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Down Pat: Skiing Pat’s Peak, NH

By Dan Mathers

With its diversity of trails, amenities. and fun atmosphere, Pat’s Peak is a small mountain with a large following among New Hampshire skiers and snowboarders. 

A snowboard rider takes to the air at one of Pat's Peak's terrain parks.

Pat’s has been a winter institution in the Merrimack Valley for roughly 60 years. Located in the town of Henniker, the ski area dates back to its creation in 1963, when it was built by the four sons of local resident Merle Patenaude. 

Today, it still has a family focus. It’s the kind of place where parents can feel safe letting their kids roam the mountain’s beginner trails while the adults tackle more challenging terrain.

Pat's Peak offers a variety of terrain for skiers of every ability.

Pat’s Peak stands just 1,460 feet high. But while its elevation may be modest, the operation is impressive. It has some of the longest and steepest pitches in southern New Hampshire, and features 28 trails and slopes, along with nine glades. It has 14 novice trails, 6 intermediate trails, 3 advanced trails, and 5 expert trails.

Further, the mountain has 11 lifts and one of the largest, computer-controlled snowmaking systems per acre in the Northeast. Even when Mother Nature doesn’t drop a ton of pow on the region, Pat’s 100-percent snowmaking coverage ensures great conditions throughout the season.

Tubing slopes are also available at Pat's Peak.

Visitors can also enjoy terrain parks with features for all ages and abilities. Turbulence Park boasts features that change throughout the season, including jumps, rails, boxes, and spines. Microburst Park has smaller features that are great for beginners. 

When the sun goes down, the skiing doesn’t stop. Pat’s Peak has the most diverse terrain for night skiing in New England, including the only beginner run in New Hampshire that’s open both day and night. The main mountain is entirely illuminated, giving Pat’s the most double-diamond terrain and glades night skiing in northern New England.

To ski day and night, you’re going to need plenty of fuel. Thankfully, Pat’s has three cafeterias, including the Sled Pub, which offers pub food and a full selection of quality beers, wines, and specialty drinks. Additionally, visitors can eat at the Traveling Taco, a food truck serving creative tacos.

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