After having been closed down for five years, Saddleback returned in late 2020 and this spring they completed their second consecutive year. It is far better than one could have hoped for. Not only is the brand new high-speed chair lift amazing, but the freestyle scene has been great too. The parks have been immaculate. The big park is on the same old trail that it used to be on with one major difference: the old double chair that started at the bottom of the lodge and went to the top of the park is gone. This might come as bad news to some, but this is not the case at all. A new high-speed quad allows for quick park laps while also letting skiers and riders enjoy the mountain on the way down to the park.
The small park named Gee Wiz is still on the same exact trail, it comes equipped with multiple mini jumps and rails. It is a perfect park if you are just trying to mess around and have fun and it is amazing for the little kids who are just learning how to ski park.
The big news is the new rope tow that runs the length of the park. It is a portable rope tow that is produced by a Maine-based company called TowPro lifts. This is a massive upgrade that is arguably better than the old double lift. It is not always running but when it is, skiers can take lighting fast park laps. This has created probably the best progression park in Maine. It recreates the feeling of the classic midwest mountains that are small but have great rope tow lifts for the parks.
The view is still just as incredible as it was all those years ago. Many would argue that Saddleback has the best view of any ski resort in Maine. Sunday River, Sugarloaf, and Mt Washington are all clearly visible from the top. Some people say that you can even barely make out Mt Katahdin on the clearest of days.
Some more awesome news is that SaddleBack has announced that by the end of July 22 they will be offering lift-serviced downhill mountain biking. The crew was hard at work all of the last summer. They had a soft opening this fall with no lifts, Non-Lift Serviced mountain biking will start this memorial day.
SaddleBack is clearly on a roll and intends on putting its name back on the map. A very unique opportunity has presented itself to Saddleback. At the moment many people are not too thrilled with how Vail and Boyne run the resorts they own. Big corporate ski companies are always bad news for local riders. Saddleback seems that it is one of the few places left that truly cater to local skiers and riders and it seems to be paying off. Everyone who goes to Saddleback loves it. So far they have been running a great resort, maybe these big companies could learn a thing or two.
Written by Ian Bohrmann
Saddleback Trail Map