Shawnee Peak is a ski area located on the northern side of Pleasant Mountain in western Maine just a few minutes from the New Hampshire border. Shawnee, like most East coast ski areas, boasts an impressive vertical but not a lot of acreage. This resort is spread out over 249 acres with a vertical of 1300 feet. Base elevation is at 600 feet, and the peak elevation is at 1900 feet. Yearly snowfall averages out to about 110 inches (2.8 meters) per year, but is supplemented with snowmaking coverage over 98 percent of the mountain.
The Terrain and the Mountain
Shawnee Peak has two base lodges and the lift system has one quad, two triples, a double chair lift and a surface lift. The main lodge is near the East Slope condominiums and has access to the Summit Express and the Pine Quad chair lifts. You can also access the Rabbit Run double chair lift and the Li’l Pine surface lift. The other lodge is located to the east and is named the East Lodge. From there, the Sunnyside triple chair ferries skiers to the summit. Shawnee is not that complicated and moving around is simple
There are 40 trails, seven glades and three terrain parks on the mountain. They are broken down into 25 percent beginner, 50 percent intermediate, and 25 percent advanced trails. Novice skiers are best served by sticking to the western part of the ski area. There’s plenty of terrain to get you skiing, including a progression terrain park. If it’s your first time on skis, take the Li’l Pine surface lift and practice your pizza turns on the wide-open slope near the lodge. From there, the Rabbit Run and Pine Quad will take you more challenging, but still gentle, terrain.
Intermediates can freshen up at the Pine Quad, taking a wide-open groomer down the slope or hitting the T-Line, a narrow tree lined groomer. Once they are ready for more challenges, take the Summit express up to the peak and hit a trail that uses all 1900 feet of vertical. Some of the favorite lines are the Jack Spratt, a wide-open groomed steep to the Vain, a narrower tree lined run, to the Main, which is a wide-open groomer that leads back to the base. For more variety, head down the eastern slope where trees and glade skiing awaits.
Advanced skiers will find Peter’s Plunge to be a perfectly acceptable steep, albeit a short one, and the glades to be as challenging as they are fun. Up near the summit, several fast lines will keep you on your toes as you cut in and out of the tree line.
Freestylers that have a little experience should take the Pine quad chair up and head over to the Main run. The Park is about halfway down. Alternatively, you could make the short hike up the slope. The park has all the features you’d expect, from boxes to tables, and pipes and jibs aplenty. A couple of nice jumps supplement the area.
This is a great ski area to hit for a weekend. With a fully staffed daycare on site ready to handle kids as young as 3 months to 6 year olds, parents can have a full or half day of uninterrupted skiing. The daycare is fully staffed and open seven days per week, but reservations are highly recommended. There isn’t a large amount of apres-ski activities, but the two lodges are a great place to unwind after a day (or night) of skiing, and parties have been known to spill over and continue at the condos nearby. Bridgton, the local town, is very friendly, and the locals easy to get along with. If you’re after a few days or a weekend of skiing, Shawnee will be happy to give you that plus a little more.