It’s Time to Hit the Slopes!

  • Visit North Central

When Old Man Winter makes his annual tour of Johnny Appleseed Country, all eyes turn to the region’s stately landmark: Wachusett Mountain, where bright trails of sparkling snow streak through the dark shades of evergreen foliage.

Local fields and backyards may still be clear, but when the mercury drops, the staff at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area swings into action, churning out miles and miles of the stuff that skiers’ dreams are made of. It’s snow season on the mountain, right here in Johnny’s backyard!

This national-class ski area has a rabidly loyal ski and snowboarding following from Boston, Worcester, and across southern New England — folks who recognize that you don’t have to spend half your weekend driving to get to some great winter fun. Picture it: Three high-speed chairlifts (among a total of eight lifts), 27 trails on 110 acres of varied terrain, a state-of-the-art snowmaking system and snow grooming for a consistently excellent customer experience — along with a ski and snowboard school. Oh, and don’t forget the expansive base lodge boasting three restaurants and bars, and a full-service ski shop.

Those amenities, along with a prime location accessible to big urban population centers and affordable lift tickets, make Wachusett one of the busiest ski resorts in the country by volume. Yet it’s easy to find uncrowded slopes on early mornings, weekdays and at night.

“The mountain,” as it’s affectionately known locally, puts the fun in winter for an astoundingly diverse crowd that ranges from novices and families to teenagers performing acrobatic tricks in the terrain park and as well as adult night league racers who speed down the Challenger race trail clad in colorful skintight race suits.  And yes, Wachusett really is a mountain, not a hill. At 2,006 feet, it juts handsomely on the Princeton-Westminster line over the valleys between the Pioneer Valley and Boston, with lovely views of Wachusett Lake and New Hampshire’s mighty Mount Monadnock to the north.

Independently owned and operated by the Crowley family— who also own Polar Beverages, the nation’s largest independent bottling company — Wachusett is also the largest seasonal employer in the region.

A Complete Experience

The ski area has more than 100 trained instructors recognizable in their red ski school jackets. Inexpensive learn-to-ski and ride programs cater to first-timers and experienced riders seeking to hone their skills. Beginner packages come with gear rentals and even lift passes for those who love sliding on snow right away and want to try on their own. The Polar Kids program is for 4-8-year-olds, who then graduate to the Arctic Aces for ages 9-12. Customizable group, semi-private private and group lessons are available on demand.

Beyond the ski and snowboard school, Wachusett provides more specialized programs for school groups, disabled skiers, aspiring adult racers, and youth racers and ski and snowboard freestylers.

For that youthful freestyle community – one of the most vibrant and fun segments of the snow sports industry – Wachusett’s terrain park complex is a magnet for ski and snowboarders who push the limits of on-snow creativity in a designated area set aside for them equipped with massive jumps and funky features.

With roots that date to the early 1960s with a couple of T-bar lifts, the modern history of Wachusett began in 1968 when the late Ralph Crowley and an associate won the bidding for the state lease to operate the ski area.

Today, Wachusett Mountain is a modern, professionally run ski resort that promises to stay under family control for many years into the future with the arrival of a third generation of Crowley managers on the scene and a lot more fun to come.