Mt. Abram, located in Greenwood, is one of Maine’s great midsized mountains.

Founded in 1960, the resort was a trendsetter, among the first in Maine to offer “Learn to Ski” programming, the Magic Carpet groomer and Otto Wallingford’s early Powder Maker snowmaking machine. In the modern era, Mt. Abram has a well-earned reputation as one of the most family-friendly slopes in Maine. The resort has also put a huge emphasis on sustainability and clean energy, and is again a trendsetter – it was the first resort in North America to purchase a fleet of 100 percent airless snow guns.

With the following itinerary, you’ll be able to squeeze as much as possible out of a day trip to Mt. Abram.

Getting there: Mt. Abram is about 90 minutes north of Portland, a short jump on the highway to Gray followed by 50 miles on Route 26. After passing through Norway, Paris and Bryant Pond, the access road to the mountain, Howe Hill Road, is on the left, just past North and South ponds. There’s parking in front of the Main Lodge.

8 a.m: Put aside some time during your drive to stop at the Market Square Restaurant in nearby South Paris. Hearty fare like french toast, fried eggs, omelets and even country fried steak will prepare you for a long day on the slopes.

9 a.m: Hop on the Way Back Machine, the double chairlift that carries skiers from the base lodge to the summit. A Hall double chairlift from the 1970s, the Way Back is still going strong after repairs a few years ago. From the summit you can warm up on Round-a-Bout, a cruiser that runs along the area’s eastern boundary. Beside Round-a-Bout is Tucker’s Tumble, one of a number of new trails cut during the offseason. It’s a surprisingly challenging expert run, as are neighboring Rocky’s Run, Snidely Whiplash and Fearless Leader.


10 a.m: If the Maine T-Bar is running, you can use it to lap the trails on Abram’s east side. If it’s closed, you can treat yourself to skiing the T-bar line. Unlike many areas, Mt. Abram opens the T-bar line as a trail, Big T-Line, when the lift isn’t running. It’s a straight and narrow shot down the center of the mountain.

11:30 a.m: If you feel like showing off, take a few runs right under the Way Back Machine. The Cliff, one of the two double diamonds at the resort, is just that – a serious drop that just happens to be right under the lift, in full view of everyone. Next to The Cliff is The Zone, a tight, steep glade that pitches down from the summit, and the mountain’s other double black trail.

1 p.m: After crushing the expert trails on Abram’s east side all morning, it’s likely you’ll have worked up an appetite. The Loose Boots Lounge, a family-friendly pub in the base lodge, is the perfect place to refuel. The menu features burgers, pizzas and sandwiches, priced from $10 to $20. The high-piled nachos are listed as an appetizer but offer plenty for one or two skiers.

2 p.m: With the sun moving west, make your way toward the Westside lodge and slopes. You can access the trails by cruising down Easy Rider from the summit, or by a free trolley connecting the base areas. Westside is described by Abram as having the East’s “most fabulous ‘Learn to’ topography,” and you’re likely to see lots of new skiers and snowboarders on the Skyline double chair, and Sawicki Magic Carpet. It’s certainly not challenging terrain but it’s a nice place to rest your legs in the afternoon, and soak in the sun and good vibes. The Westside Lodge also has spirits and food, so you can relax slopeside.

3:30 p.m: Mt. Abram is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday (and during school vacation weeks), so it’s time to start wrapping things up. If you’re looking to end the day with some oomph, terrain parks on Dudley and Flying Squirrel can help get that adrenaline pumping.

5 p.m: If you’re heading south, stop at the nearby Norway Brewing Company (237 Main St., Norway) for dinner. The new microbrewery, founded by Charles Magne Melhus and Erika Melhus, offers a full dinner menu on most nights, with a focus on locally sourced ingredients. There’s a rotating selection of house-made beer, ranging from lighter fare to rich, dark brews like the Mr. Grumpypants oatmeal coffee stout.

Where to stay: Looking to spend the night? While Mt. Abram doesn’t have any lodging of its own, there are hotels nearby. Particularly charming is the Chapman Inn in nearby Bethel, which overlooks the town common. For those looking to set down roots in Greenwood, slopeside condos are being developed at Mt. Abram.

Josh Christie is a freelance writer living in Portland. Along with his brother, Jake, he writes about great Maine destinations for outdoors enthusiasts. Josh can be reached at:

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: