Snowboarding in New Hampshire presents some challenges to your skills that you won’t find anywhere else and only some of it comes from the steep peaks and deep valleys created by the White Mountains. The snowboarding culture in New Hampshire combines the influence of competitive snowboarding, extreme snowboarding and a young culture of innovation that is fed by the colleges in New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and from Quebec. You can practice the basics and master different skills levels, but you are also more likely to encounter new tricks and spins on the trails than anywhere else. Once you pick a region to focus your trip on, you can select the right lodging for you and then take off to see what you will discover each day that will raise your abilities to the next level.
Northern New Hampshire
Reaching up toward Canada, the Northern region of New Hampshire has some of the deepest snow and extensive backcountry trails for snowboarders in the state. The main peaks are Mount Cranmore, Black Mountain, Wild Mountain and Attitash. All of them offer resort areas where you can rent snowboards, take lessons, hire a guide or just get a day’s pass to the slope. The state sponsors information links and sites to keep you current on the latest weather and conditions for all the ski areas so you know whether you should stay on the half-pipe or venture out on the backcountry trails.
Central New Hampshire
Central New Hampshire is where you are going to find a higher concentration of alpine skiing resorts that will also have groomed half-pipe trails and snowboard parks. The biggest ones in the area include Waterville Valley, Loon Mountain, Tenney Mountain and Mount Sunapee. Central New Hampshire also features a wider variety of other types of attractions and events to provide a break from the slopes. You should also check out the park information for Central New Hampshire as many of the organized ski and snowboard resorts connect their trails to national and state park systems to give you broader access into the regions as well. This area has a more businesses that can accommodate the needs of families and varying skill levels that the more isolated and extreme mountain locations of the Northern section of the state.
Southern New Hampshire
Pat’s Peak and the Granite Gorge Ski Area are the main points of interest for snowboarders in Southern New Hampshire. The proximity of Granite Gorge to Keene makes it an ideal choice if you are also looking for a spot with more evening entertainment and a wider variety of restaurants. Keene State and Antioch College are located nearby which means that there is a lot of new things to be seen on the trails than you would find up in the Northern developed resorts. The runs may not be as long as some of the other parks and pipes available in other locations, but there is a wide variety that is easier to move between than having to navigate the icy roads of even Central New Hampshire.
Choosing the pipe, park or backcountry trail
There is a triad of trail types available to snowboarders at almost all of the areas that promote trails and slopes. Most of the alpine resorts will have a half pipe trail that is set off from the main slopes. Some will also have a develop snowboard park area with half-pipe, jumps and funnels. Where various competitive events are held around the state, such as those sponsored by the New Hampshire Series, off competition times you can gain access to their parks and pipes as well. There are a growing number of backcountry trails that are available to snowboarders as more people begin to show an interest in this very complex and challenging side of the sport. On backcountry trails, you have to navigate more tightly to avoid trees and other obstacles while traversing the mountain pitch. It is recommended that you take a few lessons before trying backcountry snowboarding as there are some very specific techniques you have to master to stay safe and stay on your feet while going down the mountain. The best of both worlds is to find a place that offers all three styles of trail so you can experiment with each one to discover what you like best.