There’s a feeling I always get when our family starts out on a road trip. It’s a mix of excitement and peace as I leave all my worries behind. We left the highway after driving to Bangor, Maine. After about a half hour we were well into the countryside and started following winding rivers deeper and deeper into the woods. It was such a peaceful drive and so beautiful with a perfectly clear blue sky and a snow covered icy river shining through the trees.
As we got closer to the ski hill the mountains suddenly appeared, so much bigger than I thought they would be! This is when we started to get really excited and if I’m honest a little nervous! Even though Trevor and I both are skilled skiers and snowboarders, we hadn’t been on the hill in at least 4 years and I wouldn’t really call us a skiing family. It’s something I have felt pretty guilty about actually…did we leave it too long? Should we have gotten our kids out on the hill when they were much smaller or would they still enjoy it, beginning as teens? We took them skiing once at Crabbe Mountain and they loved it but we we hadn’t gone back to the hill since then!
We drove up the mountain to the Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel and checked in to a HUGE HOTEL ROOM. It had so much open space and was perfect for a family with teens. The hotel gives you a locker for your ski gear right outdoors because it’s slope-side so you can start skiing just a few hundred feet from the back door!
The hotel room had two queen size beds, a double pull out couch that was actually very comfortable, a bathroom, a small kitchen stocked with plates, utensils etc and it even had a curtain so you could divide the bedroom from the couch and kitchen for privacy.
TIP: Ask for a room on the 5th floor. We had have huge cathedral like ceilings and window seats!
The first thing we did at the resort was have dinner in the hotel restaurant 45 North.
We were lucky to be there on a Monday night because it was really quiet at the resort and they told us it was very busy on the weekend. We had AMAZING service of course because it was so quiet! We enjoyed some beet salads and burgers.
There is so much to do at Sugarloaf Mountain we had to split up as a family on our first night there. Trevor headed to the Anti-Gravity Complex to test out the largest indoor skate park in Maine (check out the YouTube video to see some footage) and the girls and I headed to the Sports & Fitness Center to enjoy the sauna, steam room, pool and indoor and outdoor hot tubs! It was so cold out there was ice on the walkway and railings of the hot tub but it was heavenly when you got in and were surrounded by steamy air. We went back to the hotel and had a great night’s sleep.
The next morning we woke up to an incredible view of the ski hill. After a quick in-room breakfast of croissant egg sandwiches (thanks hunny), we walked across the path to the Ski Lodge and got outfitted in our rental gear. The guys there were incredibly helpful and really knew exactly what to give us for equipment. They even asked if I liked shorter skis where I hadn’t been skiing in a while and I forgot that I’d always LOVED shorter skis. Honestly, them setting us up with the right gear absolutely MADE US HAVE THE BEST POSSIBLE SKI EXPERIENCE ever. I don’t think the kids would have done as well as they did if their skis and snowboard were too long and hard to learn how to turn.
We decided not to do lessons since we were short on time and Trevor and I have enough experience to give the girls a quick lesson.
TRUST ME…SIGN YOUR KIDS UP FOR A SKI LESSON!
We did ok, but they really learn better from anyone besides their parents! After about a half hour we took them down the hill and rode up one of the 13 chair lifts. YES YOU HEARD THAT RIGHT…they have 13 chair lifts. I mean this mountain is 4,237 feet high!! The kids did amazing and decided they wanted to go to the hot tub at the hotel so it was time for Trevor and I to take off on our own.
We had a blast! We rode a few more lifts to about the middle of the hill (nope didn’t make it to the top) and passed in our gear so I could join the girls for a quick dip in the outdoor 30 PERSON HOT TUB at the hotel before checking out and heading home.
WE CAN’T WAIT TO COME BACK TO SUGARLOAF AND STAY FOR A WHOLE WEEK IN A CHALET!
We loved so much about the mountain: the fact that it’s only a 4.5 hour drive from my dad’s house in New Brunswick, the perfect easy runs for families, the hot tubs and skate park, the food truck alley, and the huge chalets and hotel rooms. It’s just perfect for a family with teens to feel safe exploring and having fun outdoors and we know we’ll be back some day!
Disclosure: I was given a hotel room and lift tickets from Sugarloaf Mountain in order to write this article, however all opinions in this article are my own.