is my favorite way to get to Bretton Woods. This route brings you through North Conway, NH where there is a variety of food options and shopping. Downtown North Conway is a great area to walk around and there are numerous restaurants, coffee shops, and stores.
For coffee, I recommend Frontside Coffee Roasters in North Conway, NH. Specifically, their maple latte is delicious (Tip: ask for half the maple syrup if you don’t like it too sweet!) They also offer bagels and breakfast sandwiches.