Stratton Mountain has kicked into high gear the last few years by putting parks all over the mountain to go with the new night-lit halfpipe located in front of the main lodge. For a unique touch, there’s an old-fashioned diner at the top of the halfpipe where you can enjoy a meal while checking out the action. Late last season, Stratton opened the East Byrneside terrain park (snowboarders only) with a halfpipe, tabletops, and other hits.

The resort is one of the best in this region for classic all-mountain riding, with a gondola and wide-open runs on the front side, good grooming, and a consistent fall-line. You can get away from the crowds and find some fun runs in the Sun Bowl.

Jake Burton started his snowboard company in Stratton and nearby South Londonderry in 1977. He was working as a bartender at the Birkenhaus and building boards in a downstairs garage after-hours. Burton had to hike to test his prototypes until he finally persuaded the mountain manager, Paul Johnston, to open for snowboarding in 1983.

World halfpipe champion Ross Powers’ snowboard camp is being held this season from December 23¿24 and March 19¿21 for intermediate and advanced riders with an emphasis on freestyle and all-mountain riding. Participants train with coaches and pro riders from the Stratton Snowboard School.

Stratton has been the site of the prestigious U.S. Open since 1985, and this year it’s being held March 12¿18.

The resort was renowned for its halfpipe long before specialized pipe-grooming machines were invented, and the artificial terrain is first-rate. The resort has also significantly upgraded its snowmaking system for this season.

Stratton is the fountainhead of snowboarding culture in the East, and still has one of the most active scenes in the country.