Once skiers and boarders progress to a certain ability level, they often scorn those tame trails marked by green circles. However, a select few green runs offer such tranquil beauty that it would be a mistake to dismiss them just for a lack of serious challenge. Obviously great for beginners, these green gems can also offer a pleasing change of pace for even the most jaded expert.
1. Avalon-to-Crawford Ridge at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
Avalon winds down to access the Bretton Woods’ West Mountain area, then Crawford Ridge comes back to the main base area. Avalon has more entertaining fall-line skiing, but Crawford Ridge makes up for its catwalk nature with an impressive view of Mount Washington on the horizon.
2. Polecat at Wildcat Mountain, New Hampshire
Offering wonderful views of the other side of Mount Washington, the longest beginner trail in New Hampshire goes for 2.75 miles and 2,212 vertical feet from Wildcat Mountain’s summit all the way down to its base. Polecat is so long that it is labeled with an Upper, Middle and Lower section on the trail map.
1. Forest Meadow at Loveland Ski Area, Colorado
“Forest Meadow” perfectly describes this trail off Chair 6 at Loveland Ski Area. The first portion goes through a small forest for an unintimidating introduction to tree skiing. The run empties out into what else but a large, secluded meadow. A picnic table sits in the middle of the meadow for visitors to take a break and enjoy views of the ridgeline along the Continental Divide. On the downside, a meadow is by definition basically flat, so a bit of poling for skiers or hiking for boarders may be necessary to exit the run. The serene beauty though makes the effort worth it.
2. Soliloquy-to-Roundabout at Copper Mountain, Colorado
The longest path down at the resort, this connected pair of green trails extends for 2.8 miles. Tree islands make these very wide greens much prettier and more interesting than average beginner trails. Even on a busy weekend, the route is generally peaceful and uncrowded.
3. Ute at Sunlight Mountain, Colorado
Ute follows the western boundary of the ski area for 2.5 miles from summit to base. Advanced skiers take advantage of the trail’s rolling nature and lack of crowds to “shoot the Ute”— a traditional non-stop, high-speed run to finish the day.
4. Wrangler at Arapahoe Basin, Colorado
Arapahoe Basin may be best known for the steep terrain off its Pallavicini chairlift and the East Wall. However, novice skiers and boarders can still marvel at the impressive backdrop of the East Wall from the green Wrangler trail.
1. Crooked Mile at Alta Ski Area, Utah
Once known as Never Sweat, Crooked Mile has a similar feel to Wrangler with a gentle pitch in a basin surrounded by imposing peaks. While novices are stuck right by the base area at many other resorts, this run gives beginners a true sense of the majestic scenery that can be part of the joy of skiing. As you might guess, Crooked Mile measures about a mile in length.
2. Home Run at Park City, Utah
Home Run deserves a place on this list simply because of its impressive length. The green trail goes on for an incredible 3.5 miles with a vertical drop of more than 2,450 feet. Parts of the run are more of a catwalk, but the pitch is generally sufficient to let gravity do the work.
1. Around the World at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe, Nevada
This run meanders along the western edge of the ski area. Even more experienced skiers and boarders can be entertained by darting in and out of the trees dotting the secluded trail.
1. Burnt Stew Trail at Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia
Burnt Stew is one the few opportunities for novice skiers and boarders to enjoy a true above-treeline experience in North America. Located on the Whistler Mountain side of the immense resort, Burnt Stew has unforgettable views.