This year, Blue Hills increased their snow making capacity and upgraded their lodge, which makes manager Jennifer Heinen believe it will be more crowded this winter.
Whether you’re young or old, skiing or snowboarding, there’s no place like Blue Hills, Mark Dondero said.
Slopes abound in New England, though most of them require trekking three or more hours, then forking over sometimes scores of dollars to ride the lifts.
Dondero, 24, a Medfield resident, is happy to trade that experience for the chance to test Blue Hills’ trails before heading north.
He’s not alone. The South Shore’s own ski “resort” on the Canton-Milton border has been getting busier in recent years.
Manager Jennifer Heinen believes that this season could be the most crowded yet.
“We’ve been packed every day that we’ve been open,” Heinen said.
She attributes this increase to improvements made at Blue Hills. That includes employing new equipment to increase its snow-making capacity, allowing more trails to be open for longer periods of time.
In addition, the main lodge added a dining area with a window that overlooks the slopes.
With only four main trails, Blue Hills is one of New England’s smallest ski areas. Yet instructor Nicole Seaman said it offers something for all ages, including an area for beginners, ski and snowboard rentals and lessons for all ages.
“It’s close, it’s convenient, and it’s a lot cheaper than most mountains way up north, especially with this economy,” Seaman said.
During this week, skiing hours are extended from 9 a.m to 9 p.m. That gives families – like Jenifer Jaeger and her 10-year-old daughter Emma, who live in Sharon – more time to enjoy the wonders of winter, a few miles from home.
“It’s really convenient and great when starting out,” Jaeger said.
The Patriot Ledger
If you go
WHERE: On the Canton/Milton border, you can get there by taking Exit 2B/Milton off Route 128, then heading onto Route 138/North Washington Street. The Blue Hills Ski Area is approximately 1 mile ahead, on the right.
WHEN: The Blue Hills Ski Area opens each winter after the first main snowfall. Hours are from 2 to 9 p.m., Monday through Wednesday; 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday through Saturday; and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. On holidays and vacation weeks, the slopes are open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
HISTORY: The Blue Hills Ski Area was founded in 1963 by former Olympic skier Penny Pitou, who opened the first ski school there.
OWNERSHIP: In 2007, Ski Blue Hills Management was awarded a five-year lease of the area. The company also operates Campgaw Mountain in Mahwah, N.J.
SIZE: Blue Hills has four main slopes and seven trails, with one chair lift, two “magic carpet” lifts and one rope pull.
Source: Blue Hills Ski Area
Click for a full-size map of the Blue Hills ski trails