5 Best Ski Resorts for Beginners in Maine

Maine is known more for it's rocky coastline than for ski resorts. However, don't let that stop you from considering it for a ski getaway.

There are still plenty of options to choose from.

Here are a the best ski resorts for beginners in Maine.

Resort Name

Easy Green Trails

Lifts

Snow Tubing Available

33 Trails

13 Lifts (1 Magic Carpet)

Yes

42 Trails

15 Lifts (1 Magic Carpet)

Yes

9 Trails

2 Lifts (1 Magic Carpet)

Yes

7 Trails

6 Lifts (2 Magic Carpets)

Yes

6 Trails

2 Lifts (1 Magic Carpet)

Yes (Tobogganing)

Sugarloaf Mountain

Sugarloaf Mountain is the largest ski resort areas east of the Rockies with 1,131 skiable acres and 61 trails.

Ticket prices are determined based on demand so the earlier you purchase, the cheaper the prices.

They even offer beginner terrain pricing, which can save a lot of money until you are ready to venture up the mountain to bigger runs.

Easy Green Trails  

There are 33 green trails at Sugarloaf. They are spread all around the mountain so you have plenty of room to explore.

Magic Carpet Lifts 

There is 1 magic carpet lift at the base of the mountain to learn to ski.

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Lesson Packages 

Sugarloaf offers a lot of different programs for skiers of all skill levels. Here is a list to consider for those just learning how to ski. Reservations are preferred, and required in some cases.

  • Green Clinics - These are 90-minute beginner group lessons
  • Private Coaching - These are private lessons booked in 90 minutes or 1-3 hours.
  • Kids Lessons - Bear & Cub (parent & 2 year old), Mountain Magic (3-6), Mountain Adventure (7-17) 

Check their website for details, pricing, and booking instructions.

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Rental Packages

The rental shop team is ready to properly fit you with the gear you need to learn to ski. They offer both half and full day package deals. Check here for rates.

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Snow Tubing Availability

There is no snow tube park at Sugarloaf Mountain.

However, they do offer fat biking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on 90 km of groomed trails and ice skating on an NHL sized rink.

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Off Mountain Activities

The fun doesn't stop off the slopes. There is a long list of indoor options to keep it going. Some lodging packages include this access, everyone else can access it with a fee.

  • Anti Gravity Complex: Indoor center with a skate park, climbing wall, basketball, and trampolines.
  • Sports & Fitness Center: Indoor pool, 6 hot tubs, 2 saunas, 2 steam rooms, a full gym. Or play raquetball or volleyball.
  • Spa Services: Massage and body treatments
  • The SugarBowl: Bowling, arcade games, and a virtual golf simulator.
  • Drinks & Dining: 15 venues
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Common Praises

Sugarloaf offers such extensive terrain you will need a week to cover the entire mountain. Great facility with so much to do beyond skiing. It's a friendly mountain with a ton of charm.

Sunday River

Sunday River is one of Maine's largest, most popular, ski resorts.

There are 8 different peaks to explore, meaning you will never get bored. That's why they call it your happy place.

There is literally something for everyone.

Stay at one of their resorts and get discount dining and clinic rates.

Easy Green Trails  

Sunday River is so large you likely won't see all 42 green trails.

Magic Carpet Lifts 

There is 1 magic carpet area at the base of the mountain to get your ski legs and get comfortable before moving to the chair lifts.

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Lesson Packages 

Their Discovery Center exists to introduce people to skiing in a comfortable setting. Here are a few of the options for beginners:

  • Learn to Ski: Book in 1-2 day packages. Designed for first timers.
  • Green Group Clinic: A 90-minute group lesson for beginners.
  • Private Lessons: 1-on-1 with an instructor for 90-minutes, 2, 3, or 6 hours.
  • Kids Day & Half Day Lessons: Mini Mogul Munchkins (3-6), Mogul Munchkins (6-7), Mogul Meisters (8-12).

Check their website for program details and rates.

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Rental Packages

Offering an extensive selection of adult and children's rentals, Sunday River offers packages for single and multi-day rentals as well as half-day and night only. Check the latest rates here.

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Snow Tubing Availability

Sunday River offers lighted, snow tube lanes with lift service for hours of family fun.

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Off Mountain Activities

In addition to skiing, they offer ice skating, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, dog sledding, and snowshoeing. When you're ready to move the fun indoors, here are a few additional options:

  • The Gem Theater - Movies & art
  • Oxford Casino
  • Kids Night Out
  • Spa Services - Massage and body treatments to facials and nails
  • Dining & Drinks - 19 venues
  • Family entertainment, live music, and scheduled events

Your lodging choice may also add to the list of off mountain activities.

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Common Praises

Sunday River Ski Resort is a large, yet not overwhelming, ski resort with all the amenities you expect.

Never waited in lines for any of the lifts; also lots of different levels of skiing for all skill levels. It's a great ski resort for the family!

Lost Valley

Lost Valley is located in Auburn. It's where Maine families have been learning to ski for generations.

Compared to the first 2 resorts on the list, Lost Valley is a much smaller environment.

A great option for those wanting a more "small mountain" feel without all the bells and whistles. 

Easy Green Trails  

There are 9 easy, green trails for beginners to spend their days skiing.

Magic Carpet Lifts 

While it is a much smaller mountain, they still have 1 magic carpet area to learn on.

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Lesson Packages 


  • Learn to Ski: This is a 2-hour lesson designed specifically for first time skiers.
  • Private Lessons: Book a 1-hour lesson with one of the certified instructors.
  • Private Group Lessons: Book as a family or small group of friends.

Check their website for details and rates.

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Rental Packages

The rental shop offers flexible options so you can book a full package or just a single item.

There is also an option to just rent for the morning/afternoon/evening or the full-day. Check their pricing here.

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Snow Tubing Availability

Lost Valley offers snow tubing sessions. Slide down 600 foot, groomed trails and use the handle tow lift to get back to the top.

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Off Mountain Activities

Lost Valley is really all about the skiing, snow boarding, snow tubing, and fat tire biking.

 There are not additional activities there on site. 

Your lodging choice will be where additional amenities are found.

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Common Praises

Yes, it's small. However, the it's priced right and there are good times to be had.

It's a great place to learn to ski and build your confidence quickly.

It's well groomed and cared for.

Shawnee Peak

Shawnee Peak has been in operation for 80 years, making it the longest running mountain in Maine.

It's a great place for families to learn to ski as parents can introduce their kids to skiing at the learning center without purchasing a lift ticket. Adults can even take advantage of a "surface lift only" ticket while learning.

It may be smaller, but there is still great skiing. 

Easy Green Trails  

There are 7 green trails to test your skills as you learn to ski.

Magic Carpet Lifts 

There are 2 magic carpet lifts located in the learning area by base camp.

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Lesson Packages 

Learning to ski couldn't be easier with all of these lesson options for beginners:

  • Learn to Ski: A 2-hour group lesson designed for first time skiers.
  • Second Time on Skis: Group lesson for those that have skied before.
  • Third Time on Skis: Group lesson for those more advanced beginners.
  • Private & Semi-Private Lessons: For 1-on-1 or small group instruction.
  • Kids Programs by Age: SkiWee & Mini Riders (4-6), Junior Mountaineers (7-12).

Check program details and rates here.

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Rental Packages

The rental shop offers skis for all skill levels.

Choose to rent for a full-day, half-day, or night only.

Kids 5 and under are discounted.

Check the rates here.

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Snow Tubing Availability

Catch some air at Shawnee Peak's snow tube park.

Slide down the hill, launch through the air, and land on a massive bag of air.

They take snow tubing to the next level.

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Off Mountain Activities

Shawnee Peak is all about the skiing and snow tubing. You won't find additional off mountain activities onsite.

While they offer 4 restaurant venues, the rest of your activities and amenities will be found through your lodging or going into town. 

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Common Praises

Shawnee offers a variety of trails making it great for every member of the family.

There is something for every ski level, plus it has great night skiing. 

Camden Bowl

Camden Bowl is a small community-owned recreation ski area. Located right on the coast of Maine, it's the only ski destination in the east with views of the ocean.

Home to a 400 foot toboggan chute, they host the annual U.S. National Toboggan Championship.

Spend your day on the slope and then head into Penobscot Bay for great dining and nightlife options.  

Easy Green Trails  

There are 6 easy, green trails for beginners.

Magic Carpet Lifts 

They offer 1 magic carpet area. You can even purchase deeply discounted "carpet only" tickets to make your first time skiing very affordable. 

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Lesson Packages 

All lessons are offered on a first-come-first-served basis. Advance reservations are suggested

  • Daily group lessons at 10:30 and 1:30 for ages 7 and up.
  • Beginner Special Lesson - Designed for first time skiers.
  • Private Lessons - Book in 2-hours, half-day, or full-day increments.
  • Kids Programs by Age - Stump Jumpers (3-6), Mighty Mites (5-6), Kids Accelerated Training (7-14), Freestyle on Ragged Mountain (7-14).

Check their website for program details and pricing.

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Rental Packages

Rent everything you need to ski by a full-day or half-day package. Additional days are added at a discount. To view rates click here.

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Snow Tubing Availability

Camden Snow Bowl not only offers a snow tube park, but you can ride down the toboggan hill

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Off Mountain Activities

Camden Snow Bowl is all about the skiing, snow boarding, snow tubing, tobogganing, fat tire biking, and snowshoeing.

They do offer a place to grab food on the mountain, but everything else you do will be nearby in town.

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Common Praises

This is a great family-oriented ski resort. Short lines, fast service, and well groomed trails. It's a small mountain, but has so much fun to offer. 

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