During the winter months, the western White Mountains becomes a mecca for skiers and snowboarders looking for affordable, world-class skiing. Both Loon Mountain and Cannon Mountain are family-friendly ski resorts offering exceptional skiing, but not everyone skis or snowboards, and that’s okay. There’s plenty of winter activities for non-skiers and skiers alike in the western White Mountains. Just bundle up and enjoy!
Speed down the Hill on Snow Tubes
Who doesn’t want to relive childhood sledding memories? The best part – you don’t have to walk up the hill! Lift-serviced snow tubing is available at Loon Mountain. Ride to the chairlift to the top of the Little Sister trail and fly down nearly 1,000 feet of snow tube tracks day or night. For the little ones under age seven, there is a small walk-up Tot Tubing hill.
Fly High on the Winter Zipline
Winter is a great time to go ziplining! Alpine Adventures, New England’s original zipline company, offers winter zipline tours on two of their courses – the SkyRider Tour and the Treetop Tour. Start your tour with an off-road ride up to the top of the course and finish in the custom-built treehouse offering incredible views of the White Mountains while sipping hot cocoa. After snow tubing at Loon Mountain, fly high across the frozen Pemigewasset River on the Loon Mountain Zipline.
Break a Sweat on a Snowshoe Tour
The White Mountains are home to some of the best hiking in New England, but snow can make it challenging to access some of your favorite trails. Strap on a pair of snowshoes and hit the trails for some exercise. The Loon Mountain Adventure Center offers a variety of snowshoe tours ranging in difficulty and length from the beginner-friendly Riverbank Tour to the adventurous Lincoln Ridge Tour. Alternatively, you can rent snowshoes and hit the snowshoe trails for your own scenic tour. Alpine Adventures also offers guided backcountry snowshoe tours on their private mountain in North Woodstock, Barron Mountain.
Enjoy the Scenic Views from the Tram
You don’t need skis or a snowboard to enjoy the epic panoramic views from the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tram. The Aerial Tram is America’s first aerial tramway that takes passengers to the 4,080-foot summit in under ten minutes. From New Hampshire’s highest lift-accessed point, you can see the White Mountains, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, and Canada! Grab a cup of coffee or a beer and enjoy the views at the café and bar at the summit.
Go for Gold on the Skating Rink
Practice your triple axel, or just try not to fall on your bottom at the RiverWalk Resort ice skating rink. Open to the public, the RiverWalk Resort rink is as unique as during the summer months, it’s a swimming pool! Bring your own skates or rent a pair at the rink. The RiverWalk Resort hosts several skating shows throughout the winter, so make sure you check the calendar of events.
Bundle Up and Get Frozen at the Ice Castles
Visit Ice Castles to make all of your frozen dreams come true. Whether you visit during the day or at night when the castle is lit up, its an experience you won’t want to miss. Don’t forget the camera! The New Hampshire location also offers sleigh rides and a winter walk through an enchanted forest lined with elaborate ice sculptures. For the little ones, there will be plenty of opportunities to meet real-life princesses at Ice Castles.
Kick Back and Relax at the Spa
Maybe your favorite thing about winter is being nice and warm inside, taking some time for yourself and treating yourself. Put your feet up, grab a tea or glass or wine and enjoy some pampering and relaxation at Balanced Rock Bodyworks, Viaggio Spa or Solstice North Day Spa. Whether you want to melt away your stress with a massage or facial or get a manicure and pedicure, these Western White Mountain spas have a long list of services for you to choose from.
Hit Up Happy Hour
After a day outside enjoying the many winter activities in the western White Mountains, head to one of the many wineries and breweries in the area for a drink. Seven Birches Winery makes delicious wine inside the RiverWalk Resort. With two tasting rooms, you can sip on tasty red and white wine varieties. If you like German beer, One Love Brewery brews some authentic (and delicious!) German and European-style beer. Pair a pint with a pretzel on other yummy dishes on the pub menu. In 2022, Twin Barns Brewing Co. North Taproom joined the Main Street Woodstock community. They offer the option to BYOF (bring your own food!) to pair with their awesome beers, cider, and more. Light snacks are also available. Lastly, you can never go wrong with the Woodstock Inn Brewery, which is one of New Hampshire’s oldest and largest craft breweries in the state.
Take a Hike
Looking to slow down and take it all in? Strap on a pair of snowshoes, microspikes or crampons and head the for the trails. While expertise is needed for most winter hiking in the Western White Mountains, there are numerous short, flat, or low-elevation trails that are suitable for all to enjoy. Visit the White Mountain National Forest’s recreation page to start planning your adventure, and get ready to enjoy the forests and trails of the Western White Mountains as they seemingly melt away your stresses, step by step.
You don’t need to be a skier or snowboarder to enjoy all the incredible and fun winter activities in the western White Mountains. Come see what you’ve been missing!
For state-wide information, head to VisitNH.gov