There’s nothing old about Old Man Winter in Connecticut. No matter how close we get to spring, there’s always a flurry of activities as well as an unexpected flurry of snow that shows up unannounced. The good news is that as long as winter sticks around, there’s plenty to do for every member of the family. With skiing, snowboarding, tubing and cross-country skiing going on right through March and beyond, winter manages to keep Connecticut Yankees on the trails and young.
396 Mt Vernon Road
Plantsville, CT 06479
According to Jane Cioffi, a staff member at Mt. Southington, skiers and snowboarders can usually do their thing on the mountain right through March. “We groom the mountain in the morning and then there’s a lot to do around here,” said Cioffi, adding that the instructors give a lot of lessons. What’s so special is that Mt. Southington has a special class for three year olds. The instructor gives lessons to the youngster while they’re accompanied by a parent. At the ripe young age of four, private lessons are available to children. This beautiful mountain has 14 trails and non-stop fun for beginner and advanced skiers and snowboarders.
Woodbury Ski Area
785 Washington Road
Woodbury, CT 06798
While there’s always a lot to do at the Woodbury Ski Area when the snow flies, it doesn’t matter if it snows or not. There’s still year-round fun here. While the snow is on the ground, there’s skiing, snowboarding and tubing. According to Cristina Orres, a staff member, there are more tubers than skiers and snowboarders. “A lot of families like to do the tubing,” she said. The tubing takes place right from snow-covered slopes to grassy slopes. For those who are not faint of heart, this is one place where tubing is offered when winter finally makes its exit.
Truly a mountain meant to be experienced, Mohawk Mountain boasts 25 beautiful trails. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced skier, you will find that this mountain is as challenging as it is scenic. Trish Morrissey, director of guest services, said it has the distinction of being the ski area to introduce snow-making to the world. “We’ve got a long history of innovaton,” she said proudly referring to the fact that Mohawk was the first mountain to make snow back in 1949. The mountain also boasts two magic carpets, conveyor lifts that take skiers up the mountain as well as a triple chair life, both are ideal for beginner skiers. “We’re a ski area that has had generations of families coming to us,” said Morrissey. The ski season goes right through March.
126 Ratlum Road
New Hartford, CT 06057
Ski Sundown has 150 snow guns, so the mountain is covered 100 percent of the time. According to Lori Shield, a spokesperson for the ski area, it is open until 10 p.m. at night for night skiing. This ski area also welcomes snowboarders and there are two terrain parks for freestyle skiing and snowboarding. “We have 15 trails and 14 of them are with lights,” said Shield. With 200 ski instructors, there’s always the opportunity to learn as a beginner or learn the latest trends for advanced skiers. “We’re a family friendly mountain. A lot of people like to ski or snowboard here, honing their skills before moving further up north or west,” she commented.
50 Winding Trails Drive
Farmington, CT 06032
Winding Trails is the only cross-country ski area in the state of Connecticut. Renee Felter, a staff member at Winding Trails, said there are 13 miles of beautiful cross-country skiing. “We also offer sledding and skating when the weather cooperates,” said Felter. Cross-country skiing appeals to all ages including children and elderly and Winding Trails is just the place to enjoy the end of winter.
Joanne Greco Rochman is the arts editor of The Fairfield County Review, a columnist, critic, feature story writer and English professor. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Republican-American and Hersam-Acorn Publications. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.