Peek n Peak
Peek n Peak has long been a local favorite ski area, but is starting to garner state-wide attention. The addition of a new progressive 720 terrain park recently (bumping their number up to 4 terrain parks in total) has boarders and skiers alike itching to try out the new lines. Although Peek n Peak is a smaller ski area, with 110 acres of skiable acreage, for a place located just east of Erie, it holds up very well. There are 27 named runs with a total vertical of just over 400 feet. Snowmaking covers the entire resort and the entire place is open for night skiing. The difficulty mix is fairly even, with 30 percent novice, 45 percent intermediate and 25 percent rated expert and above.
Peek n Peak is different from your usual northeast resorts. It’s not tall and skinny, it’s very wide with four main drops for skiers. The main lodge puts you at the base of chair 7, which takes you up to Woods’n Wedges, home of the expert rated trails. There are five black diamond trails here, from the Long Bow, a fall line steep that takes you back down under the lift, to some short glades and nice steeps that skirt in and out of the trees.
Intermediates should head left to Lift 8 or to the far right to Lift 1 and 2 to head up to Canterbury Woods, or to Lift 3, home to Clubhomes. Both of these ski starting points lead to some fun runs. King Richard’s Willy-Nilly is a run ride that zips out of a tree lined cruiser into a wider lane (shared with Doncaster) before slipping into a narrower steep that drops you back at the base of 3. There are a total of 16 intermediate trails to try out from the very forgiving Finsbury Field on the left to the more challenging Greenwood Forest that slips by the new 720 terrain park in its last leg.
Novices will find that Chair 3 is where they are going to be most comfortable. Start off on the short Little John or the Ski School learning area to get your ski legs under you. Once you’ve done that, head up Chair 3 to take in the fall line cruiser of Alan-A-Dale. This long run lets you see all the way down the mountain, taking it as slow as you’d like. After a few runs down, if you’d like something a little more, head up Chair 7 to the top of Friar Tuck’s. This is a narrower groomer that meanders through the trees. Don’t worry; there are two places where you can step back out onto Alan-A-Dale if the trees start to hem you in.
Make sure to familiarize yourself with these runs, because when night falls and the slopes light up for night skiing, everything changes.
Après Ski, Après Ski
The main lodge is home to a cafeteria, which serves typical counter fare, from burgers to pizza and fries. It’s good for a quick snack or lunch during your run. For heartier fare, head to your right to the Inn at the Peak. There’s a sit down restaurant with more formal fare, and the Regency Pub, which has great beer on tap and friendly locals ready to chat about their latest tumble down the mountain. For parents with kids who aren’t quite ready to strap on skis, on-site daycare is available just across the street from the Inn from 8 to 4 every day for kids from 8 months to 8 years old.