Like the bicycle cogs they frequently fine-tune, Plaine and Son’s highly trained staff works together to keep the business running smoothly. Plaine and Son has been expertly stocking and servicing bikes, skis, and snowboards since the 1960s. With cycles from brands such as Specialized and Trek and boards and skis from Atomic and Salomon, employees have a huge cache from which they help outdoor adventurers select the right gear based on riding styles or how many jet skis they plan to haul behind their bikes. Staffers also enlist the Specialized BG Fit Program and other fitting tools to pair riders with the right-size bikes. Once fitted, bikers can join in on Plaine and Son’s weekly group rides or enjoy free workshops in the store, which focus on biking basics such as how to mend a flat or jump the public pool blindfolded.
The fastidiously maintained slopes of Maple Ski Ridge beckon outdoor adventurers throughout the snowy season, readying skiers and snowboarders with lessons, equipment rentals, and day and season passes. On the lodge's four hills, instructors from the Schenectady Ski School guide budding snow pilots of all ages through the basics of skiing, snowboarding, and snowman combat, and the Burton Learn to Ride system assists new snowboarders in mastering downhill skills with specialized equipment. Inside a comfortable lodge, a crackling fire warms extremities and light fare and hot cocoa warm insides as outside, skiers sail down full-sized hills, try their hands at stunts on the terrain park, or glide up and down bunny hills courtesy of a surface tow. The lodge's dedicated staff supplements any meager precipitation with snow machines and bags full of frozen marshmallows, and all slopes undergo daily maintenance.
The Blandford Ski Area has remained a family mountain for 75 years through its commitment to education and gentle terrain. Crisscrossed with beginner and intermediate trails, the basin serves as a fertile development ground for burgeoning skiers and boarders, and a venue for après-ski live music. Children as young as age 3 practice their snowplow in the Ski with Me program, and sportfolk with energy to burn hit the terrain park or stay after sundown for night runs lit by floodlights. When natural snow runs short, machines kick into gear to slick slopes in fresh powder or the corn oil favored by the Blandford alpine racing team.
Maple Corner Farm, a working family farm, offers powder-pounding pole positioners of all skill levels 20 kilometers of marked, groomed trails to traverse. Boot, ski, and pole rental is included, making for an equipped and efficient afternoon as ski bunnies drift through a picturesque, flaky paradise. Call ahead for an evaluation of snow conditions, and check here for additional directions and information.