Best ski highways in North America: New Hampshire’s ‘Ski 93’

It didn't take long for New Hampshire to realize it had something special running along its major artery: Interstate 93.

As part of an old lodging and resort gimmick in the 1970s, the highway was dubbed “Ski 93”. And after decades of resort rises and falls along the snowy stretch, the name has garnered a bit of nostalgic power in the Granite State.

Running from the Boston area up into Canada, the highway passes through several key stops along the New England ski trail, including some of its oldest ski areas.

With easy access to a major metropolitan area, I-93 is one of the most reachable and drivable of our favorite North American ski highways, making it a prime option for both weekend warriors and families alike.

For any New Englander looking for their next ski adventure, here are five reasons to pack up the SUV and cash your chips on Ski 93.

Get steep and deep at Cannon Mountain

Cut from old Civilian Conservation Corps trails, Cannon has blossomed into New Hampshire's premier ski hill, featuring 82 named trails and more vertical than anywhere else in the state.

An aerial tram shuttles skiers and boarders to the top of Cannon Mountain and also cuts one of the most challenging runs in the Northeast, a gripping lift line of steep, rocky and narrow terrain known as DJ's Tramline.

Still wondering if Cannon is legit? Well, this hunk of granite helped carve the career of Olympic champion Bode Miller and is also home to the New England Ski Museum.

Earn those Frequent flyer miles at Loon

This southern New Hampshire resort is all about proximity. Just two and a half hours from Boston, Loon is a great daytrip option that packs a serious freestyle punch.

Over the last decade, Loon has increased its freestyle arsenal to six terrain parks, one superpipe and one mini pipe while establishing itself as one of the top destinations for freestyle skiers and riders in New England.

Add to that a handful of street style competitions and the legendary après scene at the Paul Bunyan Room, and Loon has all of the ingredients to attract the cream of New England's up-and-coming crop.

Witness the Tenney Mountain resurrection

PHOTO: Tenney Mountain Facebook Page.

Tenney is undergoing a makeover that could draw major crowds. Photo: Tenney Mountain Facebook Page.

Little old Tenney has gone through a rollercoaster of financial woes, but through it all has found a place in New Hampshire's heart.

The Plymouth area was in the midst of another resurrection in 2015, opening under a new owner dedicated to high-tech snowmaking advances designed to maximize the intermediate mountain's ski season.

In its first season of reopening, Tenney will have its Eclipse chair running, with the other two area lifts opening next year.

If getting the inside track at a ski area is your idea of a good time, make sure to set the GPS to New Hampshire’s “newest” ski hill this season.

Stop by America's oldest ski shop

Screenshot taken from video.

Lahouts is the oldest ski shop in the U.S.

No trip up I-93 is complete without a stop into the rickety old Lahouts in Lincoln, New Hampshire. Touted as “America's Oldest Ski Shop,” Lahouts is part ski store, part museum and about as down-home East Coast as it gets.

In fact, don't be surprised to see 93-year-old Joe Lahout Sr. wandering around the store, talking to locals and customers alike.

Sure, you're on Ski 93 for the mountains, but take a second to stop by this iconic shop to pay your respects to East Coast's ski royalty — who knows, you may even walk out with a new pair of sticks.

Taste Olympic pedigree at Waterville Valley

Waterville Valley is considered the birthplace of freestyle skiing — and for good reason. In 1969, the northern New Hampshire resort became the first in the world to offer a dedicated freestyle program, then in 1970, it hosted the First National Open Championships of Freestyle Skiing.

Since then, Waterville has developed some of the finest freestyle skiers in North America, including snowboard phenom Chas Guldemond and Olympic gold medalist and moguls skier Hannah Kearney.

Check out where the pros play, and take your best shot at 500 skiable acres of bumps, glades, terrain parks and well-maintained beginner and intermediate terrain.

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