There’s plenty to look forward to at this full mountain resort, according to Ethan Austin, Sugarloaf communications manager, and that means around 90k of trails through the woods, he said. “No fear of running into cross-country skiers as it’s normally pretty quiet,” with trails of varying lengths and skill levels, including a 14k Outer Edge loop that takes off the from the Outdoor Center Lodge.
The Outdoor Center, located away from the main mountain resort, offers guided “Snowshoe Safaris” and the popular lunchtime “Shoe ‘n Stew” tours, Austin noted. Rental snowshoes are available, and snowshoe trails are marked on a trail map.
Austin’s favorite trail is the “Blue Trail,” a 5.3k loop that winds through the forest and where “you might see deer if you’re quiet.” Occasional fox and the tracks of coyote in the snow, as well as “lots of birds” might be seen by the observant snowshoer. He noted there is a hut about an hour in, where a well-stocked woodstove provides warmth, and is a “great place for a family picnic” before heading back down the trail.
Après-snowshoe activities at the full infrastructure of Sugarloaf Mountain Resort include the Sugarloaf Sports and Fitness where a café offers pizza, appetizers and soup, stay or go, including a breakfast menu. An indoor pool, hot tub, volleyball and racquet court are available. For those who still have not gotten enough exercise, the Antigravity Complex offers “…state of the art trampolines, an indoor rock climbing wall, a multi-purpose gymnasium with a surrounding track, and a weight room with equipment such as treadmills, ellipticals, a rowing machine, free weights and much more.” The complex is operated through a joint partnership between the Town of Carrabassett Valley and Carrabassett Valley Academy. A zipline and tubing offer even more exciting outdoor activities for families and individuals.
Austin added, “New this winter is a brand new arcade geared toward kids and teens up at the alpine center…a traditional arcade. Of course, there will be arcade employee overseeing the whole thing” as well as the other kids’ activities that include game and movie nights, and kids night out.
“The Bull Moose café (at the Outdoor Center) makes really great homemade sandwiches for a quick bite,” Austin noted.
“To sit down and have a bit more formal meal, a beer and burger, there are (three) Bag and Kettle restaurants, one in the Sugarloaf Village.” Austin said his favorite is the “…bag burger …and they brew their own beer.”
For lodging options, Austin said the best deals are the condominiums [http://www.sugarloaf.com/VacationPlanning/Lodging/LodgingOptions.html], “which serve as a good home base. You basically have a whole house to yourself, with many affordable lodging options.”
At the higher end, “the Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel is the grand resort hotel. It’s a really nice place and has larger suites for families.”