Although some people think that wintertime in the North East is just for cuddling up and staying warm, there are plenty of adventures to be had throughout New England in the great outdoors!
Whether you love extreme sports, enjoy the changing scenery, or simply trying new indoor activities elsewhere, New England can offer you many types of winter experiences.
In this article, we will discuss the best winter activities for international students, particularly around New England. We will also discover different outdoor activities to try and tell you where to try them. Lastly, we will learn about preparing your car for the journey there.
The Best Winter Activities around New England:
Alpine Skiing: Every state in New England has some degree of skiing to offer, but mountains and trail difficulty vary from one resort to another. When deciding where to go, you should find out about rates of entry, chair lift passes, rental prices if necessary, as well as finding out if there are trails that suit your abilities.
- Try it: Okemo Mountain in Southern Vermont is one of the best rated mountains and ski resorts in all of New England. With a wide range difficulty on the trails, and plenty of chances to get lessons if you need them, Okemo Mountain is the clear choice for many.
Cross Country (Nordic) Skiing: Cross country skiing comes from our friends in the north. The word “ski” actually comes from the old Norse work for “plank of wood”. This variation of skiing is a more relaxing way of enjoying a snowy landscape.
- Try it: Head up to Maine for one of the best cross country skiing experiences. Rangeley Lakes Trails Center offers trails that are extremely well kept for enjoyable day trips.
Tubing: If you’re high on adventure but low on skill, tubing is a thrilling activity that requires no practice! Just head over to a mountain that has the equipment, dress for the snow, and sail on down the snowy hills!
- Try It: Nashoba Valley in Central Massachusetts offers great rates on hours of tubing fun. Get a group of 6 together for more savings.
Snowshoeing: If you’re less of an adrenaline junky, snowshoeing could be the perfect winter activity for you. Snowshoes are an attachment for your snow boots, and help distribute your weight so walking across snow is easier. They help you to not sink down into the snow. This is a great workout that requires very little gear, just a good pair of snow pants, boots, and snowshoes. Don’t worry if you don’t have them; most resorts offer this equipment for rent.
- Try it: For your first snow shoeing excursion, check out the famous Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. There are trails available for all skill levels and you can rent gear, have a lesson, and take a tour through the Vermont countryside.
Now that you know what you want to do, so now let’s make sure we’re prepared for the trip!
Transporting your Winter Sport Equipment:
Whether it’s skiing, snowboarding, or tubing, there are endless options to choose from across Northeast region. Most mountains will offer equipment on site for rent, but if you own your skiing or snowboarding equipment, then you may want to consider investing in some state-side gear of your own.
But then you have to transport it.
You might think you have enough room in the car to fit all of your equipment, but once you have it loaded up with friends and gear you might start to feel differently.
For transporting ski and snowboard gear, it is a good idea to invest in a roof rack, which attaches to the top of your car. Your gear will be exposed, but by choosing the right rack, you can ensure that your gear and passengers arrive comfortably and safely.
Your Car and Winter Driving: Be Prepared
No matter what kind of car you have, visiting resorts around New England requires planning. You need to know where you’re going, and also be prepared for the challenges ofwinter driving.
- Basics for Winter Driving: Some of the basics of what you’ll need to make sure you are driving safely include a spare tire, tools such as a car jack to change the tire, a first aid kit, drinking water, snacks, and warm blankets. If your car breaks down in the cold, you’ll need to be able to keep warm and have useful supplies if you’re stuck waiting for a tow truck.
- Winter Tires: If you plan on driving quite a bit to the mountainside, you will want to invest in winter tires to prevent your car from skidding and ensure that you prevent your car from skidding off the road.
- Car Battery: Extremely cold weather can sometimes cause car batteries to drain. You can prepare for this by carrying jumper cables in your truck, in order to connect your battery to a working car’s battery.
- Navigation/Map: Keeping a cell phone car charger or back up battery is also important for long drives, but even better is a paper map. Many mountain destinations are located in areas with poor cell phone reception. Prepare for bad reception by printing out your directions, or bringing a paper map. Having back up navigation in case you get lost will ensure that you arrive to your destination safely.
Winter journeys on dangerous roads:
When you’re planning a trip to a new destination in the winter, it’s a good idea to check the weather along your route to see if there’s anything to watch out for. We hope that you enjoyed learning about the best winter activities for international students!
Most activities like skiing, snowshoeing or tubing are far away from public transportation. Therefore, driving will be your only option in getting there. Even so, winter weather can create challenges, especially if you are not used to the harsh road conditions. There are many ways to improve the safety of your trip while driving in the winter.
With so much to explore, being prepared means you can make the most of your winter in New England! Bundle up and drive carefully!