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Summer and Fall Activities
Summer and Fall Activities at Sunday River
In a Nutshell:
Tough Mountain Challenge
Full Moon Dinners at The Peak
North American Wife Carrying Championship
Whether you choose to ride it during summer, or take in the brilliant colors of fall from one of its gondola cabins, Sunday River’s Chondola is a must-do experience for all guests to Sunday River. Yankee Magazine ranked the Bethel area as the #1 New England leaf-peeping location and noted Sunday River’s Chondola as one of the best ways to take in all of the views. In 2012, Yankee's editorial staff listed Sunday River's summer Mountain Park in its "Best of New England" issue. Summer and fall, the Chondola whisks guests to the mid-mountain Peak Lodge where views of the Mahoosuc and Presidential Range extend for miles and miles.
Covering all eight of Sunday River’s interconnected peaks, the Sunday River Mountain Bike Park is packed with over 20 miles of terrain perfect for honing your downhill skills, on not to mention learning new ones. Kids of all ages can take advantage of a full fleet of technical Kona rental bikes and will appreciate the Chondola’s bike transport system uphill. Beginners will find the recent addition of Easy Tiger absolutely “purrfect,” while those more daring souls will feel just like this after tackling the resort’s newest trail, Rockstar.
Voted “Best Public Golf Course in Maine” by Golfweek magazine six years in a row, the Sunday River Golf Club, designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., features an 18-hole championship course that winds through one of Maine’s most picturesque alpine settings. Advanced golfers will love the challenge of a truly award-winning course, while beginners will love the clinics and wide-open fairways.
On a hot sunny day, there is no better escape than the local swimming spot—Letter S. Located five miles past the picture-perfect Sunday River covered bridge, Letter S provides people (and oftentimes their four-legged friends) some much-needed salvation after extended sun time mountain biking or golfing. Hidden down a dirt road, Letter S is part of the actual Sunday River, which runs through glacial rock formations before widening out to what looks like a twisting letter “S.” Pack a lunch and some towels and don’t forget your sunscreen, Letter S boasts a small rocky beach with highly coveted real estate for tanning, as well as shallow water to refresh the tootsies with deep spots perfect for a full-on plunge.
Take your sense of adventure to a whole new technological level with Sunday River’s geocache adventure! Located throughout the resort’s eight interconnected mountain peaks, geocaching involves handheld GPS devices to locate hidden treasure chests. Choose from a dozen cache locations throughout Sunday River, some close to the South Ridge base area, and others accessible by a decent hike or Chondola ride. GPS rentals and information are available out of Sunday River Sports in the South Ridge Base Lodge.
Deep within one of Sunday River’s forests is a Sunday River Zipline Tour unlike any other. Six lines, ranging from 100 feet to 300 feet in length, take zippers up and over a ravine and through a wooded wonderland. All thrills, no skills, Sunday River’s Zipline Tour is perfect for the beginner or intermediate adventurist. Guides set the pace and scene by helping you into your harness and assist you when loading and unloading at each line. The Tour’s grand finale is a zip down one of the resort’s two parallel Twin Zips, which span 750 feet in length. Of course no tour is complete without a heartfelt round of “Zip ah dee doo dah!” You’ll certainly leave thinking, “My oh my, what a wonderful day!”
There are foot races, triathlons, even adventure races, and then there is Sunday River’s Tough Mountain Challenge. Created in 2010, this bucket list-worthy obstacle race takes some of Sunday River’s most well known features and pins them against racers in a 5k obstacle course. Scheduled to take place in July at Sunday River, racers can expect a snowgun salute kickoff similar to last year’s Hurricane Alley as well as some other race favorites, including the Trench of Terror and the Black Hole. Singles, duos, and teams are invited to race in this all-out “Man vs. Mountain” battle. New this year, kiddos can get involved too with the free Mini Mountain Challenge also taking place that afternoon. When it’s all said and done, there will surely be “the mud and the blood and the beer.”
Full moons are spectacular events to witness and even provide the perfect excuse to throw a party. Each summer, Sunday River schedules Full Moon Dinners at the Peak Lodge, which combines a scenic Chondola ride with live entertainment and an abundance of food and drink, all under a brightly moonlit sky. You’ll dance, you’ll sing, you may even find yourself howling at the full moon above, but the good news is you won’t be alone. You’ll find yourself in the good company of many in-the-know locals and regulars.
Whether you look at it as extreme couples’ therapy or a great excuse to add a little spontaneity to the relationship, Sunday River’s Annual Wife Carrying Championship provides as good an excuse as any to add a little something-something to the relationship. Just as the name reads, this event takes couples from across the US and challenges their physical fitness and communication skills over a 278-yard Finnish-style obstacle course. While you do not need to be married to enter, you do need to come prepared with a sense of humor. From the classic Estonian carry, which places women in the awkward-yet-strategic upside-down piggyback position, to the run through Widow Maker pond, this event is a favorite among thousands of spectators who watch it during the resort’s annual Fall Festival Weekend, and an even bigger hit among national and international media who run footage from it.
Not really summer, but the Mountain RAID (formerly the Mountain Epic) is a part of Mountain RAID and RAID series that brings trail running to a whole new level, offering athletes the chance to enjoy the mountain lifestyle while conquering tough climbs and stunning descents. Over 200 competitors and volunteers contribute to the race, which includes three different races: a four-mile race up one peak, an eight-mile race over five peaks, or a 12-mile race across all eight peaks.
For more information, please visit www.sundayriver.com.