Logo   Why I Like Sunday River Ski Resort
It's big but well-run. You can escape the crowds. Nearby Bethel adds real Maine life to your visit.



South Ridge Lodge is the epicenter of activity at Sunday River Ski Resort, where most people check in, buy their lift tickets and rent their skis.

Get away from South Ridge Lodge, and you largely escape the crowds.

Here's my favorite start-the-day "leisure skier" run: starting at South Ridge Lodge, take Lift No. 7, the Chondola, then follow the Lower Lazy River (green) or Tourist Trap (blue) trail down to Barker Lodge and Lift No. 1, the Sunday River Express high-speed quad. Take that lift to the summit of Barker Mountain.

From the Barker summit, follow Three Mile Trail (green) or Lazy River (blue).

Three Mile Trail starts with a few little slopes, but then becomes an easy glide, narrow and gladed in spots, crossing a lot of broader (and steeper) downhill runs, with fine views.

To get away from the crowds, follow Sensation (green) over to Lift 12, the Aurora Peak Quad, and ride to the summit of Aurora Peak. Green, blue and black trails lead down from the summit, and if you like you can make your way even farther west (Upper Vortex/Aurora/Cyclone green, or Northern Lights/Firestone blue) to Lift 14, the Jordan Bowl Express.

From the summit of Jordan Bowl, the westernmost peak, you can cruise the l-o-n-g Lollapalooza trail (green) or Excalibur (blue) back to the bottom of Lift 14. You won't see big crowds over here.

Save some energy and stamina to get back to South Ridge Lodge, though. You can ski all the way on green trails from Jordan Bowl summit back to South Ridge via Kansas, Lights Out, Three Mile Trail, Last Mile, Broadway Connection, Lower Lazy River or Mixing Bowl. There are blue routes as well.

Or, from the bottom of Lift 14, take Lift 13, the Jordan Mountain Double, to head east to Lift 12, the Aurora Peak Quad, and cruise eastward from Aurora Peak on green or blue trails.

Many skiers want to spend as much time as possible on the slopes, but if you have non-skiers in your group, or when the weather doesn't allow skiing, drive into neighboring Bethel for a look around, a meal, or some shopping. It's great to have a pretty bit of civilization nearby!

—by Tom Brosnahan

Getting to Sunday River

Sunday River Homepage

Bethel ME

Sugarloaf Ski Resort

Maine Skiing

New Hampshire Skiing

New England Skiing

New England Outdoors


Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan


Sunday River Ski Resort, Newry, Maine

Above, spectacular views from the slopes at
Sunday River Ski Resort, Bethel ME.

Below, schussing down Sunday River slopes.

Sunday River Ski Resort, Bethel ME



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